Recently, the Nigerian social media space was awash with reports of alleged bigamy involving a Nollywood actor, Yul Edochie, and bestiality involving a lady who claimed to have slept with a dog in exchange for money.
Bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another.
Bestiality simply refers to sexual relations between a human being and an animal.
Yul Edochie and bigamy
Nigerian Nollywood star, Yul Edochie on Wednesday, April 27, announced a second wife he identified as Judy Austin Muoghalu and a child he called Star, whom he said was a product of the relationship that must have started a long time ago.
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While there are reports that Edochie's purported second wife was a prank, the situation is apt to serve as a learning curve for Nigerians.
If it were to be true, the Nollywood star would have been at the risk of committing bigamy.
What does the Nigerian law say about Bigamy?
Festus Ogun, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, said there is no Nigerian law stopping a man from marrying more than one wife.
Ogun, however, pointed out that if a Nigerian man marries under the Marriage Act (aka court marriage), he runs the risk of committing bigamy and getting jailed.
"Generally, getting married to another wife is a right that can be exercised by a man. It is supported by law, logic and public morality. There is no law in this country inhibiting a man from marrying more than one wife.
"The only exception to this is where the man contracted the marriage under the Marriage Act, popularly known as “court marriage”. A woman who does not want his husband to marry another wife must ensure that a statutory marriage is contracted. This bars the man to marry another wife – till death do the parties apart. If a man married under the Act dares to marry an additional woman, he puts himself at the risk of jail terms. This is supported by Section 46 and 47 of the Marriage Act."
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The Nigerian lady claiming to sleep with dogs
Also recently, a young slim, light-skinned lady with TikTok user ID @Veegodess said there was no big deal about bestiality.
In a viral TikTok video, she claimed she slept with a dog for N1.7million. Reacting, the police vowed to launch a proper investigation into the matter and prosecute her and many others who are into such ‘dirty act’ accordingly.
However, she later said she was merely “catching cruise,” a slang for joking.
Bestiality in Nigeria: what the law says
Speaking on the development, Ogun said if the lady's claim had been true, she would have put herself at the risk of being jailed for 14 years.
"If it were to be true, the lady who claimed to have had carnal knowledge of dogs puts herself at a risk of 14 years imprisonment with no option on fine.
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"By virtue of Section 214(2) of the Criminal Code, it is a punishable offence to engage in sexual affairs with animals.
"It is not only dangerous to public health, it is morally reprehensible and abuses the basic rights of animals," Ogun told Legit.ng.