According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, adultery refers to voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person's current spouse or partner. It is considered to be morally as well as religiously wrong in different parts of Nigeria.
Cheating on a spouse ruins the trust that existed between them from the start of their marriage till the moment of the adultery. It can lead to broken homes, affect the offsprings in the marriage, and in some cases may lead to a divorce between the husband and wife.
Different laws regulate the different parts of Nigeria. Under criminal law, the provisions of the Penal Code regulates the Northern states in Nigeria, while the Criminal Code regulates the Southern states in Nigeria.
In the Southern states, adultery is not regarded as a crime. Although religious sects and customs may frown at the act and castigate perpetrators, the Criminal Code which is the law that makes provisions for crimes in the south does not prescribe any punishment for anyone who engages in the act.
Where the spouse of a person commits adultery in the south, the only relief available for the affected spouse is a divorce.
However, the position of the law is quite different in the Northern states. According to Section 387 and Section 388 of the Penal Code, any man or woman who has consensual sexual intercourse with someone other than the person they are married to is guilty of the offence of adultery.
An offender would be liable with an imprisonment term of up to two years with or without an option for fine. He or she may also be punished with both a fine and an imprisonment term.
It should be noted that where a person from the South commits the offence of adultery in the North, he would be bound by the provisions of the Penal Code, and punished accordingly.
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