These ladies are not always stationary. Just when the clock is about to strike 10 pm, you might also see ladies with amazing bodies strolling up and down as far as the parking lot as if they are looking for something to buy. After seeing them walking up and down empty-handed for a while you might realise that they have nothing to buy.
It should be noted that people are allowed to move in and out of the mall, window shop, sit down and meet with people at the mall despite how seductively they might be dressed. The mall’s management can’t just arrest people based on how they are dressed.
Another interesting hot spot for prostitution in Lagos is Allen Avenue. As early as 5 pm, you can see women getting dressed by the roadside and walking up and down the streets of Allen. Some even reportedly have sex in the nook and cranny of the streets.
The front of the law school campus in Lagos State is another place where you would see sex workers openly catcalling customers.
The backwaters of the Oniru settlement on Victoria Island is another place for fresh-faced ladies of the night.
What does the law say?
Even though the Criminal Code doesn’t make prostitution a crime per se. From Section 222 - 223 of the Criminal Code procuring underage girls for prostitution or defiling them is a crime but the act of prostitution isn’t.
Section 250 of the Criminal Code penalises those who control, direct or influence the movements of a prostitute. Also, those wandering any premises or road in such a manner that their presence might be disorderly are guilty of a misdemeanour and can be imprisoned for up to one year.
Section 225 (a) penalises men who live on the earnings of prostitutes, such a weird law because women mostly live on the earnings of prostitutes they 'employed'.
There is a Lagos State Law that prohibits people from vagrancy, Section 168 (a) of the Lagos State Criminal Law, 2011 classifies prostitutes as disorderly persons, “Every prostitute behaving in a disorderly or indecent manner in any public space, loitering and persistently importuning or soliciting for the purpose of prostitution is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable for N15,000."
Law and morality
Many human rights activists have criticised this Lagos state law and the law on prostitution by saying that it’s an unfair law that seeks to punish the poor and that their activities do not hurt anyone. They are trying to earn a living and in some countries, prostitution is not even a crime.
Plus, Nigerians are religious people and adultery and fornication are sins in both major religions. A nation’s law should mirror its shared values, as long as such laws aren’t discriminatory.