Is Pepper Spray Legal in Nigeria? 

Pepper spray has been adopted as a defensive device across a significant part of the world. Its ability to temporarily stop a threat or let its user escape physical harm from their assailant is why many countries made it legal for their citizens to carry for self-defense. If you are in Nigeria and considering owning one, you would want to know the position of the law on pepper spray in Nigeria. Read on and find out if pepper spray is legal in Nigeria.   

Is Pepper Spray Legal in Nigeria  

  • Is Pepper Spray Legal in Nigeria? 

Yes, pepper spray is legal in Nigeria, as long as it is not used to commit a felony. That is, pepper spray is legal only when it’s used in self-defense. Pepper spray, along with stun guns, electroshock weapons, and tasers, falls under the Offensive Weapons category, and they do not require a license to purchase. If not used in self-defense as mentioned, using pepper spray is a punishable crime according to Criminal Code Act 1916, the Firearm Act 1959, Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions Act 1984, and the Public Order Act 1979. 

  • What is the Position of the Law on Pepper Spray in Nigeria

Unlike countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Kenya that categorise pepper spray as a firearm, Nigeria does not. Instead, pepper spray, in Nigeria, is an offensive weapon, along with stun guns, electroshock weapons, and taser guns.

As an offensive weapon, according to the enacted federal laws of the Criminal Code, Firearm Act, and the Robbery and Firearms Act, you don’t need a Police clearance to carry, use, possess, purchase, or display a pepper spray in Nigeria. This is because pepper spray is not adapted to injury on a person, unlike firearms, daggers, and spears that are capable of injuring or killing someone.

Although no enacted federal laws prohibit the use of pepper sprays, using it for criminal activities or possessing it with a criminal mind, is punishable. The penalty for the use of pepper spray (stun gun, taser gun, etc.) for a felony or intent to commit a felony, is up to 3 years imprisonment, per the provision of the Criminal Code Act and other enacted federal laws.

The enacted laws we base our stance on the legality of pepper spray in Nigeria are as follows: 

  • Section 1, 403B, 408, 223, 224 and 225 of the Criminal Code Act 1916
  • Section  1 and 2 of the Firearm Act 1959 
  • Section 11 and 12 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act 1984
  • Section 8(3) and 13 of the Public Order Act 1979 
  • Tips on How Best to Use Pepper Spray in Nigeria 

Pepper spray doesn’t just become a defensive device because you own one. If you’re considering using pepper spray for self-defense in Nigeria, you need to learn how to evade attack by using it correctly. 

  • Carry the Pepper Spray on Your Person When You Are Out 

What good is the pepper spray you bought if you keep leaving it in your drawer at home or the car whenever you go out? It’s better if you have it on you and don’t use it when you most need it, you can’t find it on your person. 

  • Practice How to Use Pepper Spray   

Practice makes perfect applies to learning how to use pepper spray, too. First, you must understand how the pepper spray device you have worked. Luckily, there are affordable pepper sprays you can find in Nigeria. The best practice spot is a safe, outdoor environment that permits you to try out pepper spray functions and the range of the device. Just like every tool, read the manufacturer’s directions so you’d know how to avoid exposing yourself or another person with your pepper spray.

  • Make Your Findings Before You Purchase Pepper Spray 

Pepper spray devices differ from one another based on their dispersal patterns. Before you buy a pepper spray, you would want to research if you want one that uses the ”stream” dispersal method, or the “gel”,  or ” foam” models. The most prominent type of pepper sprays are those that employ the “stream” dispersal method, because they are effective in shooting straight ahead and possess good resistance in windy conditions. But this type of pepper spray requires that you have good aim.  

Similarly, pepper sprays that use the “gel” and the “foam” dispersal methods, though less popular, are great for reducing contamination of the area as they produce fewer particulates in the air. The contents of the pepper sprays that use these dispersal methods do not go straight ahead, however. So, go for what works for you by going through reviews of the products online before you make the buying decision.

  • Don’t Spray Pepper Spray Upwind 

 The best way to use a 

pepper spray when the breeze is blowing, is to spray “downwind” when dealing with an assailant. If you spray “upwind”, you might be affected instead. For this reason, pepper sprays with stream dispersal method tore best for windy conditions. 

  • Avoid Expired Pepper Spray 

You should always check out the expiration date on the canister of every pepper spray you possess. Most pepper sprays are not at their best after the third year. Over time, the content of the pepper spray canister loses pressure and becomes less effective as a result. 

  • Don’t Get Too Close to Your Assailant 

To achieve the objective that the pepper sprays set out to achieve, it’s best to use the pepper spray at least two arms afar. At all times before you find a way to escape or temporarily stop a threat, remember the reactionary gap when handling criminals – don’t get too close. In close-range confrontations, some pepper sprays have bracelets, or empty-hand techniques if you are proficient in martial arts. 

  • Abide by the Provisions of the Law 

You should always use pepper spray according to what is obtained in the enacted laws regarding the use of offensive weapons. That is, pepper spray, one example of an offensive weapon, should only be used for self-defense. Anything else outside this, you may be liable to spend up to three years in prison, if tried by a court of competent jurisdiction. 

  • Don’t Turn Your Back on Your Assailant 

  • Always Keep a Backup Pepper Spray 


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