An Assistant Commissioner of Police and the head of Nigerian Police’s Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), Abayomi Shogunle, said this while replying to a tweet.
A Nigerian twitter user Dolapo Pizzu (@DolapoPizzu) tweeted that she was arrested for being in possession of a pepper spray by men of the Nigerian police at Igando in Lagos.
She tweeted, “oga yomi your boys have stopped me for owning a pepper spray saying it’s an offence.. currently at Igando police station”.
In his response, Shogunle said: “What are you doing with a pepper spray? Pepper spray is an offensive weapon, Nigeria Law prohibits going armed in the public.”
Pepper spray is usually used by women as a defence weapon against attackers, especially rapists.
According to The Criminal Code Act, Chapter 36, Subsection 403B, an offensive weapon is defined as:
“offensive weapon” means any article apart from a firearm made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person or intend by the person having it for such use by him and it includes an air gun, air pistol, bow and arrow, spear, cutlass, matchet, dagger, cudgel, or any piece of wood, metal, glass or stone capable of being used as an offensive weapon.
Although Nigerians have taken offence at the statement, Section 417 of the Criminal Code states:
Any person who is found in any of the following circumstances-
(a)being armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, and being so armed with intent to break or enter a dwelling-house, and to commit a felony therein;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.
If the offender has been previously convicted of a felony relating to property, he is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
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