Section 1-6 Of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

Section 1-6 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

Section 1 to 6 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act is titled Interpretation.

Section 1 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

(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”, include-

(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; and

“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 he 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 the 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, 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 Services Department, 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;

SEE ALSO  Section 61-68 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

“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 Services Department” 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 Service 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 Department;

“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 ’till kinds, and any other associations of persons capable of owning property; and
also, when so used, include the State;

“person employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Services Department” includes an officer of
the said Department 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 as amended 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 subheads
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 forces;

“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;

SEE ALSO  Section 480-489 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

“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, include any structure room, place or receptacle,
of any kind, appointed in pursuance of the Nigerian Postal Services Department 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;

“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 he 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 public 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 Services Department 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;

SEE ALSO  Section 22-36 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

“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 purposes of this definition, which can be
touched without dividing or piercing any other membrane.

Section 2 of the Nigerian Criminal code Act

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

Section 3 of the Nigerian Criminal code Act

Offences are of three kinds, namely, felonies, misdemeanours, and simple offence.

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

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

Section 4 of the Nigerian Criminal code Act

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.

Section 5 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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 pr 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.

Section 6 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Credit: https://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/ng/ng025en.pdf

Published by

Inioluwa Olaposi

Hi, there. I'm Inioluwa, founder of LawHub NG. I study Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. And I am interested in entrepreneurship and human development. Contact me at Inioluwa@lawhub.com.ng.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.