Section 22-36 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

Section 22-36 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

Section 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act is under chapter V of the Act. This chapter is titled Criminal Responsibility.

Section 22 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 23 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 24 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 25 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 26 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 27 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 28 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 29 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 30 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 31 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 32 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 33 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 34 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

No conspiracy between husband and wife alone
A husband and wife of Christian marriage are not criminally responsible for a conspiracy between
themselves alone.

Section 35 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Section 36 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act

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.

Credit: https://lawsofnigeria.placng.org/laws/C38.pdf

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