The Lagos State Government announced Tuesday a review of the law enacted to protect pregnant women and their babies.
The State Attorney General, Ade Ipaye said that it is now a criminal offence in Lagos for a man to desert a woman he impregnated.
At the sensitization programme on the ‘Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011′ and ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2011′, Mr. Ipaye said the law was enacted to protect pregnant women and their babies.
He added that the new law makes it criminal for a man to refuse to contribute to the ante-natal and post-natal expenses of a woman he impregnated.
“Any person who impregnates a woman or girl and fails, refuses or neglects to contribute to maternity related cost from ante-natal or post-natal stages, is guilty of an offence under section 277 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State and is liable to face the wrath of the law,” Ipaye said.
Ipaye said the old law handed down by the British Colonial Government was outdated, as it mainly reflected the values of the colonial administration.
“The review of this law was necessitated by the fact that some of the laws that existed prior to this time were outdated.
The review is therefore aimed at reflecting current day realities, as the old Criminal Code Law has become inadequate to address the challenges of contemporary criminality.”
Ipaye, who also doubles as the Commissioner for Justice, said the state criminal law was enacted to regulate public order and provide rules on criminal conduct, among other objectives.
He however stressed that the new law has replaced the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State Cap. C17 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003, introduced in Southern Nigeria in 1914.