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Prostitution no longer illegal in Nigeria, High court Judge declares



A Nigerian court has declared that sex work is not a crime since there is no law that forbids it.

Justice Binta Nyako of the high court in the capital, Abuja, on Thursday awarded damages to 16 women who were arrested for prostitution in 2017.

Lead council to the women raided by the Abuja Enivronmental Protection Board to NewsWireNGR that “A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today declares that Sex work is not a criminal offence in Nigeria, and that it is a violation of the rights of FSW’s as enshrined under S 37 of the Constitution for any security agent to break into their homes.

“Hon. Justice Binta Murtala Nyako delivered the judgment in a case filed by Lawyers Alert on behalf of one Constance Nkwocha &15 Ors V. Min. of FCT & 5 Ors. She finally awarded damages against the Respondents and in favour of the Applicants in the sum of N1.6 Million”.

This is the first time a Nigerian court has ruled on the legality of sex work. A lawyer representing the women, Babatunde Jacob, told the BBC that the court upheld that security agents violated the rights of his clients when they broke into their homes alleging that they were sex workers.

In a crackdown in May this year, more than 60 women were arrested in Abuja for prostitution, then following our investigation The Untold Story of the AEPB, Abuja’s Uniformed Female Harassment Unit.

Many of the women claimed they were harassed, extorted, and publicly shamed, we will be updating as we receive the court papers to this judgment .

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