DAILY LAW TIPS (Tip 470) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

ABANDONMENT OF WIFE/HUSBAND, CHILDREN OR DEPENDANTS IS A CRIME

It is a criminal offence for any person to abandon Wife or Husand, Children or Dependants without any means of sustenance or living . Abandonment is deliberately leaving wife, husband or children that are under the care of a person, by the person that has such care, without any means of sustenance.

Also note that, it is an offence to commit or attempt to commit or to incite or aid another in the commission of such offence. The offence is punishable with imprisonment for not more than 3 year or and fine of not more than #500,000. Attempting to commit the offence is punishable with imprisonment of not more than 2 years or and fine of not more than N200,000.00. However, punishment for assisting in the commission of any of the offences is imprisonment for not more than 1 year or and fine for not more than #100,000.00.

Kindly note that the law creating the above offence is operational in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Similar laws are now operational in Anambra State, Ebonyi State and Oyo State. Soon, more States will enact similar laws as we encourage states to do so and condemn violence. However it is advised that the punishment stated in the Act be made to be minimum punishment instead of maximum punishment to avoid releasing offenders with mere slaps on wrists.

My authorities are sections 16, 47 and 48 of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 and similar laws across states in Nigeria.

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