RELEVANT LAWS BENEFICIAL TO WOMEN IN RIVERS STATE

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RIVERS STATE ABOLITION OF FEMALE CIRCUMCISION LAW NO. 2 , 2001

1. FEMALE CIRCUMCISION ABOLISHED :
Notwithstanding any custom or usage no female shall undergo the practice of circumcision as such practice is abolished and declared unlawful .

2. OFFENCES:
(1) Any person who circumcises or allows the circumcision of female commits an offence and is liable to a fine N20,000.00 or to imprisonment for 5 years .
(2) Any person who on the ground that a female refused to undergo circumcision –
(a) denies the female any right or privilege to which she is entitled:
(b) molests, injures, annoys, obstructs , or attempts to molest, injure , annoy or cause obstruction to the female from exercising any rights accruing to her as a citizen of any community in Nigeria.
(c) abstains from any social , professional or business relations as the person would ordinarily maintain with such a female:
(d) enforces against the female or any other person any disability whatsoever and in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of this section with regard to –
(I) marriage :
(ii) acquisition or inheritance of any property: or
(iii) observance of any social custom usage or ceremony .
Commits an offence and is liable to a fine of #20.000.00 or to imprisonment for 5 years .

3. OFFENCE AND PENALTY:
Any person who removes a female from the state and subjects such female to circumcision in another state of Nigeria or anywhere else commits an offence and is liable to the punishment as prescribed under section 2, as if the offence was committed in Rivers State .

4. AIDING AND ABETTING OF OFFENCE
Any person who aids or abets the commission of an offence under this law , whether the offence is actually committed or not , commits an offence and is liable to a fine of N 20.000.00 or to imprisonment for 2 years .

5. CONSENT OF FEMALE NOT A DEFENFCE
It shall not be a defence to any offence created under the provision of this Law the female consented to the circumcision and has personally asked for the circumcision to be carried out.

6. ENHANCED PUNISHMENT ON SUBSEQUENT CONVICTION:
Any person who , having already been convicted of an offence under the provision of this Law or of aiding or abetting of an offence is again convicted of an offence shall on every subsequent conviction be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

7. VICTIM MAY UNDERTAKE EVIL CRIMINAL ACTION:
Any person who becomes a victim of female circumcision under this Law shall be at library to undertake a civil action for damages , irrespective of whether criminal prosecution has commenced, is undertaken or concluded .

8. INTERPRETATION:
In this Law : “circumcision” means any interference with the natural appearance of the female external genitalia using blade , knife or any instrument whatsoever in order to bring about either a reduction in the size of the clitoris or a complete removal of the vulva for cultural or other non_ therapeutic reasons and include:
(i) cauterization by burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissues :
(ii) scraping of the vaginal orifice or cutting of the vagina or
(iii) introduction of corrosive substance into the vagina to cause bleeding or herbs into the vagina with the aim of lightning or narrowing the vagina.