Section 252-280 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Section 252-280 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Section 252 to 299 of the Nigerian Criminal Code is under Chapter 25 (Assaults and violence to the person generally; justification and excuse) of the Act.

Section 252 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Definition of assault

A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to the person of
another, either directly or indirectly, without his consent, or with his consent, if the consent is obtained
by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the
person of another without his consent, in such circumstances that the person making the attempt or
threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect his purpose, is said to assault that other
person, and the act is called an assault.
The term “applies force” includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any
other substance of thing whatever, if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort.

Section 253 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Assaults unlawful

An assault is unlawful and constitutes an offence unless it is authorised or justified or excused by law.
The application of force by one person to the person of another may be unlawful, although it is done
with the consent of that other person.

Section 254 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Execution of sentence

It is lawful for a person who is charged by law with the duty of executing or giving effect to the lawful
sentence of a court (including a customary and an area court) to execute or give effect to that sentence.

Section 255 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Execution of process

It is lawful for a person who is charged by law with the duty of executing the lawful process of a court
(including a customary and an area court) and who is required to arrest or detain another person under
such process, and for every person lawfully assisting a person so charged, to arrest or detain that other
person according to the terms of the process.

Section 256 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Execution of warrant

It is lawful for a person who is charged by law with the duty of executing a lawful warrant issued by any
court (including customary and an area court) or judicial officer, or other person having jurisdiction to
issue it, and who is required to arrest or detain another person under such warrant, and for every
person lawfully assisting a person so charged, to arrest or detain that other person according to the
directions of the warrant.

Section 257 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Erroneous sentence or process or warrant

If the sentence was passed, or the process was issued, by a court (including a native tribunal) having
jurisdiction under any circumstances to pass such a sentence or to issue such process, or if the warrant
was issued by a court (including a customary and an area court) or judicial officer or other person having
authority in any circumstances to issue such a warrant, it is immaterial whether the court or judicial
officer or person had or had not authority to pass the sentence or issue the process or warrant in the
particular case; unless the person executing the same knows that the sentence or process or warrant,
was in fact passed or issued without authority.

Section 258 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Sentence or process or warrant without jurisdiction

A person who executes or assists in executing any sentence, or process, or warrant which purports to be
passed or issued by a court (including a native tribunal), judicial officer, or other person, and who would
be justified, under the provisions of sections 254, 255, 256 and 257 of this Code, in executing the same if
it had been passed or issued by a court (including a customary and an area court), or judicial officer, or
person, having authority to pass or issue it, is not criminally responsible for any act done in such
execution notwithstanding that the court, judicial officer or person, had no authority to pass the
sentence or issue the process or warrant, if in such execution he acted in good faith and in the belief
that the sentence, process or warrant was that of a court, judicial officer, or other person, having such
authority.

Section 259 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Arrest of wrong person

A person who, being duly authorised to execute a warrant to arrest one person, arrests another person,
believing in good faith and on reasonable grounds that the person arrested is the person named in the
warrant, is not criminally responsible for doing so to any greater extent than if the person arrested had
been the person named in the warrant.
Any person who lawfully assists in making such an arrest believing that the person arrested is the person
named in the warrant, or who, being required by the warrant to receive and detain the person named in
it, receives and detains the person so arrested, is not criminally responsible for doing so to any greater
extent than if the person arrested had been the person named in the warrant.

Section 260 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Irregular process or warrant

When any process or warrant is bad in law by reason of some defect in substance or in form apparent
on the face of it, a person who, in good faith and believing that it is good in law, acts in the execution of
the process or warrant, is not criminally responsible for anything done in such execution to any greater
extent than if the process or warrant were good in law.

Section 261 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Force used in executing process or in arrest

It is lawful for a person who is engaged in the lawful execution of any sentence, process or warrant, or in
making any arrest, and for any person lawfully assisting him, to use such force as may be reasonably
necessary to overcome any force used in resisting such execution or arrest.

Section 262-270 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945).

Section 271 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Peace officer preventing escape from arrest

When a peace officer or police officer is proceeding lawfully to arrest, with or without warrant, a person
for an offence which is a felony, and is such that the offender may be arrested without warrant, and the
person sought to be arrested takes to flight in order to avoid arrest, it is lawful for the peace officer or
police officer and for any person lawfully assisting him, to use such force as may be reasonably
necessary to prevent the escape of the person sought to be arrested, and, if the offence is such that the
offender may be punished with death or with imprisonment for seven years or more, may kill him if he
cannot by any means otherwise be arrested.

Section 272 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Other cases of preventing escape from arrest

When a person who is not a peace officer or police officer is proceeding lawfully to arrest, without
warrant, another person for an offence which is such that the offender may be arrested without
warrant, and when any person is proceeding lawfully to arrest another person for any cause other than
such an offence, and, in either case, the person sought to be arrested takes to flight in order to avoid
arrest, it is lawful for the person seeking to arrest him to use such force as may be reasonably necessary
to prevent his escape.

But this section of this Code does not authorise the use of force which is intended or is likely to cause
death or grievous harm.

Section 273 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Preventing escape or rescue after arrest

When any person has lawfully arrested another person for any offence, it is lawful for him to use such
force as he believes, on reasonable grounds, to be necessary to prevent the escape or rescue of the
person arrested.
But, if the offence is not one which is such that the offender may be arrested without warrant, this
section of this Code shall not authorise the use of force which is intended or is likely to cause death or
grievous harm.

Section 274 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

(Repealed by No. 43 of 1945).

Section 275 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Preventing a breach of the peace

It is lawful for any person who witnesses a breach of the peace to interfere to prevent the continuance
or renewal of it, and to use such force as is reasonably necessary for such prevention and is reasonably
proportioned to the danger to be apprehended from such continuance or renewal, and to detain any
person who is committing or who is about to join in or to renew the breach of the peace for such time as
may be reasonably necessary in order to give him into the custody of a peace officer or police officer.
It is lawful for a peace officer or police officer who witnesses a breach of the peace, and for any person
lawfully assisting him, to arrest any person whom he finds committing it, or whom he believes on
reasonable grounds to be about to join or renew the breach of the peace.
It is lawful for a peace officer or police officer to receive into custody and detain in custody any person
given into his charge as having been a party to a breach of the peace by a person whom the peace
officer or police officer believes, on reasonable grounds, to have witnessed the breach of the peace.

Section 276 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Suppression of riot

It is lawful for any person to use such force as is necessary to suppress a riot, and is reasonably
proportioned to the danger to be apprehended from its continuance.

Section 277 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Suppression of riot by peace officers

It is lawful for a peace officer to use or order to be used such force as he believes, on reasonable
grounds, to be necessary in order to suppress a riot, and is reasonably proportioned to the danger which
he believes, on reasonable grounds, is to be apprehended from its continuance.

Section 278 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Suppression of riot by person acting under lawful orders

It is lawful for any person acting in good faith in obedience to orders, not manifestly unlawful, given by a
peace officer for the suppression of a riot, to use such force as he believes, on reasonable grounds, to be
necessary for carrying such orders into effect. Whether any particular order so given is or is not
manifestly lawful, is a question of law.

Section 279 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

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

When any person, whether subject to military law or not, believes, on reasonable grounds, that serious
mischief will arise from a riot before there is time to procure the intervention of a peace officer, it is
lawful for him to use such force as he believes, on reasonable grounds, to be necessary for the
suppression of the riot, and as is reasonably proportioned to the danger which he believes, on
reasonable grounds, is to be apprehended from its continuance.

Section 280 of the Nigerian Criminal Code

Riot: persons subject to Military Law or members of the Police Forces

It is lawful for a person who is bound by the laws in force relative to the Armed Forces of Nigeria or to
the Police Forces to obey the lawful commands of his superior officer, to obey any command given him
by his superior officer, in order to see the suppression of a riot, unless the command is manifestly
unlawful. Whether any particular command is or is not manifestly unlawful, is a question of law.
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]


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

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