COMMON ACTS THAT ARE CRIMINALISED UNDER THE LAW
People often engage in certain social behaviors that they consider harmless and humorous, but these actions can actually be criminal offenses under the law. Here are examples:
1. Spraying, dancing, or stepping on the Naira: A typical Nigerian party is not complete without the spraying (giving people money as gifts while the dance by placing it on their person) of money on the celebrants. However, spraying, dancing with, stepping your foot on, or damaging the Naira or any other currency issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria is a crime. Whether it be during social events or otherwise is considered abuse and defacing of the Naira. It is punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act.
2. Smoking in public places: It is not unusual to see people smoke in public places in Lagos State. Section 2 and 4 of the Lagos State Environmental Management Protection Law 2017 criminalizes smoking in all public spaces except in designated smoking area.
3. Smoking in the presence of a child: Under the Lagos State Environmental Management Protection Law 2017, section 9 prohibits smoking in the presence of a child under the age of eighteen (18) years in such a manner and place that may expose the child to any form of smoke or injure the child.
4. Cyberstalking: Sending a message via text, social media, email, or other electronic means that is grossly offensive, pornographic, or of indecent nature constitutes cyberstalking. It can take many forms, including threatening or obscene messages, spreading false information, monitoring the victim's online activities, and using spyware or other technology to gain access to their personal information. It is punishable under section 24 of the Cyber Crime Act.
5. Piracy: Downloading or sharing copyrighted material, such as music or movies, without permission is considered piracy and can result in fines or imprisonment.
6. Broadcasting licensed or copyrighted content in public places: It might be fun playing songs in public places, but it is an offense in Lagos State to display or broadcast any content, films, musical records, and playing of any musical instruments, songs, lyrics, and/or usage of a public address system in public places.
It's important to remember that the laws regarding these actions vary from state to state, but the general principle is that behaviors that seem harmless and funny can have serious consequences if they break the law. These laws may not be upheld in common practice but can still be used against individuals.