Nigeria -- Age of Consent
[Cool Teen Sites]


[Editor Note:  On Jan 28, 2000, we received a link to a bookstore which features laws on Nigerian criminal law.  Perhaps someone will purchase one and donate the pages necessary to us]

We have been unable to locate laws of Nigeria.  We have located some very interesting statistics however according to the organization "SIECUS".

The average age of FIRST-TIME sexual intercourse is 13 years old.   Over 55% of all girls have had sex by age of 16.

If you know of any Nigeria statutes on line in English, please email us at



Both Nigerian criminal codes define rape in similar terms. In southern Nigeria, the Criminal Code defines rape as "unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or a girl, without her consent."[88] Unlawful intercourse with a woman's consent also constitutes rape if the consent is obtained in any of the following ways: by force or threats or intimidation of any kind; by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act; or in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband.[89] The Penal Code, applicable in northern Nigeria, defines rape in the same manner. However, it provides that "[s]exual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape, if she has attained to puberty."[90] Both criminal codes impose the same punishment for rape, which is imprisonment for life, with or without caning.[91] Attempted rape is punishable by 14 years of imprisonment.[92]

Nigerian criminal law addresses a number of sexual offenses. The Penal Code imposes strict penalties for such crimes as "procuration" of a minor girl,[93] importation of a girl from a foreign country with the intent that she may be "forced or seduced to illicit intercourse" with another person,[94] and employment of a minor for prostitution.[95]

In addition, the Criminal Code provides for life imprisonment for any person who has unlawful "carnal knowledge" of a girl under the age of 13.[96]



Thursday, October 08, 1998
Stepdad Takes Sex Abuse Rap for Baby Deal
FROM:  (

Nigerian immigrant who impregnated his teenage stepdaughter after signing a contract with her when she was 14 to bear him a son was convicted yesterday of sexual assault of a child.    A jury took only 15 minutes to convict Chris Ahamefule Iheduru.
Iheduru, 47, testified that it is not illegal in his native Nigeria to have sex with a juvenile and that he didn't know it was against the law here.

He faces two to 20 years in prison and may also be deported.  Iheduru testified that two years ago, he signed a contract with the girl and her American mother, his future wife, who could have no more children. The pact called for the girl to have sex with   Iheduru so they could have a son. If the child turned out to be a girl, the stepdaughter would keep the baby.

The stepdaughter, now 16, gave birth last month to a daughter.  Iheduru's wife also has been charged with sexual assault of a minor and is awaiting trial.   The stepdaughter testified that all three sat down and agreed to the deal when she was 14, two months before Iheduru married her mother.   The teenager said she thought it was wrong, but her mother gave her a "guilt trip" until she agreed.  After that, she and her stepfather had sex regularly, she testified. She said Iheduru warned he would kick her out of the house if she didn't.

Iheduru testified that he couldn't remember how many times he had sex with the girl. He said the sex was just fulfilling the contract, and he remembers not enjoying it.



7 out of every 10 males and 5 out of every 10 females attending secondary school in Nigeria are sexually active or have had sexual relations at least, once. A study in Benin City showed that 55% of the secondary school girls had sexual intercourse before age 16. A more recent study showed that the mean age of initiation of sexual intercourse is 13 years.

Two out of every 5 secondary school girls interviewed admitted to at least one previous pregnancy. Over 900,000 births to adolescents occur annually and 150 out of every 1000 women who give birth in Nigeria are 19 years old and under.

Eighty percent of patients at Nigerian Hospitals with abortion-related complications are adolescent girls. These complications include hemorrhage, septicemia, perforated uterus, secondary sterility and in many cases, death. Illegally induced abortion is described as a school girls' problem in Nigeria.

Pregnant girls who are 15 years old and under, have a maternal, mortality rate 7 times higher than that of women aged 20 to 24 years old. Girls under 20 years of age suffer more pregnancy and delivery complications such as toxemia, anemia, premature delivery, prolonged labor, than women who are 20 or more years old. 

World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, one out of 20 adolescents contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) each year. Also, one-fifth of people worldwide with AIDS are in their twenties, indicating that they probably contracted the AIDS virus during their adolescence (due to the long latency period of the disease). In Nigeria, 15- to 29-year-olds account for 63 percent of all the AIDS cases among females between 1986 and 1995.

Teenage pregnancy is a major cause of school drop out among girls. In a Nigerian study of 127 pregnant school girls, 52% were expelled from school, 20% were too ashamed to return, 15% could not return because their parents refused to pay tuition and 8% were forced to marry. 

Fact Sheet Produced by ACTION HEALTH INCORPORATED. P.O.Box 803 YABA LAGOS or Plot 55 Somorin St, Off Ketu-Oworonshoki Expressway, Ifako-Gbagada, Lagos.


1.A.U. Oronsaye, and G.I Odiase, "Attitudes Toward Abortion & Contraception Among Nigerian Secondary School Girls", (International Federation of
Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Ireland, 1983.) 
2.Nigerian Family Health Fact Sheet,, (Lagos, Nigeria: Policy & Evaluation Division, Nigeria Family Health Services Project, 1991).
3."Studies on Adolescent Sexual Behavior," Ibadan, April 1996.
4.Adolescent Fertility in Sub-Sahara Africa (Washington, DC: The Center for Population Options, 1992).
5.Nigeria County Report for the International Conference on Population and Development (Lagos, Nigeria: Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services, 1994).
6.Teenage Pregnancies - Fifth call for Action, (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, 1992).
7."It won't Happen To Me - STD's and Adolescents," Passages, vol. 1.11 No.1, (Washington DC:Centre for Population Options, 1991.) 
8."AIDS Cases Reporting Profile: A Decade of the Nigerian Experience, 1986-95." (Lagos, Nigeria: National AIDS and STD Control Program, 1996).
9.B. Gyepi-Garbrah, Adolescent Fertility in Nigeria (Boston, MA: Pathfinder Fund, 1985).

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