CRIMINAL CODE ACT

CRIMINAL CODE ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

[The original numbering of sections has been retained in order not to disturb the cross‐references to those sections in other enactments which are many and will be found throughout the

whole Edition.]

SECTION

1. Short title.

1A. Savings in respect of Northern States.

2. The Criminal Code and extent.

3. Construction of Acts, Laws, Rules, Regulations, and other Instruments.

4. Provisions of Code, exclusive with certain exceptions.

5. Civil remedies.

6. Contempt of court.

7. Printing of amendments.

SCHEDULE

The Criminal Code

PART 1

Introductory

INTERPRETATION: APPLICATION: GENERAL PRINCIPLES CHAPTER 1

Interpretation

1. Interpretation.

2. Definition of offence.

3. Division of offences.

4. Attempts to commit offences.

 

5. Arrest without warrant.

6. Carnal knowledge.

CHAPTER 2

Parties to Offences

7. Principal offenders.

8. Offences committed in prosecution of common purpose.

9. Mode of execution immaterial.

10. Accessories after the fact.

CHAPTER 3

Application of Criminal Law

10A. nterpretation.

11. Effect of changes in law.

12. Application of code as to offences wholly or partially committed in Nigeria. l2A. Offences against laws of a State.

13. Offences procured or counselled by persons out of Nigeria.

13 A. Offences against State laws procured, etc., outside the State.

14. Offences procured in Nigeria to be committed out of Nigeria.

l4A. Offences procured in the State to be committed out of the State.

15. Armed Forces and Police Forces. 16.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945).

CHAPTER 4

Punishments

17. Kinds of punishment.

18. Caning for male persons under seventeen.

19. Forfeiture of bribes.

 

20. Forfeiture of property used in postal offences.

21. Prerogative.

CHAPTER 5

Criminal Responsibility

22. Ignorance of Law.

23. Bona fide claim of right.

24. Intention: motive.

25. Mistake of fact.

26. Extraordinary emergencies.

27. Presumption of sanity.

28. Insanity.

29. Intoxication.

30. Immature age.

31. Judicial Officers.

32. Justification and excuse: compulsion.

33. Compulsion of husband.

34. No conspiracy between husband and wife alone.

35. Offences by partners and members of companies with respect to partnership or corporate property.

36. Liability of husband and wife for offences committed by either with respect to the other’s property. PART 2

Offences against public order

CHAPTER 6

37. Treason.

38. Instigating invasion of Nigeria.

39. Provision as to juvenile offenders and pregnant women.

 

40. Concealment of treason.

41. Treasonable felonies.

42. Promoting inter‐communal war.

43. Time for proceeding in cases of treason, concealment of treason or promoting inter‐communal war.

44. Inciting to mutiny.

45. Aiding and inciting to mutinous acts or disobedience of members of Armed Forces or Policemen.

46. Inducing such persons to desert.

46A. Causing disaffection among members of Armed Forces, Police or Prison Officers.

47. Effect of proceeding under sections 44 and 45.

48. Assisting or allowing escape of prisoners of war.

49. Overt act.

CHAPTER 6A

Treachery 49A. Death penalty for treachery.

49B. Joinder of charges and place of trial of offences. 49C. Extent of Chapter.

49D. (Deleted by L.N. 112 of 1964).

CHAPTER 7

Sedition and the importation of seditious or undesirable publications

50. Interpretation.

51. Offences.

52. Legal proceedings: evidence.

53. Unlawful oaths to commit capital offences.

54. Other unlawful oaths to commit offences.

55. Compulsion: how far a defence.

 

56. Effect of prosecution.

57. Unlawful drilling.

58. Power to prohibit importation of publications.

(6) Offences.

(8) Delivery of prohibited publication to police and administrative officers.

(9) Power to examine packages.

59. Publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to public.

60. Defamation of persons exercising sovereign authority over a State.

CHAPTER 8

Offences against the executive and legislative power

61. Interference with executive or legislative power.

CHAPTER 9

Unlawful societies

62. Definition of society and unlawful society. 62A. Unlawful societies in a State.

63. Managing an unlawful society.

64. Members of unlawful society: persons permitting an unlawful society to meet on their premises.

65. Provisions relating to prosecutions for offences under sections 63 and 64.

66. Powers of peace officers in relation to unlawful societies.

67. Disposition of property of society declared to be an unlawful society.

68. Forfeiture.

CHAPTER 10

Unlawful assemblies: breaches of the peace

69. Definitions: Unlawful assembly Riot.

70. Punishment of unlawful assembly.

 

71. Punishment of riot.

72. Making proclamation for rioters to disperse.

73. Dispersion of rioters after proclamation made.

74. Rioting after proclamation.

75 Preventing or obstructing the making of proclamation.

76. Rioters demolishing buildings, machinery, railway, etc.

77. Rioters injuring buildings, machinery, railway, etc.

78. Smuggling or rescuing goods under arms.

79. Smuggling under arms or in disguise.

80. Going armed so as to cause fear.

81. Forcible entry.

82. Forcible detainer.

83. Affray.

84. Challenge to fight a duel.

85. Prize fight.

86. Threatening violence.

87. Assembling for the purpose of smuggling.

88. Unlawful processions.

88A. Provoking breach of peace by offensive publication.

PART 3

Offences against the administration of law and justice and against public authority

CHAPTER 11

Disclosure of official secrets and abstracting document

89.(Deleted by No.31 of 1941). 90.(Deleted by No.31 of 1941).

 

91.(Deleted by No.31 of 1941). 92.(Deleted by No. 31 of 1941). 93.(Deleted by No.31 of 1941). 94.(Deleted by No.31 of 1941). 95.(Deleted by No.31 of 1941). 96.(Deleted by No. 31 of 1941). 97.Disclosure of official secrets.

(2) Public servant abstracting, etc., documents.

(3) Restriction on prosecutions. CHAPTER 12

Corruption and abuse of office

98. Official corruption: public official inviting bribes, etc., on account of own actions.

98A. Official corruption: person giving bribes, etc., on account of actions of public official. 98B. Official corruption: person inviting bribes, etc., on account of actions of public official.

98C. Restrictions on arrest and prosecution of judicial officers for offences under sections 98 to 98B. 98D. Meaning of “public official” in sections 98 to 98B.

99. Extortion by public officers. 100.(Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

101. Public officers interested in contracts.

102. Officers charged with administration of property of a special character or with special duties.

103. False claims by officials.

104. Abuse of office.

105. False certificates by public officers.

106. Administering extra‐judicial oaths.

107. False assumption of authority.

 

108. Impersonating public officers.

109. Impersonating members of Armed Forces or Police.

110. Unlawfully wearing of the uniform of the Armed Forces.

111. Selling, etc., uniform, etc., to unauthorised persons.

CHAPTER 13

Selling and Trafficking in offices

112. Bargaining for offices in public service.

CHAPTER 14

Offences relating to the administration of justice

113. Definition of judicial proceeding.

114. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

115. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

116. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

117. Perjury,

118. Punishment of perjury.

119. Evidence on charge of perjury.

120. Fabricating evidence.

121 Corruption of witnesses.

122 Deceiving witnesses.

123. Destroying evidence.

124. Preventing witnesses from attending.

125. Conspiracy to bring false accusation.

125A. Making false statement to public officers with intent.

126. Perverting justice.

127. Compounding felonies.

 

128. Compounding penal actions.

129. Advertising a reward for the return of stolen or lost property.

130. Delay to take person arrested before a court.

131. Bringing fictitious action on Penal Act, Law or Statute.

132. Inserting advertisement without authority of court.

133. Contempt of court.

CHAPTER 15

Escapes; Rescues; obstructing officers of court

134. Rescue.

135. Escape.

136. Aiding prisoners to escape.

137. Permitting escape.

138. Negligently permitting escape.

139. Prison officers accessory to breaches of discipline.

140. (Repealed by 1972 No.9).

141. (Repealed by 1972 No.9).

142. (Repealed by 1972 No.9).

143. Rescuing insane persons.

144. Removing, etc., property under lawful seizure.

145. Obstructing officers of courts of justice.

CHAPTER 16

Offences relating to the Currency

146. Interpretation.

147. Counterfeiting gold and silver coin.

148. Preparation for coining gold and silver coin.

 

148A. Unlawful inquiries with the object of making counterfeit coins. 149Clipping.

150. Possession of clippings.

151 Uttering counterfeit current gold or silver coin.

152. Repeated uttering of counterfeit current gold or silver coin, possession of several such coins

153. Offences after previous conviction.

154. Counterfeiting nickel coin.

155. Uttering base nickel coin.

156. Defacing coin by stamping words thereon.

157. Uttering foreign coin, medals, etc., as current coin with intent to defraud.

158. Exporting counterfeit current coin.

159. Unlawfully importing counterfeit coin.

160. Tender of defaced coin not legal tender: penalty for uttering.

160A. Making, issue and circulation of promissory notes payable to bearer on demand, without authority.

160B. Portrayal of Nigerian notes and coins.

CHAPTER 17

Offences relating to Posts and Telecommunications

161. Stopping mails.

162. Intercepting telegrams or postal matter.

163. Tampering with telegrams or postal matter.

164. Wilful misdelivery of telegrams or postal matter.

165. Obtaining telegrams or postal matter by false pretences.

166. Secreting letters and telegrams.

167. Fraudulent issue of money orders and postal orders.

168. Fraudulent messages respecting money orders.

 

169. Unlawful franking of letters.

170. Sending dangerous or obscene things by post.

171. Retarding delivery of telegrams or postal matter.

172. Obstructing mails.

173. Penalty on loitering, carelessness in delivery of mails, etc.

174. Fraudulently removing stamps.

175. Fraudulent evasion of postal laws.

176. Carrying letters otherwise than by post.

177. Illegally making postal envelopes or setting up post office or office for sale of stamps, or imitating post office.

178. Destroying or damaging letter box.

179. Placing injurious substances in or against letter box.

180. Defacing post office or letter box.

181. Obstructing post and telegraph offices.

182. Obstructing post and telegraph officers in the execution of duty.

183. Contravening exclusive privilege of the Nigerian Postal Services Department. 184.(Deleted by 1975 No. 30).

185.(Deleted by 1975 No. 30).

186. Negligently injuring telegraphs.

187. Violation of secrecy.

188. Resisting officers.

189. Laying property in postal matter and telegraph works.

CHAPTER 18

Miscellaneous offences against public authority

190. False declaration as to execution of sentence of death.

 

190. False statements in application for passports.

191 .False statements in statements required to be under oath or solemn declaration.

192. False declarations and statements.

193. Evidence.

194. Shooting at customs boats or officers.

195 Resisting officers engaged in preventing smuggling.

196. Resisting customs officers.

197. Resisting public officers.

198. Refusal by public officer to perform duty.

199. Neglect of peace officer to suppress riot.

200. Neglect to aid in suppressing riot.

201. Neglect to aid in arresting offenders.

202. Disobedience to Act, Law, or Statute.

203. Disobedience to lawful order issued by constituted authority.

PART 4

Acts injurious to the public in general

CHAPTER 19

Offences relating to religious worship

204. Insult to a religion.

205. Offering violence to officiating ministers of religion.

206. Disturbing religious worship.

CHAPTER 20

Ordeal, Witchcraft, Juju and Criminal Charms

207. Unlawful trial by ordeal: prohibited juju.

208. Directing, etc., unlawful trial by ordeal.

 

209. Being present at, or making poison for, unlawful trial by ordeal.

210. Offences in relation to witchcraft and juju.

211. Chiefs permitting unlawful ordeal and prohibited juju worship.

212. Destruction of place where unlawful ordeal or prohibited juju worship is held.

213. Criminal charms.

CHAPTER 21

Offences against Morality

214. Unnatural offences.

215. Attempt to commit unnatural offences.

216. Indecent treatment of boys under fourteen.

217. Indecent practices between males.

218. Defilement of girls under thirteen.

219. Householder permitting defilement of young girls on his premises.

220. Defence to charge under preceding section.

221. Defilement of girls under sixteen and above thirteen, and of idiots.

222. Indecent treatment of girls under sixteen.

222A. Causing or encouraging the seduction or prostitution of a girl under sixteen. 222B. Allowing persons under sixteen to be in brothels.

222C. Restriction on defence of reasonable belief.

223. Procuration.

224. Procuring defilement of woman by threats or fraud, or administering drugs.

225. Abduction of girl under eighteen with intent to have carnal knowledge. 225A. Persons trading in prostitution.

225B. Keeping a brothel.

226. Unlawful detention with intent to defile, or in a brothel.

 

227. Conspiracy to defile.

228. Attempts to procure abortion.

229. Attempt to procure own miscarriage.

230. Supplying drugs or instruments to procure abortion.

231. Indecent acts.

232. (Repealed by 1961 No. 51).

233. Knowledge of age immaterial.

233A. Deportation of non‐citizens of Nigeria.

CHAPTER 21A

Obscene Publications

233B. Interpretation.

233C. Test of obscenity.

233D. Prohibition of publication of obscene matter. 233E. Power of search and seizure.

233F. Defence of public good.

CHAPTER 22

Nuisances; gaming houses; lotteries; misconduct relating to corpses

234. Common nuisance.

235. (Repealed by No. 20 of 1944).

236. (1) Gaming houses.

(2) Unlawful gaming.

237. (1) Police may be authorised to enter gaming houses, etc.

(2) Obstructing entry of police to be evidence of unlawful gaming.

 

238. Indemnity of witnesses.

239. Betting houses.

239A. Pool betting.

239B. (Inserted by 44 of 1958 repealed by 1961 No. 69).

240. Definitions: lottery: lottery ticket: public lottery. 240A. Offences relating to lotteries.

240B.Recovery of money paid for lottery tickets. 240C. Contract for sale of lottery ticket void.

240D. Saving of certain race club lotteries and sweepstakes. 240E.Lotteries carried on in clubs with approval of Minister.

241. Acting as keeper of brothels, gaming houses, and betting houses.

242. Misconduct with regard to corpses.

CHAPTER 23

Offences against Public Health

243. (1) Exposing for sale things unfit for food or drink.

(2) Adulteration of food or drink intended for sale.

244. Dealing in diseased meat.

245. Fouling water.

246. Burials in houses.

247. Noxious acts.

248. Sale of matches made with white phosphorus: use of white phosphorus in manufacture of matches. CHAPTER 24

Idle and disorderly persons; Rogues and Vagabonds; bringing contempt on uniform

249. Idle and disorderly persons.

250. Rogues and vagabonds.

 

251. Bringing contempt on uniform.

PART 5

Offence against the person and relating to Marriage and parental Rights and Duties, and against the reputation of individuals

CHAPTER 25

Assaults and violence to the person generally; justification and excuse

252. Definition of assault.

253. Assaults unlawful.

254. Execution of sentence.

255. Execution of process.

256. Execution of warrant.

257. Erroneous sentence or process or warrant.

258. Sentence or process or warrant without jurisdiction.

259. Arrest of wrong person.

260. Irregular process or warrant.

261. Force used in executing process or in arrest. 262.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 263.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 264.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 265.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 266.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 267.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 268.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 269.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945). 270.(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945).

271. Peace officer preventing escape from arrest.

 

272. Other cases of preventing escape from arrest.

273. Preventing escape or rescue after arrest.

274. (Repealed by No. 43 of 1945).

275. Preventing a breach of the peace.

276. Suppression of riot.

277. Suppression of riot by peace officers.

278. Suppression of riot by person acting under lawful orders.

279. Suppression of riot by person acting without order in case of emergency.

280. Riot: persons subject to military law or members of the police forces.

281. Prevention of offences for which an offender may be arrested without warrant: prevention of violence by persons of unsound mind.

282. Defence of dwelling‐house.

283. Provocation.

284. Defence of provocation.

285. Prevention of repetition of insult.

286. Self‐defence against unprovoked assault.

287. Self‐defence against provoked assault.

288. Aiding in self‐defence.

289. Defence of movable property against trespassers.

290. Defence of movable property with claim of right.

291. Defence of movable property without claim of right.

292. Defence of premises against trespassers: removal of disorderly persons.

293. Defence of possession of real property or vessel with claim of right.

294. Exercise of right of way or easement.

295. Correction of child, servant, etc.

 

296. Use of force for preserving order on board a vessel.

297. Surgical operations.

298. Excessive force.

299. Consent to death immaterial.

CHAPTER 26

Duties relating to the preservation of human life

300. Duty to provide necessaries.

301. Duty of head of family.

302. Duty of masters.

303. Duty of persons doing dangerous acts.

304. Duty of persons in charge of dangerous things.

305. Duty to do certain acts.

305A. Breach of contract of person employed in certain services.

CHAPTER 27

Homicide; Suicide; Infanticide; Concealment of Birth; Unlawful possession of Human Head

306. Killing of a human being unlawful.

307. When a child becomes a human being.

308. Definition of killing.

309. Death by acts done at childbirth.

310. Causing death by threats.

311. Acceleration of death.

312. When injury or death might be prevented by proper precaution.

313. Injury causing death in consequence of subsequent treatment.

314. Limitation as to time of death.

315. Unlawful homicide.

 

316. Definition of murder.

317. Definition of manslaughter.

318. Killing on provocation.

319. Punishment of murder: provision for juveniles: provision for pregnant women.

320. Attempt to murder.

321. Attempt to murder by convict.

322. Accessory after the fact to murder.

323. Written threats to murder.

324. Conspiring to murder.

325. Punishment of manslaughter.

326. Aiding suicide.

327. Attempting to commit suicide. 327A. Offence of infanticide.

328. Killing unborn child.

329. Concealing the birth of children. 329A.unlawful possession of human head.

CHAPTER 28

Offences endangering life or heal th

330. Disabling in order to commit felony or misdemeanour.

331. Stupefying in order to commit felony or misdemeanour.

332. Acts intended to cause grievous harm or prevent arrest.

333. Preventing escape from wreck.

334. Intentionally endangering safety of persons travelling by railway.

335. Grievous harm.

 

336. Attempting to injure by explosive substances.

337. Maliciously administering poison with intent to harm.

338. Wounding and similar acts.

339. Failure to supply necessaries.

340. Endangering life or health of apprentices or servants.

341. Abandoning or exposing children.

342. Setting man‐trap.

343. Reckless and negligent acts.

344. Negligent acts causing harm.

345. Sending unseaworthy ship to sea.

346. Endangering safety of person travelling by railway.

347. Endangering steamships by tampering with machinery.

348. The like by engineers.

349. Evading laws as to shipping dangerous goods.

350. Landing, etc., explosives.

CHAPTER 29

Assaults

351. Punishment of assault.

352. Assault with intent to commit unnatural offence.

353. Indecent assault on males.

354. Assaults on persons protecting wrecks.

355. Assaults occasioning harm.

356. Serious assaults.

CHAPTER 30

 

Assaults on females: abduction

357. Definition of rape.

358. Punishment of rape.

359. Attempt to commit rape.

360. Indecent assaults on females.

361. Abduction.

362. Abduction of girls under sixteen.

363. Ignorance of age of girl, or consent, no defence.

CHAPTER 31

Offences against liberty: slave dealing

364. Kidnapping.

365. Deprivation of liberty.

366. Compelling action by intimidation.

367. Compelling action by assault.

368. Concealment of matters affecting liberty.

369. Slave dealing.

CHAPTER 32

Offences relating to marriage and parental rights and duties

370. Bigamy.

371. Child‐stealing.

372. Desertion of children.

CHAPTER 33

Defamation

373. Definition of defamatory matter.

374. Definition of publication.

 

375. Publication of defamatory matter.

376. Publishing defamatory matter with intent to extort.

377. Publication of truth for public benefit.

378. Cases in which publication is absolutely privileged.

379. Cases in which publication is conditionally privileged.

380. Publication in a periodical.

381. Protection of innocent sellers of books and newspapers.

PART 6

Offences relating to property and contracts

DIVISION 1

Stealing and like offences

CHAPTER 34

Stealing

382. Things capable of being stolen.

383. Definition of stealing.

384. Special cases.

385. Funds, etc., held under direction.

386. Funds, etc., received by agents for sale.

387. Money received for another.

388. Stealing by persons having an interest in the thing stolen.

389. Husband and wife.

390. Punishment of stealing.

Punishment in special cases

(1) Stealing wills.

(2) Stealing postal matter, etc.

 

(3) Stealing cattle.

(4) Stealing from the person; stealing goods in transit, etc.

(5) Stealing by persons in public service.

(6) Stealing by clerks and servants.

(7) Stealing by directors or officers of companies.

(8) Stealing by agents, etc.

(9) Stealing property of value of 1,000.

(10) Stealing by tenants or lodgers.

(11) Stealing after previous conviction.

CHAPTER 35

Offences analogous to stealing

391. Concealing registers.

392. Concealing wills.

393. Concealing deeds.

394. Killing animals with intent to steal.

395. Severing with intent to steal.

396. Fraudulently dealing with minerals in mines.

397. Bringing stolen goods into Nigeria.

398. Fraudulent disposition of mortgaged goods.

399. Definition of mortgaged goods; consent of mortgagee.

400. Fraudulent appropriation of power.

CHAPTER 36

Stealing with violence: extortion by threats

401. Definition of robbery.

402. Punishment of robbery.

 

403. Punishment for attempted robbery, etc. 403A. Conspiracy to commit robbery.

403B. Definition of firearms and offensive weapons.

404. Public servants demanding property, etc.

405. Assault with intent to steal.

406. Demanding property with menaces with intent to steal.

407. Demanding property by written threats.

408. Attempts at extortion by threats.

409. Procuring execution of deeds, etc., by threats.

CHAPTER 37

Burglary: housebreaking: and like offences

410. Definitions.

411. Housebreaking: burglary.

412. Entering dwelling‐house with intent to commit felony.

413. Breaking into building and committing felony.

414. Breaking into building with intent to commit felony.

415. Breaking into place of worship and committing felony.

416. Breaking into place of worship with intent to commit felony.

417. Persons found armed, etc., with intent to commit felony.

CHAPTER 38

Obtaining property by false pretences: cheating

418. Definition.

419. Obtaining goods by false pretences.

419A. Obtaining credit by false pretences or other fraud.

419B. Presumption as to false pretences in certain circumstances.

 

420. Obtaining execution of a security by false pretences.

421. Cheating.

422. Conspiracy to defraud.

423. Frauds on sale or mortgage of property.

424. Pretending to exercise witchcraft or tell fortunes.

425. Obtaining registration, etc., by false pretences. 426.(Repealed by Ordinance No. 20 of 1955).

CHAPTER 39

Receiving property stolen or fraudulently obtained and like offences

427. Receiving stolen property, etc.

428. Unlawful possession of arms, etc., belonging to Armed or Police Forces.

429. Receiving after change of ownership.

430. Having possession of thing reasonably suspected of having been stolen.

431. Unlawfully using animals or vehicles.

432. Suspicion of stealing animals.

433. Taking reward for recovery of property obtained by means of felony or misdemeanour.

CHAPTER 40

Frauds by trustees and officers of companies and corporations: false accounting

434. Trustees fraudulently disposing of trust property.

435. Directors and officers of corporations or companies fraudulently appropriating property or keeping fraudulent accounts, or falsifying books or accounts.

436. False statements by officials of Companies.

437. Defence.

438. Fraudulent false accounting.

439. False accounting by public officer.

 

DIVISION 2

Injuries to property

CHAPTER 41

Definitions

440. Unlawful acts.

441. Acts done with intent to defraud.

442. Damage.

CHAPTER 42

Offences

443. Arson.

444. Attempts to commit arson.

445. Setting fire to crops and growing plants.

446. Attempting to set fire to crops, etc.

447. Casting away ships.

448. Attempts to cast away ships.

449. Obstructing and injuring railways.

450. Injuring animals.

451. Malicious injuries in general.

Punishment in special cases

(1) Destroying or damaging an inhabited house or a vessel with explosives.

(2) River bank or wall, navigation works or bridges.

(3) Wills and registers.

(4) Wrecks.

(5) Railways.

(6) Other things of special value.

 

(7) Deeds and records.

452. Attempts to destroy property by explosives.

453. Attempts to injure mines.

454. lnterfering with signals used for purposes of navigation.

455. Interfering with navigation works.

456. Communicating infectious diseases to animals.

457. Removing boundary marks with intent to defraud.

458. Wilful damage, etc., to survey and boundary marks.

459. Obstructing railways. 459A. Obstructing aircraft. 459B. Trespass on aerodrome.

460. Penalties for damage, etc., to railway works.

461. Sending letters threatening to burn or destroy.

462. Arrest without warrant.

DIVISION 3

Forgery and like offences: Personation CHAPTER 43

Forgery in general Definitions

463. Definitions.

464. Further definitions.

465. Definition of forgery.

466. Certain matters immaterial.

CHAPTER 44

 

Punishment of forgery and like offences

467. Punishment of forgery in general.

Punishment in special cases

(1) Public seals, etc.

(2) Securities, titles, registers, etc.

(3) Documents relating to revenue and acts of State, etc.

(4) Court seals, records, process, evidence, etc.

(5) Telegrams.

468. Uttering false documents and counterfeit seals.

469. Uttering cancelled or exhausted documents.

470. Uttering cancelled stamps.

471. Procuring execution of documents by false pretences.

472. Obliterating crossings on cheques.

473. Making documents without authority.

474. Demanding property upon forged testamentary instruments.

475. Purchasing forged bank notes.

476. Falsifying warrants for money payable under public authority.

477. Falsification of register.

478. Sending false certificate of marriage to registrar.

479. False statements for the purpose of registers of births, deaths and marriages.

CHAPTER 45

Preparation for forgery

480. Instruments and materials for forgery.

480A. Unlawful inquiries relating to the possibility of forgery.

481. Counterfeit stamps.

 

482. Paper for postal purposes.

483. Paper and dies for postage stamps.

CHAPTER 46

Personation

484. Personation in general.

485. Falsely acknowledging deeds, recognisances, etc.

486. Personation of a person named in a certificate.

487. Lending, etc., certificate for personation.

488. Personation of person named in a testimonial or character.

489. Lending, etc., testimonial for personation.

DIVISION 4

Offences connected with trade and breach of contract

CHAPTER 47

Fraudulent debtors

490. Fraudulent dealing with property by debtors.

CHAPTER 48

Offences in relation to copyright

491. Making or dealing in infringing copies of copyright work.

492. Being in possession of plate for making infringing copies: giving unauthorised performances of copyright work.

493. Forfeiture of copies or plates.

CHAPTER 49

Secret commissions and corrupt practices

494. (1) (a) Corrupt acceptance of gift.

(b) Corrupt gift to agent.

(c) Gift to agent of receipt, etc., with intent to mislead principal.

 

PART 7

Miscellaneous offences

CHAPTER 50

Cruelty to animals

495. Offences of cruelty.

496. Court may order destruction of animal.

497. Court may deprive person of ownership.

498. Power of police to take charge of animal or vehicle.

499. Definitions.

CHAPTER 51

Miscellaneous offences in relation to ships and wharves

500. Interpretation.

501. Offences in relation to ships.

502. Entering ship or wharf without ticket.

503. Power to exclude drunken person from ship.

504. jurisdiction.

CHAPTER 52

Offences by members of a crew

505. Interpretation.

506. Obligation to complete voyage.

507. Offences by members of a crew.

PART 8

Preparation to commit offences Conspiracy: accessories after the fact CHAPTER 53

 

Attempts, incitements, and preparations to commit offences Neglect to prevent commission of felony

508. Attempts to commit offences.

509. Punishment of attempts to commit felonies.

510. Punishment of attempts to commit misdemeanours.

511. Punishment of attempts to commit simple offences.

512. Reduction of punishment.

513. Attempts to procure commission of criminal acts.

514. Preparation to commit crimes with explosives, etc.

515. Neglect to prevent felony.

CHAPTER 54

Conspiracy

516. Conspiracy to commit felony.

516A. Conspiracy to commit felony against law of a State.

517. Conspiracy to commit offence.

517 A. Conspiracy to commit offence against law of a State.

518. Other conspiracies.

518A. Conspiracy in trade dispute.

CHAPTER 55

Accessories after the fact

519. Accessories after the fact to felonies.

520. Accessories after the fact to misdemeanours.

521. Accessories after the fact to simple offences.

 

CRIMINAL CODE ACT

An Act to establish a code of criminal law.

[F & L. 1958. Cap. 42. 44 of 1958.25 of 1960.30 of 1960.49 of 1960. 1961 No. 51. 1961 No. 69. 1966 No.

44. 1966 No. 84. 1967 No.2. 1969 No. 26. Cap. 85. 1971 No. 20. 1972 No.9. L.N. 148 of 1959. L.N. 257 of

1959. L.N. 258 of 1959. L.N. 22 of 1960. L.N. 15 of 1960. L.N. 112 of 1964. L.N. 139 of 1965.]

[1st June, 1916]

[Commencement.]

1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Criminal Code Act.

1A. Savings in respect of Northern States

The provisions of this Act shall take effect subject to the provisions of the Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act.

[Cap. P3.]

2. The Criminal Code and extent

(1) The provisions contained in the Code of Criminal Law set forth in the Schedule to this Act, and hereinafter called “the Code”, shall, except to the extent specified in subsection (2) of this section, be State laws with respect to the several matters therein dealt with.

[Schedule.]

(2) The provisions contained in the Code which relate to any matter contained in the First Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, shall be the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with respect to the several matters therein dealt with.

[Cap. C23. L.N. 112 of 1964. L.S.L.N. 16 of 1972. L.N. 155 of 1960.]

(3) The Code may be cited as the Criminal Code.

[L.N. 112 of 1964. Cap. C38. L.N. 47 of 1955.]

(4) The provisions of Chapters 2, 4 and 5 of the Criminal Code shall apply in relation to any offence against any Order, Act, Law, or Statute and to all persons charged with any such offence.

3. Construction of Acts, laws, rules, regulations, and other instruments

The following rules shall, unless the context otherwise indicates, apply with respect to the construction of Acts, laws and other instruments‐

 

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(1) When in any Act, Law or other instrument, public or private, the term “felony” is used, or reference is made to an offence by the name of felony, it shall be taken that reference is intended to be an offence which is a felony under the provisions of the Code.

(2) When in any Act, law or other instrument, public or private, the term “larceny” is used, it shall be taken that reference is intended to be the offence of stealing.

(3) When in any Act, law or other instrument, public or private, reference is made to any offence by any specific name, it shall be taken that reference is intended to be the offence which, under the provisions of the Code, is constituted by the act or omission that would heretofore have constituted the offence referred to.

(4) When in any Act, law or other instrument, public or private, reference is made to any of the provisions hereby repealed, it shall be taken that reference is intended to be the corresponding provisions or substituted provisions of the Code.

4. Provisions of Code, exclusive with certain exceptions

No person shall be liable to be tried or punished in any court in Nigeria for an offence except under the express provisions of the Code or of some Act or law which is in force in, or forms part of, the laws of Nigeria:

Provided that, in the case of an offence committed before the commencement of this Act, the offender may be tried and punished either under the law in force when the offence was committed, or under the Code, provided that, the offender shall not be punished to any greater extent than was authorised by the former law.

5. Civil remedies

When by the Code any act is declared to be lawful, no action can be brought in respect thereof.

Savings

Except as aforesaid, the provisions of this Act shall not affect any right of action which any person would have had against another if this Act had not been passed; nor shall the omission from the Code of any penal provision in respect of any act or omission which, before the time of the coming into operation of the Code, constituted an actionable wrong, affect any right of action in respect thereof.

6. Contempt of court

Nothing in this Act or in the Code shall affect the authority of courts of record to punish a person summarily for the offence commonly known as contempt of court; but so that a person cannot be so punished and also punished under the provisions of the Code for the same act or omission.

7. Printing of amendments

 

Whenever any amendment is made in the Code, all copies thereof printed by the Federal Government Printer after the amendment shall be so printed as to set forth the actual provisions of the Code after omitting all repealed provisions or words, and embodying all newly enacted or substituted provisions or words.

SCHEDULE

[Section 2 (1).] The Criminal Code PART 1

Introductory

INTERPRETATION: APPLICATION: GENERAL PRINCIPLES CHAPTER 1

Interpretation

1. Interpretation

(1) In this Code, unless the context otherwise requires‐

“brothel” means any premises or room or set of rooms in any premises kept for purposes of prostitution;

“Christian marriage” means a marriage which is recognised by the law of the place where it is contracted as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others;

“clerk” and “servant ” include any person employed for any purpose as or in the capacity of a clerk, or servant, or as a collector of money, although temporarily only, or although employed also by other persons than the person alleged to be his employer, or although employed to pay as well as receive money, and any person employed as or in the capacity of a commission agent for the collection or disbursement of money or in any similar capacity, although he has no authority from his employer to receive money or other property on his account;

“company ” means an incorporated company;

“court”, “a court”, “the court”, includes‐

(a) the High Court and the Chief Judge and other Judges of the High Court;

(b) a magistrate being engaged in any judicial act or proceeding or inquiry;

 

(c) an administrative officer being engaged in any judicial act or proceeding or inquiry;

(d) the Federal High Court and the Chief Judge and other Judges of that Court;

(e) the Court of Appeal and the President and the Justices thereof sitting together or separately;

(f) the Supreme Court, and the Justices thereof sitting together or separately;

“criminally responsible” means liable to punishment as for an offence; “criminal responsibility” means liability to punishment as for an offence; “dangerous harm” means harm endangering life;

“dwelling‐house” includes any building or structure, or part of a building or structure, which is for the time being kept by the owner or occupier for the residence therein of himself, his family, or servants, or any of them: it is immaterial that it is, from time to time, uninhabited:

A building or structure adjacent to, and occupied with, a dwelling‐house is deemed to be part of the dwelling‐house if there is a communication between such building or structure and the dwelling‐house, either immediate or by means of a covered and enclosed passage leading from the one to other, but not otherwise;

“explosive substance ” includes a gaseous substance in such a state of compression as to be capable of explosion;

“grievous harm” means any harm which amounts to a maim or dangerous harm as defined in this section, or which seriously or permanently injures health, or which is likely so to injure health, or which extends to permanent disfigurement or to any permanent or serious injury to any external or internal organ, member, or sense;

“harm” means any bodily hurt, disease, or disorder, whether permanent or temporary;

“have in possession” includes having under control in any place whatever, whether for the use or benefit of the person of whom the term is used or of another person, and although another person has the actual possession or custody of the thing in question;

“judicial officer” includes the Chief Judge and a Judge of a High Court, a Magistrate, the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge and Judges of the Federal High Court, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and a Justice of the Supreme Court, and when engaged in any judicial act or proceeding or inquiry, an administrative officer;

“knowingly” used in connection with any term denoting uttering or using, implies knowledge of the character of the thing uttered or used;

 

“law officer ” means the Attorney‐General and the Solicitor‐General of the Federation, and includes the Director of Public Prosecutions and such other qualified officers, by whatever names designated, to whom any of the powers of a law officer are delegated by law or necessary intendment;

“local authority” means the local government council of the local government area;

“mail” includes any conveyance of any kind by which postal matter is carried, and also any vessel employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service, or the postal authority of any other country, or the Admiralty, for the conveyance of postal matter, under contract or not, and also a ship of war or other vessel in the service of the Federation in respect of letters conveyed by it and also a person or animal used for the conveyance or delivery of postal matter;

“maim” means the destruction or permanent disabling of any external or internal organ, member or sense;

“money ” includes bank notes, bank drafts, cheques, and any other orders, warrants, or requests, for the payment of money;

“Nigeria” means the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

“night” or “night time” means the interval between half past six o’clock in the evening and half past six o’clock in the morning;

“officer of the Nigerian Postal Service ” includes the Post Master General, and every agent, officer, clerk, sorter, messenger, letter carrier, post boy, rider, or any other person employed in the business of the post office, whether employed by the Civil Services Commission of the Federation or any person on behalf of the post office;

“Order in Council” when used in connection with the terms ordinance and statute includes any relevant Order in Council of the United Kingdom applicable to Nigeria;

“packet boat” means a post office packet and includes any other vessel so employed in conveying postal matters by the Nigerian Postal Service;

“peace officer” includes any magistrate and any police officer of or above the rank of assistant superintendent;

“person” and “owner” and other like terms, when used with reference to property, include corporations of all kinds, and any other association of persons capable of owning property; and also, when so used, include the State;

“person employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service” includes an officer of the said Service and a telegraph official;

“person employed in the public service” means any person holding any of the following offices, or performing the duties thereof, whether as deputy or otherwise‐

 

(1) any civil office, the power of appointing a person to which or removing a person from which is vested in the Civil Service Commission or any Board; or

(2) any office to which a person is appointed by or under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any enactment; or

(3) any civil office, the power of appointing to which or of removing from which is vested in any person or persons holding an office of any kind included in either of the two last preceding sub‐heads of this section; or

(4) any office of arbitrator or umpire in any proceeding or matter submitted to arbitration by order or with the sanction of any court, or in pursuance of any enactment; or

(5) a member of a commission of inquiry appointed under any Act or law, and the said term further includes‐

(1) any justice of the peace;

(2) any person employed to execute any process of a court;

(3) all persons belonging to the military or police forces of Nigeria;

(4) all persons in the employ of any government department;

(5) a person acting as a minister of religion of whatsoever denomination in so far as he performs functions in respect of the notification of intended marriage, or in respect of the solemnisation of marriage or in respect of the making and keeping of any register or certificate of marriage, birth, baptism, death or burial, but not in any other respect;

(6) a person employed by a head chief in connection with any powers or duties exercised or performed by such chief under any Act or law or with the consent of the President or a Governor;

(7) a person in the employ of a local authority;

(8) a person in the employ of a local government council in connection with any powers or duties exercised or performed by such local government council and in respect of the duties for which the employment actually exists;

“police officer” means any member of the police force;

“postal matter” includes any letter, newspaper, packet, parcel or other thing, authorised by law to be transmitted by post, which has been posted or received at a post office for delivery or transmission by post, and which is in course of transmission by post, and any movable receptacle which contains any such thing, and which is in course of transmission by post:

 

A thing is deemed to be in course of transmission by post or telegraph from the time of its being delivered to a post or telegraph office to the time of its being delivered to the person to whom it is addressed:

A delivery at the house or office of the person to whom any postal matter or telegram is addressed, either to him or to some person apparently authorised to receive it according to the usual manner of delivering postal matter or telegrams addressed to him, is deemed a delivery to such first‐named person;

“postal matter bag” includes any bag, or box, or parcel, or other envelope or covering, in which postal matter is conveyed, whether it does or does not contain postal matter;

“post office” and “telegraph office” respectively, includes any structure, room, place or receptacle, of any kind, appointed in pursuance of the Nigerian Postal Service Act or, as the case may be, of the Wireless Telegraphy Act for the receipt, despatch, or delivery, of any postal matter or telegram, or for the transaction of the business of the department relating to posts and telegraphs; and “telegraph office” includes any room or place used by a telegraph company for the receipt, despatch or delivery of telegrams;

[Cap. N127. Cap. W5.]

“property” includes everything, animate or inanimate, capable or being the subject of ownership; “prostitution” (with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions) includes the offering by a female of her body commonly for acts of lewdness for payment although there is no act or offer of an act or ordinary sexual connection;

“public” refers not only to all persons within Nigeria, but also to the persons inhabiting or using any particular place or any number of such persons, and also to such indeterminate persons as may happen to be affected by the conduct with respect to which such expression is used;

“public place” includes any public way, and any building, place, or conveyance, to which for the time being the public are entitled or permitted to have access, either without any conditions or upon condition of making any payment, and any building or place which is for the time being used for any public or religious meeting or assembly, or as an open court;

“public way” includes any highway, market place, square, street, bridge, or other way, which is lawfully used by the public;

acts are done “publicly”‐

(a) if they are so done in any public place as to be likely to be seen by any person, whether such person be, or be not, in a public place; or

(b) if they are so done in any place, not being a pubic place, as to be likely to be seen by any person in any public place;

 

“railway” includes every kind of way on which vehicles are borne upon a rail or rails, whatever may be the means of propulsion;

“railway servant” means any person employed by a railway administration in connection with the services of a railway;

“Statute” means a statute of the Imperial Parliament which is in force in, or forms a part of the law of, Nigeria;

“telegram” means any message or other communication transmitted or intended for transmission by telegraph, and includes a written or printed message or communication sent to or delivered at a telegraph office or post office for transmission by telegraph, or delivered or prepared for delivery from a telegraph office or post office as a message or communication transmitted by telegraph for delivery;

“telegraph” means a wire or wires used for the purpose of telegraphic communications, with any casing, coating, tube, or pipe enclosing the same, and any apparatus connected therewith, for the purpose of telegraphic communications, and includes a telephone, and submarine cable; it also includes any apparatus for transmitting messages or other communications by means of electric signals, whether with or without the aid of wires;

“telegraph company” means any company, corporation or person, authorised under the provisions of any Act to carry on the business of sending telegrams for the public;

“telegraph official” means any person employed in the Nigerian Postal Service or by a telegraph company in and about the reception, transmission, and delivery of telegrams, or in the construction, maintenance, or setting up of telegraphs;

“telegraph post” includes a post, pole, standard, stay, strut, or other above‐ground contrivance for carrying, suspending, or supporting a telegraph, and also includes a tree used for a like purpose;

“telegraph works” includes any wire insulator or telegraph post, and also any instrument, furniture, plant, office, building, machinery, engine, excavation, work, matter, or thing of whatever description, in any way connected with a telegraph;

“uncorroborated testimony” means testimony which IS not corroborated in some material particular by other evidence implicating the accused person;

“utter” includes using or dealing with, and attempting to use or deal with, and attempting to induce any person to use, deal with, or act upon the thing in question;

“valuable security” includes any document which is the property of any person, and which is evidence of the ownership of any property or of the right to recover or receive any property;

“vessel” includes a ship, a boat, and every other kind of vessel used in navigation either on the sea or in inland waters;

 

“wound” means any incision or puncture which divides or pierces any exterior membrane of the body; and any membrane is exterior, for the purpose of this definition, which can be touched without dividing or piercing any other membrane.

2. Definition of offence

An act or omission which renders the person doing the act or making the omission liable to punishment under this Code, or under any Act, or law, is called an offence.

3. Division of offences

Offences are of three kinds, namely, felonies, misdemeanors, and simple offences.

A felony is any offence which is declared by law to be a felony, or is punishable, without proof of previous conviction, with death or with imprisonment for three years or more.

A misdemeanor is any offence which is declared by law to be a misdemeanor, or is punishable by imprisonment for not less than six months, but less than three years.

All offences, other than felonies and misdemeanors, are simple offences.

4. Attempts to commit offences

When a person, intending to commit an offence, begins to put his intention into execution by means adapted to its fulfilment, and manifests his intention by some overt act, but does not fulfil his intention to such an extent as to commit the offence, he is said to attempt to commit the offence.

It is immaterial, except so far as regards punishment, whether the offender does all that is necessary on his part for completing the commission of the offence, or whether the complete fulfilment of his intention is prevented by circumstances independent of his will, or whether he desists of his own motion from the further prosecution of his intention.

It is immaterial that by reason of circumstances not known to the offender it is impossible in fact to commit the offence.

The same facts may constitute one offence and an attempt to commit another offence.

5. Arrest without warrant

The expression “the offender may be arrested without warrant” means that the provisions of this Code relating to the arrest of offenders or suspected offenders without warrant are applicable to the offence in question, either generally or subject to such conditions, if any, as to time, place, or circumstance, or as to the person authorised to make the arrest, as are specified in the particular case.

Except when otherwise stated, the fact that an offence is within the definition of a felony as set forth in this Code imports that the offender may be arrested without warrant.

 

The expression “the offender cannot be arrested without warrant” means that the provisions of this Code relating to the arrest of offenders or suspected offenders without warrant are not applicable to the offence in question, except subject to such conditions, if any, as to time, place, or circumstance, or as to the person authorised to make the arrest, as are specified in the particular case.

6. Carnal knowledge

When the term “carnal knowledge” or the term “carnal connection” is used in defining an offence, it is implied that the offence, so far as regards that element of it, is complete upon penetration.

“unlawful carnal knowledge” means carnal connection which takes place otherwise than between husband and wife.

CHAPTER 2

Parties to offences

7. Principal offenders

When an offence is committed, each of the following persons is deemed to have taken part in committing the offence and to be guilty of the offence, and may be charged with actually committing it‐

(a) every person who actually does the act or makes the omission which constitutes the offence;

(b) every person who does or omits to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person to commit the offence;

(c) every person who aids another person in committing the offence;

(d) any person who counsels or procures any other person to commit the offence.

In the fourth case, he may be charged either with himself committing the offence or with counselling or procuring its commission.

A conviction of counselling or procuring the commission of an offence entails the same consequences in all respects as a conviction of committing the offence.

Any person who procures another to do or omit to do any act of such a nature that, if he had himself done the act or made the omission, that act or omission would have constituted an offence on his part, is guilty of an offence of the same kind, and is liable to the same punishment, as if he had himself done the act or made the omission; and he may be charged with himself doing the act or making the omission.

8. Offences committed in prosecution of common purpose

When two or more persons form a common intention to prosecute an unlawful purpose in conjunction with one another, and in the prosecution of such purpose an offence is committed of such a nature that

 

its commission was a probable consequence of the prosecution of such purpose, each of them is deemed to have committed the offence.

9. Mode of execution immaterial

When a person counsels another to commit an offence, and an offence is actually committed after such counsel by the person to whom it is given, it is immaterial whether the offence actually committed is the same as that counselled or a different one, provided in either case that the facts constituting the offence actually committed are a probable consequence of carrying out the counsel.

In either case, the person who gave the counsel is deemed to have counselled the other person to commit the offence actually committed by him.

10. Accessories after the fact

A person who receives or assists another who is, to his knowledge, guilty of an offence, in order to enable him to escape punishment, is said to become an accessory after the fact to the offence.

A wife does not become an accessory after the fact to an offence of which her husband is guilty by receiving or assisting him in order to enable him to escape punishment; nor by receiving or assisting, in her husband’s presence and by his authority, another person who is guilty of an offence in the commission of which her husband has taken part, in order to enable that other person to escape punishment; nor does a husband become accessory after the fact to an offence of which his wife is guilty by receiving or assisting her in order to enable her to escape punishment.

In this section the terms “wife” and “husband” mean respectively the wife and husband of a Christian marriage.

CHAPTER 3

Application of Criminal Law

l0A. Interpretation

(1) In this Chapter‐

[L.N. 155 of 1960.]

“Federal law” means any Act enacted by the National Assembly having effect with respect to the Federation and any Act enacted before the 1st day of October, 1960, which under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has effect with respect to the Federation;

[Cap. C23.]

“law of a State” means any written law enacted by the House of Assembly of the State or having effect as if it were enacted by the said House of Assembly;

 

“law” includes any order, rule of court, regulation or proclamation made under the authority of such law.

11. Effect of changes in law

A person shall not be punished for doing or omitting to do an act unless the act or omission constituted an offence under the law in force when it occurred.

12. Application of code as to offences wholly or partially committed in Nigeria

Where by the provisions of any Federal law the doing of any act or the making of any omission constituted an offence, those provisions shall apply to every person who is in Nigeria at the time of his doing the act or making the omission.

With regard to such offences which are of such a nature that they comprise several elements, if any acts or omissions or events actually occur, which, if they all occurred in Nigeria, would constitute an offence and any of such acts or omissions or events occur in Nigeria, although all or some of the other acts or omissions or events which, if they occurred in Nigeria, would be elements of the offence occur elsewhere than in Nigeria; then‐

(1) if the act or omission, which in the case of an offence wholly committed in Nigeria would be the initial element of the offence, occurs in Nigeria, the person who does that act or makes that omission is guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment, as if all the subsequent elements of the offence had occurred in Nigeria; and

(2) if that act or omission occurs elsewhere than in Nigeria, and the person who does that act or makes that omission afterwards comes into Nigeria, he is by such coming into Nigeria guilty of an offence of the same kind, and is liable to the same punishment, as if that act or omission had occurred in Nigeria and he had been in Nigeria when it occurred.

But in any such case it is a defence to the charge to prove that the accused person did not intend that the act or omission should have effect in Nigeria. This section does not extend to a case in which the only material event that occurs in Nigeria is the death in Nigeria of a person whose death is caused by an act, done or omitted to be done, at a place not in Nigeria and at a time when he was not in Nigeria.

12A. Offences against laws of a State

(1) Where by the provisions of any law of a State the doing of any act or the making of any omission is constituted an offence, those provisions shall apply to every person who is in the State at the time of his doing the act or making the omission.

(2) With regard to any such offence which is of such a nature that it comprises several elements, if any acts or omissions or events actually occur, which, if they all occurred in the State, would constitute an offence, and any of such acts or omissions or events occur in the State, although all or some of the

 

other acts or omissions or events which, if they occurred in the State, would be elements of the offence, occur elsewhere than in the State, then‐

(a) if the act or omission, which in the case of an offence committed wholly in the State would be the initial element of the offence, occurs in the State, the person who does that act or makes that omission is guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment as if all the subsequent elements of the offence had occurred in the State; and

(b) if that act or omission occurs elsewhere than in the State, and the person who does that act or makes that omission afterwards comes into the State, he is by such coming into the State guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment, as if that act or omission had occurred in the State and he had been in the State when it occurred.

But in any such case, it is a defence to the charge to prove that the accused person did not intend that the act or omission should have effect in the State. This subsection does not extend to a case in which the only material event that occurs in the State is the death in the State of a person whose death is caused by an act, done or omitted to be done, at a place not in the State and at a time when he was not in the State.

13. Offences procured or counselled by persons out of Nigeria

(1) Any person who, having while out of Nigeria procured another to do or omit to do in Nigeria an act of such a nature that if he had himself done the act or made the omission in Nigeria, he would have been guilty of an offence, afterwards comes into Nigeria, is by such coming into Nigeria guilty of an offence of the same kind, and is liable to the same punishment, as if he himself had done the act or made the omission in Nigeria.

Any person who, having while out of Nigeria counselled or procured the commission of an offence which is actually committed in Nigeria, afterwards comes into Nigeria, is by such coming into Nigeria guilty of an offence of the same kind, and is liable to the same punishment, as if he had been in Nigeria when the offence was committed.

(2) In this section, “offence” means an offence against any Federal law.

13A. Offences against State laws procured, etc., outside the State

The provisions of section 13 shall apply in relation to offences against a law of the State as they apply in relation to offences against a Federal law but as if references to Nigeria were references to the State.

14. Offences procured in Nigeria to be committed out of Nigeria

Any person who, while in Nigeria, procures another to do an act or make an omission at a place not in Nigeria of such a nature that, if he had himself done the act or made the omission in Nigeria, he would

 

have been guilty of an offence, and that, if he had himself done the act or made the omission, he would have been guilty of an offence under the laws in force in the place where the act or omission is done or made, is guilty of an offence of the same kind, and is liable to the same punishment, as if the act had been done or the omission had been made in Nigeria.

14A. Offences procured in the State to be committed out of the State

Any person who, while in a State, procures another to do an act or make an omission at a place not in the State of such a nature that if he had himself done the act or made the omission in the State, he would have been guilty of an offence against a law of the State, and that, if he had himself done the act or made the omission, he would have been guilty of an offence under the laws of the place where the act or omission is done or made, is guilty of an offence of the same kind, and is liable to the same punishment, as if the act had been done or the omission had been made in the State.

15. Armed forces and police forces

Members of the armed forces and of the police force of Nigeria are subject to the special laws relating to the forces to which they respectively belong, but are not exempt from the provisions of this Code.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

16. (Repealed by No. 43 of 1945).

CHAPTER 4

Punishments

17. Kinds of punishments

Subject to the provisions of any other written law, the punishments which may be inflicted under this Code are death, imprisonment, caning, fine and forfeiture.

[1960 No. 30.]

18. Caning for male persons under seventeen

Whenever a male person who, in the opinion of the court, has not attained seventeen years of age, has been found guilty of any offence the court may, in its discretion, order him to be caned in addition to or in substitution for any other punishments to which he is liable.

19. Forfeiture of bribes

When any person is convicted of an offence under section 98, 98A, 98B, 99, 112, 117, 126, 128 or 494 of this Code, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of any penalty which may be imposed, order the forfeiture to the State of any property which has passed in connection with the commission of the offence or, if such property cannot be forfeited or cannot be found, of such sum as the court shall assess as the value of such property, and any property or sum so forfeited shall be dealt with in such manner as

 

the Governor may direct. Payment of any sum so ordered to be forfeited may be enforced in the same manner and subject to the same incidents as in the case of the payment of a fine.

[1960 No. 30. 1966 No. 84. 1960 No. 30. L.N. 112 of 1964.]

20. Forfeiture of property used in postal offences

When any person is convicted of an offence under section 170, 175, 177, 179, 180 or 183 of this Code, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of any penalty which may be imposed, order the forfeiture of any personal property which has been used in the commission of the offence or in respect of which the offence has been committed and may order such property to be destroyed or otherwise dealt with as to it may seem fit.

21. Prerogative

Nothing in this Code affects the prerogative of mercy where exercised in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

[L.N. 112 of 1964. Cap. C23.]

CHAPTER 5

Criminal responsibility

22. Ignorance of law

Ignorance of the law does not afford any excuse for any act or omission which would otherwise constitute an offence, unless knowledge of the law by the offender is expressly declared to be an element of the offence.

23. Bona fide claim of right

A person is not criminally responsible, as for an offence relating to property, for an act done or omitted to be done by him with respect to any property in the exercise of an honest claim of right and without intention to defraud.

24. Intention: motive

Subject to the express provisions of this Code relating to negligent acts and omissions, a person is not criminally responsible for an act or omission which occurs independently of the exercise of his will, or for an event which occurs by accident.

Unless the intention to cause a particular result is expressly declared to be an element of the offence constituted, in whole or part, by an act or omission, the result intended to be caused by an act or omission is immaterial.

 

Unless otherwise expressly declared, the motive by which a person is induced to do or omit to do an act, or to form an intention, is immaterial so far as regards criminal responsibility.

25. Mistake of fact

A person who does or omits to do an act under an honest and reasonable, but mistaken, belief in the existence of any state of things, is not criminally responsible for the act or omission to any greater extent than if the real state of things had been such as he believed to exist.

The operation of this rule may be excluded by the express or implied provisions of the law relating to the subject.

26. Extraordinary emergencies

Subject to the express provisions of this Code relating to acts done upon compulsion or provocation or in self‐defence, a person is not criminally responsible for an act done or omission made under such circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency that an ordinary person possessing ordinary power of self‐control could not reasonably be expected to act otherwise.

27. Presumption of sanity

Every person is presumed to be of sound mind and to have been of sound mind at any time which comes in question, until the contrary is proved.

28. Insanity

A person is not criminally responsible for an act or omission if at the time of doing the act or making the omission he is in such a state of mental disease or natural mental infirmity as to deprive him of capacity to understand what he is doing, or of capacity to control his actions, or of capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.

A person whose mind, at the time of his doing or omitting to do an act, is affected by delusions on some specific matter or matters, but who is not otherwise entitled to the benefit of the foregoing provisions of this section, is criminally responsible for the act or omission to the same extent as if the real state of things had been such as he was induced by the delusion to believe to exist.

29. Intoxication

(1) Save as provided in this section, intoxication shall not constitute a defence to any criminal charge.

(2) Intoxication shall be a defence to any criminal charge if by reason thereof the person charged at the time of the act or omission complained of did not know that such act or omission was wrong or did not know what he was doing and‐

(a) the state of intoxication was caused without his consent by the malicious or negligent act of another person; or

 

(b) the person charged was by reason of intoxication insane, temporarily or otherwise, at the time of such act or omission.

(3) Where the defence under the preceding subsection is established, then in a case falling under paragraph (a) thereof, the accused person shall be discharged, and in a case falling under paragraph (b), sections 229 and 230 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply.

(4) Intoxication shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining whether the person charged had formed any intention, specific or otherwise, in the absence of which he would not be guilty of the offence.

(5) For the purposes of this section, “intoxication” shall be deemed to include a state produced by narcotics or drugs.

30. Immature age

A person under the age of seven years is not criminally responsible for any act or omission.

A person under the age of twelve years is not criminally responsible for an act or omission, unless it is proved that at the time of doing the act or making the omission he had capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.

A male person under the age of twelve years is presumed to be incapable of having carnal knowledge.

31. Judicial officers

Except as expressly provided by this Code, a judicial officer is not criminally responsible for anything done or omitted to be done by him in the exercise of his judicial functions, although the act done is in excess of his judicial authority or although he is bound to do the act omitted to be done.

32. Justification and excuse: compulsion

A person is not criminally responsible for an act or omission if he does or omits to do the act under any of the following circumstances‐

(1) in execution of the law;

(2) in obedience of the order of a competent authority which he is bound by law to obey, unless the order is manifestly unlawful;

(3) when the act is reasonably necessary in order to resist actual and unlawful violence threatened to him, or to another person in his presence;

(4) when he does or omits to do the act in order to save himself from immediate death or grievous harm threatened to be inflicted upon him by some person actually present and in a position to

 

execute the threats, and believing himself to be unable otherwise to escape the carrying of the threats into execution,

but this protection does not extend to an act or omission which would constitute an offence punishable with death, or an offence of which grievous harm to the person of another, or an intention to cause such harm, is an element, nor to a person who has by entering into an unlawful association or conspiracy rendered himself liable to have such threats made to him.

Whether an order is or is not manifestly unlawful is a question of law.

33. Compulsion of husband

A married woman is not free from criminal responsibility for doing or omitting to do an act merely because the act or omission takes place in the presence of her husband.

But a wife of a Christian marriage is not criminally responsible for doing or omitting to do an act which she is actually compelled by her husband to do or omit to do, and which is done or omitted to be done in his presence, except in the case of an act or omission which would constitute an offence punishable with death, or an offence of which grievous harm to the person of another, or an intention to cause such harm, is an element, in which case the presence of her husband is immaterial.

34. No conspiracy between husband and wife alone

A husband and wife of Christian marriage are not criminally responsible for a conspiracy between themselves alone.

35. Offences by partners and members of companies with respect to partnership or corporate property

A person who, being a member of a co‐partnership, corporation, or joint stock company, does or omits to do any act with respect to the property of the co‐partnership, corporation, or company, which, if he were not a member of the co‐partnership, corporation or company, would constitute an offence, is criminally responsible to the same extent as if he were not such member.

36. Liability of husband and wife for offences committed by either with respect to the other’s property

When a husband and wife of a Christian marriage are living together, neither of them incurs any criminal responsibility for doing or omitting to do any act with respect to the property of the other, except in the case of an act or omission of which an intention to injure or defraud some other person is an element, and except in the case of an act done by either of them when leaving or deserting, or when about to leave or desert, the other.

Subject to the foregoing provisions, a husband and wife are, each of them, criminally responsible for any act done by him or her with respect to the property of the other, which would be an offence if they were not husband and wife, and to the same extent as if they were not husband and wife.

 

But in the case of a Christian marriage neither of them can institute criminal proceedings against the other while they are living together.

In this section, the term “property” used with respect to a wife means her separate property.

PART 2

Offences against public order CHAPTER 6

Treason and certain other offences

37. Treason

(1) Any person who levies war against the State, in order to intimidate or overawe the President or the Governor of a State, is guilty of treason, and is liable to the punishment of death.

[L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

(2) Any person conspiring with any person, either within or without Nigeria, to levy war against the State with intent to cause such levying of war as would be treason if committed by a citizen of Nigeria, is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of death:

Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent any act from being treason which is so by the laws of England as in force in Nigeria.

(3) (Inserted by L.N. 112 of 1964 and deleted by L.N. 139 of 1965).

38. Instigating invasion of Nigeria

Any person who instigates any foreigner to invade Nigeria with an armed force is guilty of treason, and is liable to the punishment of death.

39. Provision as to juvenile offenders and pregnant women

(1) Where an offender who, in the opinion of the court, had not attained the age of seventeen years at the time the offence was committed, has been found guilty of an offence against either section 37 or 38 of this Code, such offender shall not be sentenced to death but shall be ordered to be detained during the pleasure of the President and upon such an order being made the provisions of Part 44 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply.

[1066 No. 84. L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27. Cap. C41.]

(2) Where a woman who has been convicted of an offence against either section 37 or 38 of this Code alleges she is pregnant, or where the judge before whom she is convicted considers it advisable to have inquiries made as to whether or not she be pregnant, the procedure laid down in section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall first be complied with.

 

40. Concealment of treason

Any person who‐

[1967 No. 27.]

(a) becomes an accessory after the fact to treason; or

(b) knowing that any person intends to commit treason, does not give information thereof with all reasonable despatch to the President or the Governor of the State or a peace officer, or use other reasonable endeavours to prevent the commission of the offence, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

41. Treasonable felonies

Any person who forms an intention to effect any of the following purposes, that is to say‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

(a) to remove during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means the President as Head of State of the Federation and Commander‐in‐Chief of the Armed Forces thereof; or

(b) to likewise remove during his term of office the Governor of a State; or

(c) to levy war against Nigeria in order by force or constraint to compel the President to change his measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon, or in order to intimidate or overawe any House of the National Assembly or any other legislature or legislative authority; or

(d) to instigate any foreigner to make any armed invasion of Nigeria or any of the territories thereof, and manifests such intention by an overt act, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

A person charged with any of the felonies defined in this section is not entitled to be acquitted on the ground that any act proved to have been committed by him constitutes the offence of treason; but a person who has been tried, and convicted or acquitted, on a charge of any such offence, cannot be afterwards prosecuted for treason in respect of the same facts.

42. Promoting inter‐communal war

Any person who, without lawful authority, carries on, or makes preparation for carrying on, or aids in or advises the carrying on of, or preparation for, any war or warlike undertaking with, for, by, or against, any traditional chief, or with, for, by, or against any band of citizens, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

 

43. Time for proceeding in cases of treason, concealment of treason or promoting inter‐communal war

A person cannot be tried for treason, or for any of the felonies defined in the three last preceding sections, unless the prosecution is commenced within two years after the offence is committed.

44. Inciting to mutiny

Any person who advisedly attempts to effect any of the following purposes, that is to say‐

[L.N. 112 or 1964.]

(a) to seduce any person serving in any of the Armed Forces of Nigeria or any member of the Police Force from his duty and allegiance; or

(b) to incite any such persons to commit an act of mutiny or any traitorous or mutinous act; or

(c) to incite any such persons to make or endeavour to make a mutinous assembly, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

45. Aiding and inciting to mutinous acts or disobedience of members of armed forces or policemen

Any person who‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) aids, abets, or is accessory to, any act of mutiny by; or

(b) incites to sedition or to disobedience to any lawful order given by a superior officer,

any warrant or other officer below commissioned rank and others inferior in rank to them and by whatever name described in any of the Armed Forces of Nigeria or any Police Officer, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years and to a fine of four hundred naira.

46. Inducing such persons to desert

Any person who, by any means whatever, directly or indirectly‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964. L.N. 139 of 1963.]

(a) procures or persuades or attempts to procure or persuade to desert; or

(b) aids, abets, or is accessory to the desertion of; or

(c) having reason to believe he is a deserter, habours or aids in concealing,

any warrant or other officer below commissioned rank and others inferior in rank to them and by whatever name described in any of the said armed forces or any police

 

officer, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for six months and to a fine of one hundred naira.

46A. Causing disaffection among members of armed forces, police or prison officers

(1) Any person who, by any means whatever, causes or attempts to cause, or does any act calculated to cause disaffection amongst persons serving as‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria;

(b) Police Officers; or

(c) Prison Officers,

or does any act calculated to induce any person serving as aforesaid to withhold his services or to commit breaches of discipline, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding six hundred naira or to both such imprisonment and fine and, if a police officer or prison officer, shall forfeit all pension rights and be disqualified for being a police officer or prison officer, as the case may be.

(2) In this section, the expression “prison officer” has the same meaning as in subsection (1) of section 10 of the Prisons Act.

47. Effect of proceeding under sections 44 and 45

A person who has been tried, and convicted or acquitted, on a charge of any of the offences defined in sections 44 and 45 of this Code, cannot be afterwards prosecuted for any other offence defined in this Chapter in respect of the same facts.

48. Assisting or allowing escape of prisoners of war

Any person who‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) knowingly and advisedly aids an alien enemy of Nigeria, being a prisoner of war in Nigeria, whether such prisoner is confined in a prison or elsewhere, or is suffered to be at large on his parole, to escape from his prison or place of confinement, or, if he is at large on his parole, to escape from Nigeria, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life;

(b) negligently and unlawfully permits the escape of any such person as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

49. Overt act

In the case of any of the offences defined in this Chapter, when the manifestation by an overt act of an intention to effect any purpose is an element of the offence, every act of conspiring with any person to effect that purpose, and every act done in furtherance of the purpose by any of the persons conspiring, is deemed to be an overt act manifesting the intention.

CHAPTER 6A

Treachery

49A. Death penalty for treachery

(1) If, with intent to help the enemy in any war in which Nigeria may be engaged, any person does, or attempts to do, any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the naval, military or air operations of the enemy, to impede such operations of the armed forces of Nigeria, or to endanger life, he is guilty of felony and liable on conviction to suffer death.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(2) No prosecution in respect of any offence against this section shall be instituted except by, or with the consent of, the Attorney‐General or Solicitor‐General of the Federation:

Provided that this subsection shall not prevent the arrest, or the issue or the execution of a warrant for the arrest, of any person in respect of any offence, or the remanding, in custody or on bail, of any person charged with such an offence, notwithstanding that the consent of the Attorney‐General or Solicitor‐General of the Federation to the institution of a prosecution for the offence has not been obtained.

49B. Joinder of charges and place of trial of offences

(1) Notwithstanding any rule of law or practice, charges for any offences, except treason, may be joined with a charge for any offence against the preceding section in the same charge or information, if those charges are founded on the same facts, or form, or are a part of, a series of offences of the same or a similar character.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(2) A person charged with an offence against this Chapter who is in Nigeria may, whether or not the offence was committed in Nigeria or in any Nigerian ship or aircraft, be taken in custody to any place in Nigeria, and may be proceeded against, charged, tried and punished in any place in Nigeria, as if the offence had been committed in that part of Nigeria, and for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment of the offence it shall be deemed to have been committed in that part of Nigeria.

49C. Extent of Chapter

 

The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to anything done by any person in Nigeria.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

49D. (Deleted by L.N. 121 of 1964).

CHAPTER 7

Sedition and the importation of seditious or undesirable publications

50. Interpretation

(1) In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires‐

“import” includes‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

(a) to bring into Nigeria; and

(b) to bring within the inland waters of Nigeria whether or not the publication is brought ashore, and whether or not there is an intention to bring the same ashore;

“periodical publication” includes every publication issued periodically or in parts or numbers at intervals whether regular or irregular;

“publication” includes all written or printed matter and everything, whether of a nature similar to written or printed matter or not, containing any visible representation, or by its form, shape, or in any manner capable of suggesting words or ideas, and every copy and reproduction of any publication;

“seditious publication” means a publication having a seditious intention;

“seditious words” means words having a seditious intention.

(2) A “seditious intention” is an intention‐

(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or excite disaffection against the person of the President or of the Governor of a State or the Government of the Federation; or

(b) to excite the citizens or other inhabitants of Nigeria to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any other matter in Nigeria as by law established; or

(c) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens or other inhabitants of Nigeria; or

(d) to promote feelings of ill‐will and hostility between different classes of the population of Nigeria,

 

but an act, speech or publication is not seditious by reason only that it intends‐

(i) to show that the President or the Governor of a State has been misled or mistaken in any measure in the Federation or a State, as the case may be; or

(ii) to point out errors or defects in the Government or Constitution of Nigeria, or of any State thereof, as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the remedying of such errors or defects; or

(iii) to persuade the citizens or other inhabitants of Nigeria to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in Nigeria as by law established; or

(iv) to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters which are producing or have a tendency to produce feelings of ill‐will and enmity between different classes of the population of Nigeria.

(3) In determining whether the intention with which any act was done, any words were spoken, or any document was published, was or was not seditious, every person shall be deemed to intend the consequences which would naturally follow from his conduct at the time and under the circumstances in which he so conducted himself.

51. Offences

(1) Any person who‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act with a seditious intention;

(b) utters any seditious words;

(c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious publication;

(d) imports any seditious publication, unless he has no reason to believe that it is seditious, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction for a first offence to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of two hundred naira or to both such imprisonment and fine and for a subsequent offence to imprisonment for three years and any seditious publication shall be forfeited for the State.

(2) Any person who without lawful excuse has in his possession any seditious publication is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction, for a first offence, to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of one hundred naira or to both such imprisonment and fine, and for a subsequent offence, to imprisonment for two years; and such publication shall be forfeited to the State.

52. Legal proceedings: evidence

 

(1) No prosecution for an offence under section 51 of this Code shall be begun except within six months after the offence is committed.

(2) A person shall not be prosecuted for an offence under section 51 without the written consent of the Attorney‐General of the Federation or of the State concerned.

(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 51 of this Code on the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.

53. Unlawful oaths to commit capital offences

Any person who‐

(1) administers, or is present at and consents to the administering of, any oath, or engagement in the nature of an oath, purporting to bind the person who takes it to commit any offence punishable with death; or

(2) takes any such oath or engagement, not being compelled to do so; or

(3) attempts to induce any person to take any such oath or engagement, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

54. Other unlawful oaths to commit offences

Any person who‐

(1) administers, or is present at and consents to the administering of, any oath, or engagement in the nature of an oath, purporting to bind the person who takes it to act in any of the ways following, that is to say‐

(a) to engage in mutinous or seditious enterprise;

(b) to commit any offence not punishable with death, other than a simple offence;

(c) to disturb the public peace;

(d) to be of any association, society, or confederacy formed for the purposes of doing any such acts as aforesaid;

(e) not to inform or give evidence against any associate, confederate or other person;

(f) not to reveal or discover any unlawful association, society, or confederacy, or any illegal act done or to be done, or any illegal oath or engagement that may have been administered or tendered to or taken by himself or any other person, or the import of any such oath or engagement; or

(2) takes any such oath or engagement, not being compelled to do so; or

 

(3) attempts to induce any person to take any such oath or engagement, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

55. Compulsion: how far a defence

A person who takes any such oath or engagement as is mentioned in the two last preceding sections shall not set up as a defence that he was compelled to do so, unless within fourteen days after taking, or, if he is prevented by actual force or sickness, within fourteen days after the termination of such prevention, he declares by information on oath before some peace officer, or, if he is on actual service in the armed forces of Nigeria, or in the police forces, either by such information or by information to his commanding officer, the whole of what he knows concerning the matter, including the person or persons by whom and in whose presence, and the place where, and the time when, the oath or engagement was administered or taken.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

56. Effect of prosecution

A person who has been tried, and convicted or acquitted, on a charge of any of the offences in this Chapter defined, shall not be afterwards prosecuted upon the same facts for the offence of treason, or for the offence of failing, when he knows that any person intends to commit treason, to give information thereof with all reasonable despatch to a peace officer, or use other reasonable endeavours to prevent the commission of the offence.

57. Unlawful drilling

(1) Any person who‐

(a) without the permission of the President or of the Governor of the State concerned trains or drills any other person to the use of arms or the practice of military exercise, movements, or evolutions; or

[L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

(b) is present at any meeting or assembly of persons, held without the permission of the President or of the Governor of the State concerned, for the purpose of training or drilling any other persons to the use of arms or the practice of military exercises, movements, or evolutions,

is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) Any person who at any meeting or assembly held without the permission of the President or of the Governor of the State concerned is trained or drilled to the use of arms or the practice of military exercises, movements, or evolutions or who is present at any such meeting or assembly for the purpose of being so trained or drilled, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

The offender may be arrested without warrant.

(3) A prosecution for any of the offences defined in this section of this Code shall be begun within six months after the offence is committed.

58. Power to prohibit importation of publications

(1) If the appropriate Minister is of opinion that the importation of any publication or series of publications would be contrary to the public interest, he may by order prohibit the importation of such publication or series of publications.

[L.N. 258 of 1959. 1967 No. 27.]

(2) If the appropriate Minister is of opinion that it would be in the public interest to do so, he may by order prohibit the importation of all publications published by or on behalf of any organisation or association of persons specified in the order.

(3) An order made under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall, unless a contrary intention is expressed therein, have effect‐

(a) with respect to all subsequent issues of such publication; and

(b) not only with respect to any publication under the name specified in relation thereto in the order, but also with respect to any publication published under any other name if the publishing thereof is in any respect in continuation of, or in substitution for, the publishing of the publication named in the order.

(4) An order under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall, unless a contrary intention is expressed therein, have effect not only with respect to all publications published by or on behalf of the organisation or association of persons named therein before the date of the order, but also with respect to all publications so published on or after such date.

(5) An order made under the provisions of subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section shall, unless a contrary intention is expressed therein, apply to any translation into any language whatsoever of the publication specified in the order.

Offences

(6) Any person who imports, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any publication, the importation of which has been prohibited under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, or any extract therefrom, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, for a first offence to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of two hundred naira or to both such imprisonment and fine and for a subsequent offence to imprisonment for three years; and such publication or extract therefrom shall be forfeited to the State.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

 

(7) Any person who without lawful excuse has in his possession any publication, the importation of which has been prohibited under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, or any extract therefrom, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, for a first offence to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of one hundred naira or to both such imprisonment and fine, and for a subsequent offence to imprisonment for two years; and such publication or extract therefrom shall be forfeited to the State.

Delivery of prohibited publication to police and administrative officers

(8) (a) Any person to whom any publication, the importation of which has been prohibited under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, or any extract therefrom, is sent without his knowledge or privity or in response to a request made before the prohibition of the importation of such publication came into effect, or who has such a publication or extract therefrom in his possession at the time when the prohibition of its importation comes into effect, shall forthwith if, or as soon as, the nature of its contents has become known to him, or in the case of a publication or extract therefrom coming into the possession of such person before an order prohibiting its importation has been made, forthwith upon the coming into effect of an order prohibiting the importation of such publication, deliver such publication or extract therefrom to the officer in charge of the nearest police station or to the nearest administrative officer, and in default thereof shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of one hundred naira or to both such imprisonment and fine; and such publication or extract therefrom shall be forfeited to the State.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(b) A person who complies with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection or is convicted of an offence under that subsection shall not be liable to be convicted for having imported or having in his possession the same publication or extract therefrom.

Power to examine packages

(9) (a) Any of the following officers, that is to say‐

[1966 No. 84. 1967 No. 27.]

(i) any officer of the Nigerian Postal Service not below the rank of Assistant Surveyor;

(ii) any officer of the Nigeria Customs Service not below the rank of Collector;

(iii) any police officer not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police;

(iv) any other official authorised in that behalf by the President,

may detain, open and examine any package or article which he suspects to contain any publication or extract therefrom which it is an offence under the provisions of subsection (6) to import, publish, sell, offer for sale, distribute, reproduce or possess, and during such examination may detain any person importing, distributing, or posting such package or article or in whose possession such package or article is found.

 

(b) If any such publication or extract therefrom is found in such package or article, the whole package or article may be impounded and retained by the officer and the person importing, distributing, or posting it, or in whose possession it is found, may forthwith be arrested and proceeded against for the commission of an offence under subsection (6) or (8), as the case may be.

59. Publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public

(1) Any person who publishes or reproduces any statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, knowing or having reason to believe that such statement, rumour or report is false, is guilty of a misdemeanour and liable on conviction to imprisonment for three years.

(2) It shall be no defence to a charge under subsection (1) of this section that he did not know or did not have reason to believe that the statement, rumour or report was false unless he proves that, prior to publication, he took reasonable measures to verify the accuracy of such statement, rumour or report.

60. Defamation of persons exercising sovereign authority over a State

Any person who, without such justification or excuse as would be sufficient in the case of the defamation of a private person, publishes anything intended to be read, or any sign or visible representation, tending to expose to hatred or contempt in the estimation of the people of any foreign State any person exercising sovereign authority over that State, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

CHAPTER 8

Offences against the executive and legislative power

61. Interference with executive or legislative power

Any person who advisedly does any unlawful act calculated to interfere with the free exercise by the President or a Governor of the duties or authority of his office or with the free exercise by a member of the Federal Executive Council, or a State Executive Council of his duties as such member, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

[L.N. 2 of 1960. L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

A prosecution for an offence under this section shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of a law officer.

CHAPTER 9

Unlawful societies

 

62. Definition of society and unlawful society

(1) A society includes any combination of ten or more persons whether the society be known by any name or not.

[L.N. 258 of 1959. 1967 No. 27.]

(2) A society is an unlawful society‐

(i) if formed for any of the following purposes‐

(a) levying war or encouraging or assisting any person to levy war on the Government or the inhabitants of any part of Nigeria; or

(b) killing or injuring or encouraging the killing or injuring of any person; or

(c) destroying or injuring or encouraging the destruction or injuring of any property; or

(d) subverting or promoting the subversion of the Government or of its officials; or

(e) committing or inciting to acts of violence or intimidation; or

(f) interfering with, or resisting, or encouraging interference with or resistance to the administration of the law; or

(g) disturbing or encouraging the disturbance of peace and order in any part of Nigeria; or

(ii) if declared by an order of the President to be a society dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof.

62A. Unlawful societies in a State

Without prejudice to the provisions of section 62 of this Code, a society is an unlawful society if it is declared by an order of the President to be a society dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof, and for such purpose the consent of the Attorney‐General of the Federation referred to in section 65 of this Code shall be construed as a reference to the consent of the Attorney‐General of the State.

[L.N. 148 of 1959. L.N. 22 of 1960.]

63. Managing an unlawful society

Any person who manages or assists in the management of an unlawful society is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

64. Members of unlawful society: persons permitting an unlawful society to meet on their premises

Any person who‐

 

(a) is a member of an unlawful society; or

(b) knowingly allows a meeting of an unlawful society, or of members of an unlawful society, to be held in any house, building, or place belonging to, or occupied by, him or

over which he has control,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

65. Provisions relating to prosecution for offences under sections 63 and 64

(1) A prosecution for an offence under the two last preceding sections shall not be instituted except with the consent of the Attorney‐General of the Federation:

[L.N. 148 of 1959.]

Provided that a person charged with such an offence may be arrested or a warrant for his arrest may be issued and executed, and any such person may be remanded in custody or on bail, notwithstanding that the consent of the Attorney‐General of the Federation to the institution of a prosecution for the offence has not been obtained, but no further or other proceedings shall be taken until that consent has been obtained.

(2) In any prosecution for an offence under sections 63 and 64 of this Code it shall not be necessary to prove that the society consisted of ten or more members; but it shall be sufficient to prove the existence of a combination of persons, and the onus shall then rest with the accused to prove that the number of members of such combination did not amount to ten.

(3) Any person who attends a meeting of an unlawful society shall be presumed, until and unless the contrary is proved, to be a member of the society.

(4) Any person who has in his possession or custody or under his control any of the insignia, banners, arms, books, papers, documents, or other property belonging to an unlawful society, or wears any of the insignia or is marked with any mark of the society, shall be presumed, unless and until the contrary is proved, to be a member of the society.

66. Powers of peace officers in relation to unlawful societies

Any peace officer, and any officer authorised in writing by a peace officer, may enter with or without assistance any house or building or into any place in which he has reason to believe that a meeting of an unlawful society, or of persons who are members of an unlawful society, is being held, and to arrest or cause to be arrested all persons found therein and to search such house, building, or place, and seize or cause to be seized all insignia, banners, arms, books, papers, documents and other property which he may have reasonable cause to believe to belong to any unlawful society or to be in any way connected with the purpose of the meeting.

67. Disposition of property of society declared to be an unlawful society

 

(1) When a society is declared to be an unlawful society by an order of the President, the following consequences shall ensue‐

[L.N. 257 of 1959. 1967 No. 27.]

(a) the property of the society within Nigeria shall forthwith vest in an officer appointed by the President;

(b) the officer appointed by the President shall proceed to wind up the affairs of the society, and, after satisfying and providing for all debts and liabilities of the society and the costs of the winding up, if there shall then be any surplus assets, shall prepare and submit to the President a scheme for the application of such surplus assets;

(c) such scheme, when submitted for approval, may be amended by the President in such way as he shall think proper in the circumstances of the case;

(d) the approval of the President to such scheme shall be denoted by the endorsement thereon of a memorandum of such approval signed by the President, and, upon this being done, the surplus assets, the subject of the scheme, shall be held by such officer upon the terms and to the purposes thereby prescribed;

(e) for the purpose of the winding up, the officer appointed by the President shall have all the powers vested in a magistrate for the purpose of the discovering of the property of a debtor and the realisation thereof.

(2) The President may, for the purpose of enabling a society to wind up its own affairs, suspend the operation of this section of this Code for such period as to him shall seem expedient.

(3) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any property seized at any time under section 66 of this Code.

68. Forfeiture

Subject to the provisions of section 67 of this Code, the insignia, banners, arms, books, papers, documents and other property belonging to an unlawful society shall be forfeited to the State and shall be dealt with in such manner as the President may direct.

[L.N. 257 of 1959. L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

CHAPTER 10

Unlawful assemblies: breaches of the peace

69. Definitions: Unlawful assembly. Riot

When three or more persons, with intent to carry out some common purpose, assemble in such a manner or, being assembled, conduct themselves in such a manner as to cause persons in the

 

neighbourhood to fear on reasonable grounds that the persons so assembled will tumultuously disturb the peace, or will by such assembly needlessly and without any reasonable occasion provoke other persons tumultuously to disturb the peace, they are an unlawful assembly.

It is immaterial that the original assembling was lawful if, being assembled; they conduct themselves with a common purpose in such a manner as aforesaid.

An assembly of three or more persons who assemble for the purpose of protecting any house against persons threatening to break and enter the house in order to commit a felony or misdemeanour therein is not an unlawful assembly.

When an unlawful assembly has begun to act in so tumultuous a manner as to disturb the peace, the assembly is called a riot, and the persons assembled are said to be riotously assembled.

70. Punishment of unlawful assembly

Any person who takes part in an unlawful assembly is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

71. Punishment of riot

Any person who takes part in a riot is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

72. Making proclamation for rioters to disperse

Any magistrate or, in his absence, any police officer, of or above the rank of assistant superintendent, or any commissioned officer in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Nigeria in whose view a riot is being committed, or who apprehends that a riot is about to be committed by persons assembled within his view, may make or cause to be made a proclamation in the name of the Federal Republic in such form as he thinks fit, commanding the rioters or persons so assembled to disperse peaceably.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

73. Dispersion of rioters after proclamation made

If upon the expiration of a reasonable time after such proclamation is made, or after the making of such proclamation has been prevented by force, twelve or more persons continue riotously assembled together, any person authorised to make proclamation, or any police officer, or any other person acting in aid of such person or police officer, may do all things necessary for dispersing the persons so continuing assembled, or for apprehending them or any of them, and, if any person makes resistance, may use all such force as is reasonably necessary for overcoming such resistance, and shall not be liable in any criminal or civil proceeding for having, by the use of such force, caused harm or death to any person.

74. Rioting after proclamation

 

If proclamation is made, commanding the persons engaged in a riot, or assembled with the purpose of committing a riot, to disperse, every person who, at or after the expiration of a reasonable time from the making of such proclamation, takes or continues to take part in the riot or assembly is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.

75. Preventing or obstructing the making of proclamation

Any person who forcibly prevents or obstructs the making of such proclamation as is in section 75 of this Code, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for ten years; and if the making of the proclamation is so prevented, every person who, knowing that it has been so prevented, takes or continues to take part in the riot or assembly is liable to imprisonment for five years.

76. Rioters demolishing buildings, machinery, railway, etc.

Any persons who, being riotously assembled together, unlawfully pull down or destroy, or begin to pull down or destroy any building, railway, machinery or structures are guilty of a felony and each of them is liable to imprisonment for life.

77. Rioters injuring buildings, machinery, railway, etc.

Any persons who, being riotously assembled together, unlawfully damage any of the things in section 77 of this Code, are guilty of a felony and each of them is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

78. Smuggling or rescuing goods under arms

Any persons who assemble together to the number of three or more armed with firearms, bows and arrows, spears, swords, knives, or other dangerous or offensive weapons, in order to effect or aid in effecting any of the following purposes‐

(a) the unlawful shipping, unshipping, loading, moving, or carrying away of any goods the importation of which is prohibited, or any goods liable to customs duties, which duties have not been paid or secured;

(b) the rescuing or taking of any such goods from any person authorised to seize them, or from any person employed by him, or assisting him, or from any place where any such person has put them;

(c) the rescuing of any person who has been arrested on a charge of any offence relating to the customs;

(d) the prevention of the arrest of any person guilty of any such offence, or of any person aiding in effecting any of the purposes in this section,

are guilty of a felony and each of them is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

79. Smuggling under arms or in disguise

 

Any persons who are found assembled together, to the number of six or more, having with them any goods liable to forfeiture under any law relating to the customs, and carrying firearms, bows and arrows, spears, swords, knives, or other dangerous or offensive weapons, or disguised, are guilty of a felony and each of them is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

80. Going armed so as to cause fear

Any person who goes armed in public without lawful occasion in such a manner as to cause terror to any person is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years and his arms may be forfeited.

81. Forcible entry

Any person who, in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace or reasonable apprehension of a breach of the peace, enters on land which is in actual and peaceable possession of another, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

It is immaterial whether he is entitled to enter on the land or not.

82. Forcible detainer

Any person who, being in actual possession of land without colour of right, holds possession of it, in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace or reasonable apprehension of a breach of the peace, against a person entitled by law to the possession of the land, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

83. Affray

Any person who takes part in a fight in a public place is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

84. Challenge to fight a duel

Any person who challenges another to fight a duel, or attempts to provoke another to fight a duel, or attempts to provoke any person to challenge another to fight a duel, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

85. Prize fight

Any person who fights in a prize fight, or subscribes to or promotes a prize fight, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

86. Threatening violence

Any person who‐

 

(1) with intent to intimidate or annoy any person, threatens to break or injure a dwelling‐house;

or

(2) with intent to alarm any person in a dwelling‐house, discharges loaded firearms or commits any other breach of the peace,

is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

If the offence is committed in the night the offender is guilty of a felony and IS liable to imprisonment for three years.

87. Assembling for the purpose of smuggling

Any persons who assemble together, to the number of three or more, for the purpose of unshipping, carrying or concealing, any goods subject to customs duty and liable to forfeiture under any law relating to the customs, are guilty of a misdemeanour and each of them is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred naira or to imprisonment for six months.

88. Unlawful processions

(1) Any persons who assemble together, to the number of three or more, under any of the following circumstances‐

(a) bearing or wearing or having amongst them any firearms, bows and arrows, spear, sword, knife, or other offensive weapon; or

(b) publicly exhibiting any banner, emblem, flag, or symbol, the displaying of which is calculated to promote animosity between persons of different religious faiths or different factions; or

(c) being accompanied by any music, beating of drums, or other noise calculated to promote such animosity,

and, being so assembled, join in any parade or procession for the purpose of celebrating or commemorating any festival, anniversary, or event relating to or connected with any religious or other distinction or difference between persons residing in Nigeria or of demonstrating any such religious or other distinction or difference, are guilty of an offence and each of them is liable to imprisonment for one month.

If the offender is himself bearing or wearing firearms, a bow and arrows, spear, sword, knife or any other offensive weapon he is liable to imprisonment for six months.

(2) When three or more persons are so assembled together it is the duty of a peace officer to make or cause to be made a command in the name of the President, in such words as he thinks fit, to the persons assembled to disperse peaceably.

 

Any persons who, being so assembled, continue together to the number of three or more, and do not disperse themselves within the space of a quarter of an hour after the giving of the command, are guilty of an offence and each of them is liable to imprisonment for three years.

(3) A judicial officer may issue a warrant in the first instance for the arrest of any such offender, either on the oath of a credible person or on his own view.

88A. Provoking breach of peace by offensive publication

(1) Any person who‐

(a) in any manner or form publishes or displays or offers to the public the pictorial representation of any person living or dead in a manner likely to provoke any section of the community; or

[1966 No. 44.]

(b) publishes or circulates publications either in the form of newspapers, or leaflets, periodicals, pamphlets or posters, if such publications are likely to provoke or bring into disaffection any section of the community; or

(c) sings songs, plays any instrument or recording of sounds, or sells, lends, or lets on hire any

record of sounds, the words of which are likely to provoke any section of the community,

is guilty of an offence for which he may be arrested without warrant by any police officer or member of the armed forces in uniform, and upon conviction is liable to a fine of one hundred naira or to imprisonment for a term of three months, or to both such fine and imprisonment; and the court convicting may order confiscation of any material (including records) used for purposes contemplated by this section and of any instrument used in connection therewith.

(2) Where any person is subsequently convicted of the like or any other offence under this section of this Code, the penalty shall be the maximum prescribed for the offence.

(3) It shall be a defence to any person charged under this section of this Code with selling, lending or letting on hire of any record that after reasonable inquiry was made by him before the sale, lending or hiring out as the case may be, (the proof of which inquiry shall lie upon the person charged with the offence), he was unaware of the possibility that it might be used for purposes mentioned in subsection (1) of this Code, and thereafter withdrew the record from sale or recalled any record lent or hired out by him.

(4) This section of this Code shall have effect notwithstanding any other penalty which may be prescribed for an offence of a similar nature in any criminal code or penal code in force in Nigeria.

Interpretation

 

(5) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires‐

“pictorial representation” includes any photograph, and any plate or film, positive or negative; “recorded” means sounds collected or stored by means of any tape, disc, cylinder or other means whatsoever where the sounds are capable of being reproduced or are intended for reproduction by electrical or mechanical means at any time or from time to time thereafter, and includes the matrix,and cognate expressions shall have the like meaning; “sounds” includes speech and mere noise.

Part 3

OFFENCES AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OF LAW AND JUSTICE AND AGAINST PUBLIC AUTHORITY CHAPTER 11

Disclosure of official secrets and abstracting document

89. (Deleted by No. 31 of194l).

90. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

91. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

92. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

93. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

94. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

95. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

96. (Deleted by No. 31 of 1941).

97. Disclosure of official secrets

(1) Any person who, being employed in the public service, publishes or communicates any fact which comes to his knowledge by virtue of his office, and which it is his duty to keep secret, or any document which comes to his possession by virtue of his office and which it is his duty to keep secret, except to some person to whom he is bound to publish or communicate it, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

Public servant abstracting, etc., documents

(2) Any person who, being employed in the public service, without proper authority abstracts, or makes a copy of, any document the property of his employer is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

Restriction on prosecutions

 

(3) A prosecution for an offence under the provisions of this section of this Code shall not be commenced except by, or with the consent of, a law officer.

CHAPTER 12

Corruption and abuse of office

98. Official corruption: public official inviting bribes, etc., on account of own actions

(1) Any public official (as defined in section 98D) who‐

(a) corruptly asks for, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person; or

[1966 No. 84.]

(b) corruptly agrees or attempts to receive or obtain any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person, on account of‐

(i) anything already done or omitted, or any favour or disfavour already shown to any person, by himself in the discharge of his official duties or in relation to any matter connected with the functions, affairs or business of a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which he is serving as a public official; or

(ii) anything to be afterwards done or omitted, or any favour; or disfavour to be afterwards shown to any person, by himself in the discharge of his official duties or in relation to any such matter as aforesaid,

is guilty of the felony of official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) If in any proceedings for an offence under this section of this Code it is proved that any property or benefit of any kind, or any promise thereof, was received by a public official, or by some other person at the instance of a public official, from a person‐

(a) holding, or seeking to obtain, a contract, licence or permit from a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which that public official is serving as such; or

(b) concerned, or likely to be concerned, in any proceeding or business transacted, pending or likely to be transacted before or by that public official or a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which that public official is serving as such,

or by or from any person acting on behalf of or related to such a person, the property, benefit or promise shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been received corruptly on account of

 

such a past or future act, omission, favour or disfavour as is mentioned in subsection (1) (i) or (ii) of this section.

(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this section to which subsection (1) (ii) of this section is relevant it shall not be a defence to show that the accused‐

(a) did not subsequently do, make or show the act, omission, favour or disfavour in question; or

(b) never intended to do, make or show it.

(4) Without prejudice to subsection (3) of this section, where a police officer or other public official whose official duties include the prosecution, detention or punishment of offenders, is charged with an offence under this section of this Code in connection with‐

(a) the arrest, detention or prosecution of any person for an alleged offence; or

(b) an omission to arrest, detain or prosecute any person for an alleged offence; or

(c) the investigation of an alleged offence,

it shall not be necessary to prove that the accused believed that the offence mentioned in paragraph (a),

(b) or (c) of subsection (4) of this section, or any other offence, had been committed.

98A. Official corruption: person giving bribes, etc., on account of actions of public official

(1) Any person who‐

[1966 No. 84.]

(a) corruptly gives, confers or procures any property or benefit of any kind to, on or for a public official (as defined in section 98D) or to, on or for any other person; or

(b) corruptly promises or offers to give or confer or to procure or attempt to procure any property or benefit of any kind to, on or for a public official or to, on or for any other person,

on account of any such act, omission, favour or disfavour on the part of the public official as is mentioned in section 98 (1) (i) or (ii) of this Code, is guilty of the felony of official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) If in any proceedings for an offence under this section of this Code it is proved that any property or benefit of any kind, or any promise thereof, was given to a public official, or to some other person at the instance of a public official, by a person‐

(a) holding, or seeking to obtain, a contract, licence or permit from a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which that public official is serving as such; or

 

(b) concerned, or likely to be concerned, in any proceeding or business transacted, pending or likely to be transacted before or by that public official or a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which that public official is serving as such,

or by or from any person acting on behalf of or related to such a person, the property, benefit, or promise shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been given corruptly on account of such a past or future act, omission, favour or disfavour as is mentioned in section 98 (1) (i) or (ii) of this Code.

98B. Official corruption: person inviting bribes, etc., on account of actions of public official

(1) Any person who‐

[1966 No. 84.]

(a) corruptly asks for, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person; or

(b) corruptly agrees or attempts to receive or obtain any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person,

on account of‐

(i) anything already done or omitted, or any favour or disfavour already shown to any person, by a public official (as defined in section 98D of this Code) in the discharge of his official duties or in relation to any matter connected with the functions, affairs or business of a government department, public body or other organisation or institution in which the public official is serving as such; or

(ii) anything to be afterwards done or omitted, or any favour or disfavour to be afterwards shown to any person, by a public official in the discharge of his official duties or in relation to any such matter as aforesaid,

is guilty of the felony of official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) In any proceedings for an offence under this section of this Code it shall not be necessary to

prove‐

(a) that any public official counselled the commission of the offence; or

(b) that in the course of committing the offence the accused mentioned any particular public official; or

(c) that (in a case to which subsection (1) (ii) of this section is relevant) the accused believed

 

that any public official would do, make or show the act, omission, favour or disfavour in question; or

(d) that the accused intended to give the property or benefit in question, or any part thereof, to a public official.

98C. Restrictions on arrest and prosecution of judicial officers for offences under sections 98 to 98B

(1) A judicial officer cannot be arrested without warrant for an offence under section 98, 98A or 98B of this Code.

[1966 No. 84.]

(2) No proceedings for an offence under section 98, 98A or 98B of this Code shall be instituted against a judicial officer except on a complaint or information signed by or on behalf of the Attorney‐ General of the Federation or by or on behalf of the Attorney‐General of the State in which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

(3) In this section, “judicial officer” means, in addition to the officers mentioned in the definition

of that expression contained in section 1 (i) of this Code‐

(a) a member of a customary court;

(b) a member of a juvenile court;

(c) an arbitrator, umpire or referee;

(d) a person called upon to serve as an assessor in any civil or criminal proceedings;

(e) a member of a jury;

(f) a member of a tribunal of inquiry constituted under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act; and [Cap. T21.]

(g) any person before whom, under any law in force in Nigeria or any part thereof, there may be held proceedings in which evidence may be taken on oath.

[1966 No. 84.]

98D. Meaning of “public official” in sections 98 to 98B

In sections 98 to 98B of this Code, “public official” means any person employed in the public service (within the meaning of that expression as defined in section 1 (i) or any judicial officer within the meaning of section 98C of this Code.

 

99. Extortion by public officers

Any person who, being employed in the public service, takes, or accepts from any person, for the performance of his duty as such officer, any reward beyond his proper pay and emoluments, or any promise of such reward, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

100. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

101. Public officers interested in contracts

Any person who, being employed in the public service, knowingly acquires or holds, directly or indirectly, otherwise than as a member of a registered joint stock company consisting of more than twenty persons, a private interest in any contract or agreement which is made on account of the public service with respect to any matter concerning the department of the service in which he is employed, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years and to be fined at the discretion of the court.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

102. Officers charged with administration of property of a special character or with special duties

Any person who, being employed in the public service, and being charged by virtue of his employment with any judicial or administrative duties respecting property of a special character, or respecting the carrying on of any manufacture, trade, or business of a special character, and having acquired or holding, directly or indirectly, a private interest in any such property, manufacture, trade, or business, discharges any such duties with respect to the property, manufacture, trade or business in which he has such interest, or with respect to the conduct of any person in relation thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

103. False claims by officials

Any person who, being employed in the public service in such a capacity as to require him or to enable him to furnish returns or statements touching any sum payable or claimed to be payable to himself or to any other person, or touching any other matter required to be certified for the purpose of any payment of money or delivery of goods to be made to any person, makes a return or statement touching any such matter which is, to his knowledge, false in any material particular, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

104. Abuse of office

Any person who, being employed in the public service, does or directs to be done in abuse of the authority of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

If the act is done or directed to be done for purposes of gain he is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

A prosecution for any offence under this or any of the last three preceding sections shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of a law officer.

105. False certificates by public officers

Any person who, being authorised or required by law to give any certificate touching any matter by virtue whereof the rights of any person may be prejudicially affected, gives a certificate which is, to his knowledge, false in any material particular, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

106. Administering extra‐judicial oaths

Any person who administers an oath or takes a solemn declaration or affirmation or affidavit touching any matter with respect to which he has not by law any authority to do so, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year. This section does not apply to an oath, declaration, affirmation, or affidavit, administered or taken before a peace officer in any matter relating to the preservation of the peace or the punishment of offences, or relating to inquiries respecting sudden death; nor to an oath, declaration, affirmation, or affidavit, administered or taken for some purpose which is lawful under the laws of another country, or for the purpose of giving validity to an instrument in writing which is intended to be used in another country.

107. False assumption of authority

Any person who‐

(a) not being a judicial officer, assumes to act as a judicial officer; or

(b) without authority assumes to act as a person having authority by law to administer an oath or take a solemn declaration or affirmation or affidavit, or to do any other act of a public nature which can only be done by persons authorised by law to do so; or

(c) represents himself to be a person authorised by law to sign a document testifying to the contents of any register or record kept by lawful authority, or testifying to any fact or event, and signs such document as being so authorised, when he is not, and knows that he is not, in fact, so authorised,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

108. Personating public officers

Any person who‐

(1) personates any person employed in the public service on an occasion when the latter is required to do any act or attend in any place by virtue of his employment; or

 

(2) falsely represents himself to be a person employed in the public service, and assumes to do any act or to attend in any place for the purpose of doing any act by virtue of such employment,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

109. Personating members of armed forces or police

Any person who, not being a person serving in the armed forces of Nigeria nor a member of the police forces and with intent that he may be taken to be such a person or member as aforesaid‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) wears any part of the uniform of; or

(b) wears any garb resembling any part of the uniform of, a person serving in the armed forces of Nigeria, or a member of the police forces, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

110. Unlawfully wearing the uniform of the armed forces

Any person who‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27.]

(1) not being a person serving in any of the armed forces of Nigeria, wears the uniform or any part of the uniform of such forces, or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniforms; or

(2) not being a person holding any office or authority under the Government of Nigeria or of any part thereof, wears any uniform or distinctive badge or mark or carries any token calculated to convey the impression that such person holds any office or authority under the government,

is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for one month or to a fine of ten naira, unless he proves that he had the permission of the President or of the Governor of a State to wear such uniform or dress, badge or mark or to carry such token:

Provided that this section of this Code shall not apply to the wearing of any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play or in any bona fide public entertainment.

111. Selling, etc., uniform, etc., to unauthorised persons

Any person who sells or gives any uniform, or part of a uniform, or any dress, badge or mark, as in section 110 of this Code to any person who is not authorised to wear the same, is guilty of an offence and is liable to the penalties prescribed in the said section.

CHAPTER 13

 

Selling and trafficking in offices

112. Bargaining for offices in public service

Any person who‐

(1) corruptly asks, receives, or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain, any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything already done or omitted to be done, or to be afterwards done or omitted to be done, by him or any other person, with regard to the appointment or contemplated appointment of any person to any office or employment in the public service, or with regard to any application by any person for employment in the public service; or

(2) corruptly gives, confers, or procures, or promises or offers to give or confer, or to procure or attempt to procure, to, upon, or for, any person any property or benefit of any kind on account of any such act or omission,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

CHAPTER 14

Offences relating to the administration of justice

113. Definition of judicial proceeding

In this Chapter, the term “judicial proceeding” includes any proceeding had or taken in or before any court, tribunal, commission of inquiry, or person, in which evidence mayor may not be taken on oath.

114. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

115. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

116. (Deleted by 1966 No. 84).

117. Perjury

Any person who, in any judicial proceeding, or for the purpose of instituting any judicial proceeding, knowingly gives false testimony touching any matter which is material to any question then pending in that proceedings, or intended to be raised in that proceeding, is guilty of an offence which is called perjury,

It is immaterial whether the testimony is given on oath or under any other sanction authorised by law.

The forms and ceremonies used in administering the oath or in otherwise binding the person giving the testimony to speak the truth are immaterial, if he assent to the forms and ceremonies actually used.

It is immaterial whether the false testimony is given orally or in writing.

 

It is immaterial whether the court or tribunal is properly constituted, or is held in the proper place, or not, if it actually acts as a court or tribunal in the proceeding in which the testimony is given.

It is immaterial whether the person who gives the testimony is a competent witness or not, or whether the testimony is admissible in the proceeding or not.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

118. Punishment of perjury

Any person who commits perjury is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

If the offender commits the offence in order to procure the conviction of another person for an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life he is liable to imprisonment for life.

119. Evidence on charge of perjury

A person cannot be convicted of committing perjury, or of counselling or procuring the commission of perjury, upon the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.

120. Fabricating evidence

Any person who, with intent to mislead any tribunal in any judicial proceeding‐

(1) fabricates evidence by any means other than perjury or counselling or procuring the commission of perjury; or

(2) knowingly makes use of such fabricated evidence,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

121. Corruption of witnesses

Any person who‐

(1) gives, confers, or procures, or promises or offers to give or confer, or to procure or attempt to procure, any property or benefit of any kind to, upon, or for, any person, upon any agreement or understanding that any person called or to be called as a witness in any judicial proceeding shall give false testimony or withhold true testimony; or

(2) attempts by any other means to induce a person called or to be called as a witness in any judicial proceeding to give false testimony or to withhold true testimony; or

(3) asks, receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person, upon any agreement or understanding that any person shall as a witness in any judicial proceeding give false testimony or withhold true testimony,

 

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

122. Deceiving witnesses

Any person who practises any fraud or deceit, or knowingly makes or exhibits any false statement, representation, token, or writing, to any person called or to be called as a witness in any judicial proceeding, with intent to affect the testimony of such person as a witness, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

123. Destroying evidence

Any person who, knowing that any book, document, or other thing of any kind, is or may be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding, wilfully removes, conceals or destroys it or renders it illegible or undecipherable or incapable of identification, with intent thereby to prevent it from being used in evidence, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

124. Preventing witnesses from attending

Any person who wilfully prevents or attempts to prevent any person who has been duly summoned to attend as a witness before any court or tribunal from attending as a witness or from producing anything in evidence pursuant to the subpoena or summons, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

125. Conspiracy to bring false accusation

Any person who conspires with another to charge any person or cause any person to be charged with any offence, whether alleged to have been committed in Nigeria or elsewhere, knowing that such person is innocent of the alleged offence or not believing him to be guilty of the alleged offence, is guilty of a felony.

If the offence is such that a person convicted of it is liable to be sentenced to death or to imprisonment for life, the offender is liable to imprisonment for life.

If the offence is such that a person convicted of it is liable to be sentenced to imprisonment, but for a term less than life, the offender is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

In any other case the offender is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

125A. Making false statement to public officers with intent

 

(1) Any individual who gives any information which he knows or believes to be false to any person employed in the public service with the intention of causing such person‐

(a) to do or omit to do anything which such person ought not to do or ought not to omit to do if the true facts concerning the information given were known to such person; or

(b) to exercise or use his lawful powers as a person employed in the public service to the injury or annoyance of any other person,

is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for one year.

(2) A prosecution for an offence under this section of this Code shall not be instituted‐

(a) without the consent of a superior police officer; or

(b) where in any division an administrative officer has been duly appointed to have charge of the police therein under the provisions of subsection (1) of section 7 of the Police Act,

[Cap. P19.]

without the consent of that administrative officer.

126. Perverting justice

(1) Any person who conspires with another to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

(2) Any person who attempts, in any way not specially defined in this Code, to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat, the course of justice, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

127. Compounding felonies

Any person who asks, receives, or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person upon any agreement or understanding that he will compound or conceal a felony, or will abstain from, discontinue, or delay a prosecution for a felony, or will withhold any evidence thereof, is guilty of an offence.

If the felony is such that a person convicted of it is liable to be sentenced to death or imprisonment for life, the offender is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

In any other case the offender is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

128. Compounding penal actions

 

Any person who, having brought, or under pretence of bringing an action against another person upon a penal Act, law or statute in order to obtain from him a penalty for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, compounds the action without the order or consent of the court in which the action is brought or is to be brought, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

129. Advertising a reward for the return of stolen or lost property

Any person who‐

(1) publicly offers a reward for the return of any property which has been stolen or lost, and in the offer makes use of any words purporting that no question will be asked, or that the person producing such property will not be seized or molested; or

(2) publicly offers to return to any person who may have bought or advanced money by way of loan upon any stolen or lost property the money so paid or advanced, or any other sum of money or reward for the return of such property; or

(3) prints or publishes any such offer,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of one hundred naira.

130. Delay to take person arrested before a court

Any person who, having arrested another upon a charge of an offence, wilfully delays to take him before a court to be dealt with according to law, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

131. Bringing fictitious action on penal Act, law or statute

Any person who, in the name of a fictitious plaintiff, or in the name of a real person but without his authority, brings an action against another person upon a penal Act, law or statute for the recovery of a penalty for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

132. Inserting advertisement without authority of court

Any person who, without authority, or knowing the advertisement to be false in any material particular inserts or causes it to be inserted in the Federal Gazette, or a State Gazette, or in any newspaper an advertisement purporting to be published under the authority of any court or tribunal, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

133. Contempt of court

Any person who‐

 

(1) within the premises in which any judicial proceeding is being had or taken, or within the precincts of the same, shows disrespect, in speech, or manner, to or with reference to such proceeding, or any person before whom such proceeding is being had or taken; or

(2) having been called upon to give evidence in a judicial proceeding, fails to attend or, having attended, refuses to be sworn or to make an affirmation, or, having been sworn or affirmed, refuses without lawful excuse to answer a question, or to produce a document, or prevaricates, or remains in the room in which such proceeding is being had or taken, after the witnesses have been ordered to leave such room; or

(3) causes an obstruction or disturbance in the course of a judicial proceeding; or

(4) while a judicial proceeding is pending, makes use of any speech or writing, misrepresenting such proceeding, or capable of prejudicing any person in favour of or against any party to such proceeding, or calculated to lower the authority of any person before whom such proceeding is being had or taken; or

(5) publishes a report of the evidence taken in any judicial proceeding which has been directed to be held in private; or

(6) attempts wrongfully to interfere with or influence a witness in a judicial proceeding, either before or after he has given evidence, in connection with such evidence; or

(7) dismisses a servant because he has given evidence on behalf of a certain party to a judicial proceeding; or

(8) re‐takes possession of land from any person who has recently obtained possession by a writ of court; or

(9) commits any other act of intentional disrespect to any judicial proceeding, or to any person before whom such proceeding is being had or taken,

is guilty of a simple offence and liable to imprisonment for three months.

CHAPTER 15

Escapes; rescues; obstructing officers of court

134. Rescue

(1) Any person who by force rescues or attempts to rescue from lawful custody any other

person‐

(a) is, if the last‐named person is under a sentence of death or penal servitude or imprisonment for life, or charged with an offence punishable with death, or penal servitude or imprisonment for life, guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life; and

 

(b) is, in any other case, guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) If the person rescued is in the custody of a private person, the offender must have notice of the fact that the person rescued is in such custody.

135. Escape

Any person who, being in lawful custody, escapes from such custody‐

(a) is, if he is charged with, or has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanour, guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years, with or without whipping; and

(b) is, in any other case, guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

136. Aiding prisoners to escape

Any person who‐

(1) aids a prisoner in escaping or attempting to escape from lawful custody; or

(2) conveys anything or causes anything to be conveyed into a prison with intent to facilitate the escape of a prisoner,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

137. Permitting escape

Any person who, being an officer of a prison, or a member of a police force, wilfully permits any other person within his lawful custody to escape‐

(a) is, if such last‐named person is charged with an offence punishable by death, or penal servitude or imprisonment for life, guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years; and

(b) is, in any other case, guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

138. Negligently permitting escape

Any person who, being an officer of a prison, or a member of a police force, negligently permits a person within his lawful custody to escape, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

139. Prison officers accessory to breaches of discipline

If any prison officer or person in charge of any convicted prisoner knowingly permits or suffers such prisoner to receive any tobacco, food, money, or other article, or to enter any house, yard, or premises not being the place appointed for the labour of such prisoner he is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for six months and to a fine of one hundred naira.

 

140. (Repealed by 1972 No.9).

141. (Repealed by 1972 No.9).

142. (Repealed by 1972 No.9).

143. Rescuing insane persons

Any person who‐

(a) rescues any person during his conveyance as an insane person to a hospital, lunatic asylum, or a reception house for the insane or to a house licensed under the laws relating to insane persons for the reception of patients, or to a prison, rescues any person during his confinement as an insane person in any such place; or

(b) being in charge of a person during his conveyance as an insane person to any such place, wilfully permits him to escape from custody; or

(c) being a superintendent of, or person employed in any such place, wilfully permits a person confined therein as an insane person to escape therefrom; or

(d) conceals any such person as aforesaid, who has, to his knowledge, been rescued during such conveyance or confinement, or has, to his knowledge, escaped during such conveyance, or from such confinement,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

144. Removing, etc., property under lawful seizure

Any person who, when any property has been attached or taken under the process or authority of any court, knowingly, and with intent to hinder or defeat the attachment or process, receives, removes, retains, conceals, or disposes of such property, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

145. Obstructing officers of courts of justice

Any person who wilfully obstructs or resists any person lawfully charged with the execution of an order or warrant of any court, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of two hundred naira.

CHAPTER 16

Offences relating to the currency

146. Interpretation

 

In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires‐

“counterfeit” applied to coin, means coin not genuine but resembling or apparently intended to resemble or pass for genuine coin, and includes genuine coin which has been prepared or altered so as to resemble or be apparently intended to resemble or pass for a coin of a higher denomination, or where the coin is that of a foreign sovereign or state, current coin, and also genuine coin which has been clipped or filed, or the size or weight of which has been otherwise diminished, and which has been prepared or altered so as to conceal such clipping, filing, or diminution: it includes any such coin whether it is or is not in a fit state to be uttered, and whether the process of preparation or alteration is or is not complete;

“current” applied to coins, means any coin of the coins or denominations coined for and lawfully current in Nigeria, and includes any other coin lawfully current in any other country;

“gold” and “silver” applied to coin, includes producing the appearance of gold or silver respectively by any means whatever;

“metal” includes any mixture or alloy of metals;

“nickel coin” includes any coin made of metal of a less value than the silver or alloy of silver used in the silver coin of the country in question, save that it does not include any of the coins of mixed metal current in Nigeria by virtue of any Act or the provisions of the Coins Act;

[Cap. C16.]

“silver coin” (except where it is used in the definition of “nickel coin”) includes any of the coins of mixed metal current in Nigeria by virtue of any Act or the provisions of the Coins Act; and

“utter” includes using, dealing with, or acting upon, and attempting to use, deal with, or act upon, and attempting to induce any person to use, deal with, or act upon the thing in question as if it were genuine.

147. Counterfeiting gold and silver coin

(1) Any person who makes or begins to make any counterfeit current gold or silver coin is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

(2) Where a person has ten or more unfinished counterfeit coins in his possession the court may presume that he has made them or has been a participant in the act of making them unless he proves the contrary.

148. Preparation for coining gold and silver coin

Any person who‐

(1) gilds or silvers any piece of metal of a fit size or figure to be coined, with intent that it shall be coined into counterfeit gold or silver coin; or

 

(2) makes any piece of metal into a fit size or figure to facilitate the coining from it of any counterfeit gold or silver coin, with intent that such counterfeit coin shall be made from it; or

(3) without lawful authority or excuse, the proof of which lies on him‐

(a) buys, sells, receives, pays, or disposes of, any counterfeit gold or silver coin at a lower rate than it imports or is apparently intended to import, or offers to do any such thing; or

(b) makes or mends, or begins or prepares to make or mend, or has in his possession, or disposes of, any stamp or mould which is adapted to make the resemblance of both or either of the sides of any gold or silver coin, or any part of either side thereof, knowing the same to be such a stamp or mould or to be so adapted; or

(c) makes or mends, or begins or prepares to make or mend, or has in his possession, or disposes of, any tool, instrument, or machine, which is adapted and intended to be used for marking coin round the edges with marks or figures apparently resembling those on the edges of any gold or silver coin, knowing the same to be so adapted and intended; or

(d) makes or mends, or begins or prepares to make or mend, or has in his possession, or disposes of, any press for coinage, or any tool, instrument, or machine, which is adapted for cutting round blanks out of gold, silver, or other metal, knowing such press, tool, instrument, or machine to have been used or to be intended to be used for making any counterfeit gold or silver coin; or

(e) knowingly conveys out of any mint within the Commonwealth any stamp, mould, tool, instrument, machine, or press, used or employed in coining, or any useful part of any of such thing, or any coin, bullion, or metal,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

148A. Unlawful inquiries with the object of making counterfeit coins

(1) Any person who without authority or excuse, the proof whereof lies on him, either orally or in writing makes any inquiry of any other person whether such last‐mentioned person be in Nigeria or at any place not in Nigeria‐

(a) as to obtaining or supplying or as to the cost of obtaining or supplying any machine, stamp, tool, instrument, metal or material which is adapted or is intended to be used‐

(i) to make the resemblance of both or either sides of any current coin or any part of either side thereof; or

 

(ii) to mark any coin or disc resembling coin or intended to resemble coin round the edges with marks, figures or letters apparently resembling those on the edges of any current coin; or

(iii) to cut round blanks out of metal or other substance,

knowing such machine, stamp, tool, instrument, metal or material to have been adapted or intended to be used for making any counterfeit coin or for performing any process in the manufacture of counterfeit coin; or

(a) as to making, obtaining or supplying or as to the cost of making, obtaining or supplying any counterfeit coin,

is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for one year.

(2) In the case of written inquiries in connection with any of the matters or subjects to which subsection (1) of this section relates, the fact that such inquiries were reduced into writing shall be sufficient proof of an attempt to commit the offence and the offender shall be subject to a like penalty as if he had committed the offence.

149. Clipping

Any person who deals with any current gold or silver coin in such a manner as to diminish its weight with intent that when so dealt with it may pass as current gold or silver coin, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

150. Possession of clippings

Any person who unlawfully has in his possession or disposes of any filings, or clippings of gold or silver, or any gold or silver in bullion, dust, solution, or any other state, obtained by dealing with current gold or silver coin in such a manner as to diminish its weight, knowing the same to have been so obtained, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

151. Uttering counterfeit current gold or silver coin

Any person who utters any counterfeit current gold or silver coin knowing it to be counterfeit, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

152. Repeated uttering of counterfeit current gold or silver coin, or possession of several such coins

(1) Any person who‐

(a) utters any counterfeit gold or silver coin, knowing it to be counterfeit, and at the time of such uttering has in his possession any other counterfeit gold or silver coin; or

 

(b) utters any counterfeit gold or silver coin, knowing it to be counterfeit, and either on the same day or on any of the ten days next ensuing, utters any other counterfeit current gold or silver coin, knowing it to be counterfeit; or

(c) has in his possession three or more pieces of counterfeit current gold or silver coin, knowing them to be counterfeit, and with intent to utter any of them,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for ten years.

(2) Where a person has ten or more counterfeit coins in his possession, the court may presume an intent to utter unless he proves the contrary.

153. Offences after previous conviction

Any person who commits any of the offences defined in sections 151 and 152 of this Code, after having been previously convicted of any of those offences committed with respect to current coin, or of any felony committed with respect to current coin, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

154. Counterfeiting nickel coin

Any person who‐

(a) makes, or begins to make, any counterfeit current nickel coin; or

(b) without lawful authority or excuse, the proof of which lies on him, knowingly makes or mends, or begins, or prepares to make or mend, or has in his possession, or disposes of, any tool, instrument, or machine, which is adapted and intended for making any counterfeit current nickel coin; or

(c) buys, sells, receives, pays, or disposes of, any counterfeit current nickel coin at a lower rate of value than it imports, or was apparently intended to import, or offers to do any such act,

is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

155. Uttering base nickel coin

(1) Any person who‐

(a) utters any counterfeit current nickel coin, knowing it to be counterfeit; or

(b) has in his possession three or more pieces of counterfeit current nickel coin, knowing them to be counterfeit, and with intent to utter any of them,

is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

 

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

(2) Where a person has ten or more counterfeit coins in his possession, the court may presume an intent to utter unless he proves the contrary.

156. Defacing coin by stamping words thereon

Any person who defaces any current coin by stamping thereon any name or word, whether the weight of the coin is or is not thereby diminished, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

157. Uttering foreign coin, medals, etc., as current coin with intent to defraud

Any person who, with intent to defraud, utters as and for current gold or silver coin‐

(a) any coin which is not current coin; or

(b) any metal or pieces of metal, whether a coin or not, which is of less value than the current coin as and for which it is uttered,

is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

158. Exporting counterfeit current coin

Any person who, without lawful authority or excuse, the proof of which lies on him, exports or puts on board of a vessel or vehicle of any kind for the purpose of being exported from Nigeria, any counterfeit current coin whatever, knowing it to be counterfeit, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

159. Unlawfully importing counterfeit coin

Any person who without lawful authority or excuse, the proof of which lies on him, imports or receives into Nigeria any counterfeit coin whatever, knowing it to be counterfeit, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

A person found committing the offence may be arrested without warrant.

160. Tender of defaced coin not legal tender: penalty for uttering

Any person who utters any current coin which is defaced by the stamping of any name or word thereon, is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of four naira.

 

A prosecution for any such offence cannot be commenced without the consent of a law officer. A tender of payment in money made in any coin so defaced is not a legal tender.

160A. Making, issue and circulation of promissory notes payable to bearer on demand, without authority

Any person, other than the Central Bank of Nigeria, who makes or issues within Nigeria promissory notes payable to bearer on demand or circulates within Nigeria any promissory note

payable to bearer on demand, is guilty of a misdemeanour and liable on conviction to a fine equal to double the value of any promissory note unlawfully made, issued or circulated or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months, or to both such imprisonment and fine.

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

160B. Portrayal of Nigerian notes and coins

Any person who, without the written permission of the Minister of the Federation charged with responsibility for matters relating to finance, makes or sells, or exposes or offers for sale, or uses for the purpose of advertising any material or document on or in which is portrayed a note or coin in any way resembling a currency note, bank note or coin current in Nigeria, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of two hundred naira.

[49 of 1960.]

CHAPTER 17

Offences relating to posts and telecommunications

161. Stopping mails

Any person who stops a mail with intent to search or rob postal matter is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

162. Intercepting telegrams or postal matter

Any person who unlawfully secretes or destroys any postal matter or telegram or any part of any such thing, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years, and if any such postal matter so secreted or destroyed shall contain any money or chattel whatsoever, or any valuable security, such person is liable to imprisonment for life.

163. Tampering with telegrams or postal matter

Any person who, being employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service, does with respect to any postal matter or telegram any act which he is not authorised to do by virtue of his employment, or knowingly permits any other person to do any such act with respect to any such thing, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

[1966 No. 84.]

164. Wilful misdelivery of telegrams or postal matter

Any person who, being charged by virtue of his employment or by virtue of any contract, with the delivery of any postal matter or telegram, wilfully delivers it to a person other than the person to whom it is addressed, or his authorised agent in that behalf, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

165. Obtaining telegrams or postal matter by false pretences

Any person who by means of any false pretence induces any person employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service or any telegraph official to deliver to him any postal matter or telegram which is not addressed to him, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

[1966 No. 84.]

166. Secreting letters and telegrams

Any person who wilfully secretes or detains any postal matter or telegram which is found by him, or which is wrongly delivered to him, and which, in either case, ought to his knowledge, to have been delivered to another person, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

167. Fraudulent issue of money orders and postal orders

Any person who, being employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service, and being charged by virtue of his employment with any duty in connection with the issue of money orders or postal orders, unlawfully, and with intent to defraud, issues a money order or postal order, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

[1966 No. 84.]

168. Fraudulent messages respecting money orders

Any person who, being employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service, and being charged by virtue of his employment with any duty in connection with money orders, sends to any other person, with intent to defraud, any false or misleading letter, telegram, or message concerning a money order, or concerning any money payable under a money order, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

[1966 No.84.]

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

169. Unlawful franking of letters

 

Any person who, being empowered under the provisions of any enactment or authorised by the Minister charged with responsibility for postal matter to frank postal matter, superscribes any postal matter‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) which does not relate to the business of his office or department; or

(b) into which there has been inserted any letter or other thing which does not relate to such business,

with intent to avoid payment of the postage on such postal matter or other letter or thing inserted as aforesaid into such postal matter, is guilty of an offence, and is liable to a fine of two hundred naira.

170. Sending dangerous or obscene things by post

Any person who knowingly sends, or attempts to send by post anything which‐

(a) encloses anything, whether living or inanimate, of such a nature as to be likely to injure any other thing in the course of conveyance or to injure any person; or

(b) encloses an indecent or obscene print, painting, photograph, lithograph, engraving, book, card, or article, or which has on it, or in it, or on its cover, any indecent, obscene, or grossly offensive words, marks, or designs,

is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

171. Retarding delivery of telegrams or postal matter

Any person who, being required by law or by virtue of his employment to do any act with respect to the receipt, despatch, or delivery, of any postal matter or telegram‐

[L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(a) neglects or refuses to do such act; or

(b) wilfully detains or delays, or permits the detention or delay of any such thing; or

(c) opens, or procures or suffers to be opened, any postal matter,

is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to a fine of two hundred naira or to imprisonment for one year:

Provided always that nothing herein contained shall extend to the opening or detaining of any postal matter or telegram returned by reason that the person to whom the same shall be directed is dead, or cannot be found, or shall have refused the same, or shall have refused or neglected to pay the postage thereof or any charges payable in respect thereof, nor to the opening or detaining or delaying of any postal matter or telegram under the authority of any Act or in obedience to an express warrant in writing under the hand of the Minister charged with responsibility for postal matter.

 

172. Obstructing mails

Any person who wilfully obstructs or delays the conveyance or delivery of postal matter, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of one hundred naira.

173. Penalty on loitering, carelessness in delivery of mails, etc.

(1) Any person who, being employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service to conveyor deliver postal matter whilst so employed‐

(a) allows any postal matter bag or postal matter out of his possession; or

(b) suffers any unauthorised person to interfere with any such postal matter bag or postal matter; or

(c) is guilty of any neglect whereby any such postal matter bag or postal matter is endangered; or

(d) loiters on the road; or

(e) wilfully misspends or loses time; or

(f) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(g) does not convey postal matter at the speed fixed by the Postmaster‐General for the conveyance thereof, unless prevented by some cause beyond his control, the proof, whereof lies on the person charged,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of twenty naira.

(2) Any person who, being employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service, negligently loses any postal mater or telegram or negligently detains or delays, or permits the detention or delay of, any postal matter or telegram, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of twenty naira.

174. Fraudulently removing stamps

Any person who, with intent to defraud‐

(1) removes from any postal matter or telegram any stamp affixed thereon; or

(2) removes from any stamp previously used any mark thereon at a postal or telegraph office; or

(3) knowingly uses a postage stamp which has been obliterated or defaced by a mark made thereon at a post or telegraph office; or

(4) knowingly tampers with a postage stamp by smearing or coating the surface with mucilage or any other substance so that it may be used again at a post or telegraph office,

 

is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of one hundred naira.

On the trial of a person charged with the offence of knowingly using a postage stamp which has been obliterated or defaced by a mark made thereon at a post office, proof that the person charged is the writer of the address of anything sent by post on which the stamp is affixed is sufficient evidence that he is the person who used the stamp, until the contrary is shown.

175. Fraudulent evasion of postal laws

Any person who‐

(1) knowingly and fraudulently puts into a post office anything in or upon which, or in or upon the cover of which there is any letter, newspaper, or other thing, or any writing or mark, not allowed by law to be there placed; or

(2) wilfully subscribes on the outside of anything sent by post a false statement of its contents;

or

(3) knowingly and fraudulently puts into a post office anything which falsely purports to be a thing falling within any exemption or privilege declared by the laws relating to postal matter,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of one hundred naira.

176. Carrying letters otherwise than by post

Any person who, not being authorised by the Postmaster‐General

[1966 No. 84.]

(1) sends or conveys a letter otherwise than by post; or

(2) takes charge of a letter for conveyance,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of one hundred naira.

This section of this Code does not extend to a letter sent or conveyed to a place in Nigeria with which postal communication has not been established, nor to a letter exceeding the weight prescribed by law for letters sent by post, nor to a letter sent by a private friend without hire or reward, on his way, journey, or travel, so as such letter be delivered to the party to whom it is directed, nor to a letter to be sent out of Nigeria by a vessel not being a packet boat, nor to a letter concerning goods sent and to be delivered with it, without any hire or reward being paid or received in respect thereof, or containing process of, or proceedings or pleadings in, a court of justice, or briefs or cases, of instructions for counsel and their opinions thereon, or containing a deed, affidavit, or power of attorney, nor to a letter sent by a special messenger and concerning the private affairs of the sender, nor to a letter sent or carried to or from the nearest post office:

 

Provided always that nothing in this section of this Code shall authorise any of the persons hereinafter named to carry a letter, or to receive or collect or deliver a letter, although they shall not receive hire or reward for the same‐

(a) common carriers, except a letter concerning goods which they are conveying;

(b) officers of the Nigerian Postal Service;

(c) owners, masters, or commanders of vessels being passage or packet boats, sailing and passing between places in Nigeria with which postal communication has been established, except in respect of letters concerning goods on board, or letters belonging to the owners of such vessels;

(d) passengers, members of the crew, or other persons on board any such vessels as is mentioned in paragraph (c) of this section;

(e) owners of, members of the crew, or others on board a vessel passing or repassing on a river within Nigeria, except with respect to places in Nigeria with which postal communication has not been established.

177. Illegally making of postal envelopes or setting up post office or office for sale of stamp, or imitating post office

Any person who‐

[1966 No. 84. L.N. 112 of 1964.]

(1) without lawful authority or excuse, the proof of which lies on him‐

(a) makes any envelope, wrapper, card, form, or paper, in imitation of one issued by or under the authority of the Postmaster‐General or of the postal authority of any other country, or having thereon any word, letter, or mark, which signifies or implies, or may reasonably induce a person receiving it to believe, that a letter, newspaper, packet, or parcel, bearing such word,

letter, or mark, is sent on State service, or on the public service of another country; or

(b) makes on any envelope, wrapper, card, form, or paper, in order to its being issued or sent by post or otherwise, any stamp or mark in imitation of a stamp or mark of any post office under the control of the Postmaster‐General or of the postal authority of any other country, or any other stamp or mark, or any word or letter, which signifies or implies, or may reasonably induce a person receiving it to believe, that a letter, newspaper, packet, or parcel, bearing such stamp, mark, word, or letter, is sent on State service, or on the public service of another country; or

(c) issues or sends by post or otherwise, any envelope, wrapper, card, form, or paper, so marked; or

 

(2) without the authority of the Postmaster‐General, the proof of which lies on the person charged, places or maintains, or permits to be placed or maintained, or to remain in, on, or near, any place under his control‐

(i) the words “post office”; or

(ii) the words “letter box“, accompanied with words, letters or marks which signify or imply, or may reasonably lead the public to believe, that it is a receptacle provided by the authority of the Postmaster‐General for the reception of postal matter; or

(iii) any words, letters or marks which signify or imply, or may reasonably lead the public to believe, that any place is a post office, or that any such receptacle is provided by the authority of the Postmaster‐General as aforesaid; or

(3) without the authority of the Postmaster‐General, the proof of which lies on the person charged, places, or permits to be placed or to remain, on any vehicle or vessel under his control the words “royal mail”, or any word, letter or mark, which signifies or implies, or may reasonably induce any person to believe, that the vehicle or vessel is used for the conveyance of mails; or

(4) without the licence of the Minister charged with responsibility for postal matters, the proof of which lies on the person charged‐

(i) sells, or offers or exposes for sale, any postage stamp; or

(ii) places, permits to be placed or to remain, on or near to his house or premises the words “licensed to sell stamps”, or any word, letter or mark, which signifies or implies, or may reasonably induce any person to believe, that he is duly licensed to sell postage stamps,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of ten naira.

178. Destroying or damaging letter box

Any person who wilfully destroys or damages any receptacle provided by authority of the Postmaster‐ General for the receipt of postal matter, or any card or notice relating to the postal or telegraph service set up by authority of the Postmaster‐General, or obliterates any letter or figure on any such thing, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of one hundred naira.

[1966 No. 84.]

179. Placing injurious substances in or against letter box

Any person who places in or against any receptacle provided by authority of the Postmaster‐General for the reception of postal matter or telegrams, any fire or match, or any explosive, dangerous, noxious or deleterious substance, or any fluid or filth, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of forty naira.

 

[1966 No. 84.]

180. Defacing post office or letter box

Any person who without the licence of the Postmaster‐General affixes, or attempts to affix, any placard, advertisement, notice, list, document, board, or paint, tar, or other thing to any post office or telegraph office, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of ten naira.

[1966 No. 84.]

181. Obstructing post and telegraph offices

Any person who, by stopping or loitering opposite to or on the premises of a post office or telegraph office, obstructs the business of the office or any other person lawfully going to the office, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of ten naira.

182. Obstructing post and telegraph officers in the execution of duty

Any person who‐

[1966 No. 84.]

(1) wilfully obstructs a person employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service or any telegraph official in the execution of the duties of his employment; or

(2) being in a post office or telegraph office, or within any premises appertaining to a post office or telegraph office, or used therewith, wilfully obstructs the business of the office; or

(3) without the permission of a competent authority enters any part of a telegraph office to which the public are not admitted,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of four naira.

Any person employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service or any telegraph official may require any person committing any of the offences defined in this section of this Code to leave the post office, or telegraph office, or premises.

Any person who refuses or fails to comply with such request is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a further fine of ten naira, and may be removed by any person authorised to make the request; and all members of the police force are required, on demand, to remove or assist in removing such person.

183. Contravening exclusive privilege of the Nigerian Postal Services Department

Any person who‐

(a) not being authorised by or under any Act so to do, establishes or maintains any telegraph; or

 

(b) knowing or having reason to believe that a telegraph has been established or is maintained without such authority as aforesaid, transmits or receives any message by such telegraph or performs any service incidental thereto, or delivery of any message for transmission by such telegraph or accepts delivery of any message sent thereby,

is guilty of a simple offence and is liable on a first conviction to a fine of twenty naira, and on every subsequent conviction to a fine of one hundred naira.

184. (Deleted by 1975 No. 30).

185. (Deleted by 1975 No. 30).

186. Negligently injuring telegraphs

Any person who negligently destroys or damages any telegraph works, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to a fine of four naira.

187. Violation of secrecy

Any telegraph official who, contrary to his duty, publishes or communicates the contents or substance of a telegram, or any information relating to the despatch or receipt of any telegram, except to some person to whom he is authorised to deliver the telegram, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

188. Resisting officers

Any person who resists a person employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Service while engaged in the execution of his duty under the laws relating to posts and telegraphs, is guilty of a simple offence and is liable to imprisonment for three months, or to a fine of forty naira.

[1966 No. 84.]

189. Laying property in postal matter and telegraph works

(1) In case of any offence under this Code in respect of any postal matter bag or postal matter, or of any chattel, money, or valuable security sent by post, it shall be sufficient in any proceedings to lay the ownership in the Postmaster‐General.

[1966 No. 84.]

(2) In case of any offence under this Code in respect of any telegram, telegraph line or telegraph works, established under the provisions of the Wireless Telegraphs Act, or the Telegraphs Proclamation, or in respect of any form, paper, book, or other thing used for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of such Act or proclamation, it shall be sufficient in any proceedings to lay the ownership in the Postmaster‐General.

[Cap. W5.]

 

(3) In any such proceedings as aforesaid, it shall not be necessary to prove ownership, or to allege or prove any value.

CHAPTER 18

Miscellaneous offences against public authority

190. False declaration as to execution of sentence of death

Any person who subscribes a certificate or declaration as to the execution of a sentence of death, which, in any material particular, is to his knowledge false, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

190A. False statements in application for passports

Any person who for the purpose of procuring a passport, whether for himself or any other individual, makes or causes to be made in any written application to a public officer a statement which to the knowledge of such person is false in any material particular, is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

191. False statements in statements required to be under oath or solemn declaration

Any person who, on any occasion on which a person making a statement touching any matter is required by law to make it on oath, or under some sanction which may by law be substituted for an oath, or is required to verify it by solemn declaration or affirmation, makes a statement touching such matter which, in any material particular, is to his knowledge false, and verifies it on oath, or under such other sanction or by solemn declaration or affirmation, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

192. False declarations and statements

Any person who, on any occasion on which he is permitted or required by law to make a statement or declaration before any person authorised by law to permit it to be made before him, makes a statement or declaration before that person which, in any material particular, is to his knowledge false, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

193. Evidence

A person cannot be convicted of any of the offences defined in sections 191 and 192 of this Code upon the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.