In Nigeria, a great number of people believe there are not enough laws governing us, hence the need for more laws to be enacted for effective governance. However, there are others who are of the opinion that there are adequate laws, but implementation remains the key problem. While some of these laws may now be obsolete, they still remain the law.
Whatever may seem to be the case, remember ignorance of the law is not an excuse. From inappropriate use of the flag to deceiving consumers with phoney adverts, DNL Legal and Style takes a look into 5 laws you probably did not know to exist in Nigeria.
1. Treatment of animals in transit.
Often, we see domesticated animals hurled up together in lorries, transported from far distances, mostly from the northern part of the country to the south. The question is, have you ever pondered on the physical and mental statutes of these animals irrespective of the fact that they are for domestic usage? Or because the animals are meant to be consumed, then they have no rights, right? Wrong!
Where trade animals (cattle, sheep, goat, horse, camel, donkey, pig etc.) are transported by rail or by road for a period exceeding 12 hours, the person in charge shall be required to stop to feed, water and rest such animals every 12 hours; with animals of different sexes or age group separated as well as cattle separated from goat, sheep, and pig. – Sections 7 and 8(b) & (c) of the Animal Diseases (Control) Act, LFN, 2004.
2. Respect for the flag
National symbols and especially the national flag should be respected because it represents the dignity of the country. It is for this reason that there is a law that seeks to protect this dignity. The Nigerian flag is not to be displayed in faded, defaced or bad condition and anyone who does contrary to this is guilty of an offense under the Flags and Coats Of Arms Act, Cap. F30, LFN, 2004. So anywhere you come across a hoisted tattered Nigerian flag, as a good citizen you might have to remind them of this law.
3. Inscription on baby formulas
In today’s world where the need for babies to be fed with breast milk rather than baby formula is being emphasized, this becomes imperative. The Marketing (Breastmilk Substitutes) Act, Cap. M5, LFN, 2004, section 3 provides that particulars to be inscribed on a breast-milk substitute or baby formula, that such containers shall bear a label, stating the following statement in English and at least 3 other Nigerian languages – “Breast milk is the best food for the child as it prevents diarrhoea, chest pain and other diseases.” The penalty includes fine, imprisonment or both. Is this law strictly complied with?
4. Wilful removal of a deceased eyes
This law which commenced on 5 May 1973, a person in his last sick days on earth may in writing or orally in the presence of two or more witnesses request that his/her eyes be removed after his death for therapeutic (medical) purposes. Section 1 of the Corneai Grafting Act, Cap. C29, LFN, 2004.
5. Deceit through adverts.
Do not deceive us! This law expressly states – Any person who issues or aids in issuing any wrong advertisement about a consumer item, is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine, imprisonment for five years or both. Section 11 of the Consumer Protection Council Act, Cap. C25, LFN, 2004.