Understanding Bigamy Law in Nigeria: Legal Information and Penalties

The Complexities of Bigamy Law in Nigeria

Bigamy criminal Nigeria defined act marrying someone still legally married person. Law bigamy Nigeria complex varies region religious individuals involved. Article, explore nuances bigamy law Nigeria implications found guilty offense.

Legal Framework

Nigeria, bigamy governed statutory customary laws. The Nigerian Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act criminalize bigamy and prescribe penalties for those found guilty. Additionally, customary laws in various regions of Nigeria may also address bigamy and its consequences.

Penalties Bigamy

The penalties for bigamy in Nigeria can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the laws applicable in the respective region. General, convicted bigamy face imprisonment fines, both. Severity punishment depend factors number spouses involved impact offense individuals affected.

Case Studies

One notable case involving bigamy Nigeria 2015 case State v. Johnson. In this case, the defendant was found guilty of marrying a second wife while still legally married to his first wife. The court imposed a fine and a six-month prison sentence on the defendant, sending a strong message about the consequences of bigamy in Nigeria.


According to a study conducted by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, there were 256 reported cases of bigamy in Nigeria in 2020. This figure represents a 15% increase from the previous year and highlights the ongoing prevalence of this offense in the country.

Challenges and Considerations

One of the challenges in addressing bigamy in Nigeria is the intersection of religious and cultural practices with the legal system. In some cases, individuals may enter into polygamous marriages that are recognized by customary laws but not by statutory laws, leading to complex legal implications.

The legal framework surrounding bigamy in Nigeria is intricate and multifaceted, requiring careful consideration of statutory and customary laws. As country continues grapple complexities issue, essential ensure individuals aware legal implications bigamy held accountable actions.

Unraveling the Intricacies of Bigamy Law in Nigeria

Question Answer
1. What is the legal definition of bigamy in Nigeria? Bigamy in Nigeria is legally defined as the act of marrying someone while still being legally married to another person. It is considered a criminal offense under the Nigerian Criminal Code.
2. What are the penalties for bigamy in Nigeria? Engaging in bigamy in Nigeria can result in imprisonment for up to 7 years, fine, or both. The severity of the penalty may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
3. Can a person be prosecuted for bigamy if the second marriage took place outside of Nigeria? Yes, Nigerian law considers bigamy to be an offense regardless of where the subsequent marriage took place. If person legally married Nigeria goes marry individual different country, still prosecuted bigamy returning Nigeria.
4. Is bigamy a ground for divorce in Nigeria? Yes, bigamy can serve as a valid ground for divorce in Nigeria. Innocent party marriage right seek divorce basis spouse`s act bigamy.
5. Can person charged bigamy aware spouse`s existing marriage? Ignorance of a spouse`s existing marriage is not considered a valid defense against a charge of bigamy in Nigeria. The law holds individuals responsible for ensuring that they are not entering into a second marriage while still legally bound to another spouse.
6. Are cultural practices Nigeria condone polygamy mistaken bigamy? While polygamy is accepted in some Nigerian cultures, it is important to understand that bigamy and polygamy are distinct concepts under the law. Engaging in a subsequent marriage without dissolving the first legal marriage constitutes bigamy, regardless of cultural practices surrounding polygamy.
7. Can a person be charged with bigamy if their first marriage was conducted under customary law and the second marriage under statutory law? Yes, nature marriage (customary statutory) exempt individual laws bigamy Nigeria. Regardless of the type of marriage, a person is still obligated to adhere to the legal requirements and limitations regarding multiple marriages.
8. Can person liable bigamy estranged first spouse consider marriage effectively over? Merely considering a marriage as effectively over does not absolve a person from the legal obligations of marriage. Until marriage legally dissolved divorce means, individual remains bound marriage charged bigamy enter subsequent marriage.
9. Are circumstances person exempt prosecution bigamy? Exemption from prosecution for bigamy is rare and depends on the specific details of the case. In certain situations where there is proof of deception or coercion, a court may consider mitigating factors in determining the appropriate legal consequences for the individual accused of bigamy.
10. How can individuals ensure compliance with bigamy laws in Nigeria? Individuals can ensure compliance with bigamy laws in Nigeria by conducting thorough research on the legal requirements for marriage, seeking legal advice if there are any uncertainties or complexities, and ensuring that any previous marriages are properly dissolved before entering into a new marriage.

Legal Contract: Bigamy Law in Nigeria

Bigamy is the act of marrying someone while already being legally married to another person. Nigeria, bigamy criminal offense punishable law. This legal contract outlines the provisions and consequences of bigamy under Nigerian law.

Contract Terms and Provisions

1. Definitions
Bigamy: The act of marrying someone while already being legally married to another person.
Nigerian Law: The laws and statutes pertaining to marriage and criminal offenses in Nigeria.
Legal Marriage: A marriage that has been formally recognized and registered under Nigerian law.
2. Prohibition Bigamy
Under Nigerian law, it is illegal for any person to marry another person while still being legally married to a different person.
Any individual found guilty of bigamy may face criminal charges and penalties as prescribed by Nigerian law.
3. Legal Consequences Bigamy
Upon conviction for bigamy, an individual may be subject to imprisonment, fines, or other penalties as determined by the Nigerian judicial system.
In addition to criminal charges, any subsequent marriage entered into while still legally married to another person will be deemed null and void under Nigerian law.
4. Legal Recourse Victims
Individuals who have been victimized by bigamy have the right to seek legal recourse and pursue civil and criminal actions against the offending party.
The Nigerian legal system provides avenues for individuals to seek annulment of an invalid marriage and pursue damages for any harm suffered as a result of bigamy.

This legal contract serves to inform all parties of the legal provisions and consequences of bigamy under Nigerian law. Any violation of these provisions may result in legal actions and penalties as prescribed by Nigerian law.

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