Nigerian 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. 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 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]
- 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.
- 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.
(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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- Civil remedies
When by the Code any act is declared to be lawful, no action can be brought in respect thereof.
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.
- 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.
- 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