Constitution of Nigeria

Court of Appeal
High Courts

Home Page

Law Reporting

Laws of the Federation of Nigeria
Legal Education
Q&A
Supreme Court
Jobs at Nigeria-law

 

Part 5

Offences 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.         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.

 

253.         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.

 

254.         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.

 

255.         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 Area Court) and who is required to arrest or detail 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 term of the process.

 

256.         It is lawful for a person who is charged by law with the duty d by any court executing a lawful warrant issued by any court(including a 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.

 

257.         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.

 

258.         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 the four last preceding sections, 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.

 

259.         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.

 

260.         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.

 

261.         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.

 

262 to 270 inclusive, Repealed by No. 43 of 1945.

 

271.         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.

 

272.         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 does not authorise the use of force which is intended or is likely to cause death or grievous harm.

 

273.         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 arr5sted without warrant, this section shall not authorise the use of force which is intended or is likely to cause death or grievous harm.

 

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         (Repealed by No. 43 of 1945.)

 

275.         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 in 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.

 

276.         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.

 

277.         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.

 

278.         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 unlawful is a question of law.

 

279.         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 his its continuance

 

280.         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 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.

 

281.         It is lawful for any person to use such force as is reasonably necessary in order to prevent the commission of an offence which is such that the offender may be arrested without warrant; or in order to prevent any act from being done as to which he believes, on reasonable grounds, that it would, if done, amount to any such offence; or in order to prevent a person whom he believes, on reasonable grounds, to be of unsound mind, from doing violence to any person or property.

 

282.         It is lawful for any person who is in peaceable possession of a dwelling-house, and for any person lawfully assisting him or acting by his authority, to use such force as he believes, on reasonable grounds, to be necessary in order to prevent the forcible breaking and entering of the dwelling-house, either by night or day, by any person whom he believes, on reasonable grounds, to be attempting to break and enter the dwelling- house with intent to commit a felony or misdemeanour therein.

 

283.        The term "provocation", used with reference to an offence of which an assault is an element, includes, except as hereinafter stated, any wrongful act or insult of such a nature as to be likely, when done to an ordinary person, or in the presence of an ordinary person to another person who is under his immediate care, or to whom he stands in a conjugal, parental, filial, or fraternal, relation, or in the relation of master or servant, to deprive him of the power of self-control, and to induce him to assault the person by whom the act or insult is done or offered.

 

                When such an act or insult is done or offered by one person to another, or in the presence of another to a person who is under the immediate care of that other, or to whom the latter stands in any such relation as aforesaid, the former is said to give to the latter provocation for an assault.

 

                 A lawful act is not provocation to any person for an assault. An act which a person does in consequence of excitement given by another person in order to induce him to do the act, and thereby to furnish an excuse for committing an assault, is not provocation to that other person for an assault.

 

                An arrest which is unlawful is not necessarily provocation for an assault, but it may be evidence of provocation to a person who knows of the illegality.

 

284.         A person is not criminally responsible for an assault committed upon a person who gives him provocation for the assault, if he is in fact deprived by the provocation of the power of self-control, and acts upon it on the sudden and before there is time for his passion to cool; provided that the force used is not disproportionate to the provocation, and is not intended, and is not such as is likely, to cause death or grievous harm.

    

                Whether any particular act or insult is such as to be likely to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control and to induce him to assault the person by-whom the act or insult is done or offered, and whether, in any particular case, the person provoked was actually deprived by the provocation of the power of self-control, and whether any force used is or is not disproportionate to the provocation, are questions of fact.

 

285.        It is lawful for any person to use such force as is reasonably necessary to prevent the repetition of an act or insult of such a nature as to be provocation to him for an assault:

 

                Provided that the force used is not intended and is not such as is likely, to cause death or grievous harm.

 

286.         When a person is unlawfully assaulted, and has not provoked the assault, it is lawful for him to use such force to the assailant as is reasonably necessary to make effectual defence against the assault:

 

                Provided that the force used is not intended, and is not such as is likely, to cause death or grievous harm.

 

                 If the nature of the assault is such as to cause reasonable apprehension of death or grievous harm, and the person using force by way of defence believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve the person defended from death or grievous harm, it is lawful for him to use any such force to the assailant as is necessary for defence, even though such force may cause death or grievous harm.

 

287.         When a person has unlawfully assaulted another or has provoked an assault from another, and that other assaults him with such violence as to cause reasonable apprehension of death or grievous harm, and to induce against provoked him to believe, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary for his preservation from death or grievous harm to use force in self-defence, he is not criminally responsible for using any such force as is reasonably necessary for such preservation, although such force may cause death or grievous harm.

 

                This protection does not extend to a case in which the person using force, which causes death or grievous harm, first began the assault with intent to kill or to do grievous harm to some person; nor to a case in which the person using force which causes death or grievous harm endeavoured to kill or to do grievous harm to some person before the necessity of so preserving himself arose; nor, in either case, unless, before such necessity arose, the person using such force declined further conflict, and quitted it or retreated from it as far as was practicable.

 

288.         In any case in which it is lawful for any person to use force in any degree for the purpose a defending himself against an assault, it is lawful for any other person acting in, good faith in his aid to use a like degree of force for the purpose of defending such first-mentioned person.

 

289.         It is lawful for any person who is in peaceable possession of any movable property, and for any person acting by his authority, to use such force as is reasonably necessary in order to resist the taking of such property by a trespasser, or in order to retake it from a trespasser, provided that he does not do harm to the trespasser.

 

290.        When a person is in peaceable possession of any movable property under a claim of right, it is lawful for him, and for any person acting by his authority, to use such force as is reasonably necessary in order to defend his possession of the property, even against a person who is entitled by law to possession of the property, provided that he does not do harm to such other person.

 

291.        When a person who is entitled by law to the possession of movable property attempts to take from a person who is in possession of the Property, but who neither claims right to it, nor acts by the authority of a person who claims right, and the person in possession resists him, it is lawful for the person so entitled to possession to use force in order to obtain possession of the property, provided that he does not do harm to the person in possession.

 

292.         It is lawful for a person who is in peaceable possession of any land, structure, vessel or place, or who is entitled to the control or management of any land, structure, vessel, or place, and for any person acting by his authority, to use such force as is reasonably necessary in order to prevent any person from wrongfully entering upon such land, structure, vessel, or place, or in order to remove therefrom a person who wrongfully remains therein, provided that he does not do harm to such person.

 

                It is lawful for a person who is in peaceable possession of any land, structure, vessel, or place, or who is entitled to the control or management of any land, structure, vessel, or place, and for any person acting by his authority, to use force in order to remove therefrom any person who conducts himself in a disorderly manner therein, provided that he does not do him harm.

 

                The term "place" includes any part of an enclosure or structure, whether separated from the rest of the enclosure or structure, by a partition, fence, rope, or any other means, or not.

 

293.         When a person is in peaceable possession of any land, structure, or vessel, with a claim of right, it is lawful for him, and for any person acting by his authority, to use such force as is reasonably necessary in order to defend his possession, even against a person who is entitled by law to the possession of the property, provided that he does not do harm to such person.

 

294.        When a person who claims to be lawfully entitled to enter upon land for the exercise of a right of way or other easement or profit enters upon the land for the purpose of exercising such right of way, easement, or profit, after notice that his right to use such way or easement or to take such profit is disputed by the person in possession of the land, or having entered persists in his entry after such notice, it is lawful for the person in possession, and for any person acting by his authority to use such force as is reasonably necessary for the purpose of making the person so entering desist from the entry, provided that he does not do him harm.

 

295.         A blow or other force, not in any case extending to a wound or grievous harm, may be justified for the purpose of correction as follows-

 

(1)            a father or mother may correct his or her legitimate or illegitimate child, being under sixteen years of age, or any guardian or person acting as a guardian, his ward, being under sixteen years of age, for misconduct or disobedience to any lawful command;

 

(2)            a master may correct his servant or apprentice, being under sixteen years of age, for misconduct or default in his duty as such servant or apprentice;

 

(3)            the master of a ship may correct any person on board his ship who is bound to perform any manual labour, for misconduct or disobedience to any lawful command;

 

(4)            a father or mother or guardian, or a person acting as a guardian, may delegate to any person whom he or she entrusts permanently or temporarily with the governance or custody of his or her child or ward all his or her own authority for correction, including the power to determine in what cases correction ought to he inflicted; and such a delegation shall be presumed, except in so far as it may be expressly withheld, in the case of a schoolmaster or a person acting as a schoolmaster, in respect of a child or ward;

 

 

(5)            a person who is authorised to inflict correction as in this section mentioned may, in any particular case, delegate to any fit person the infliction of such correction; and

 

(6)            no correction can be justified which is unreasonable in kind or in degree, regard being had to the age and physical and mental condition of the person on whom it is inflicted; and no correction can be justified in the case of a person who, by reason of tender years or otherwise, is incapable of understanding the purpose for which it is inflicted.

 

296.        The master of a vessel, or any person acting by his order, may justify the use of any such force against any person on board the vessel as is necessary for suppressing any mutiny or disorder on board the vessel, whether among officers, seamen, or passengers, whereby the safety of the vessel, or of any person therein or about to enter or quitting the same, is likely to be endangered, or the master is threatened to be subjected to the commands of any other person; and may kill any person who is guilty of or abets such mutiny or disorder, if the safety of the vessel, or the preservation of any such person as aforesaid, cannot be otherwise secured.

 

297.         A person is not criminally responsible for performing in good faith and with reasonable care and skill a surgical operation upon any person for his benefit, or upon an unborn child for the preservation of the mother's life, if the performance of the operation is reasonable, having regard to the patient's state at the time and to all the circumstances of the case.

 

298.         Any person authorised by law to use force is criminally responsible for any excess, according to the nature and quality of the act which constitutes the excess.

 

299.         Consent by a person to the causing of his own death does not affect the criminal responsibility of any person by whom such death is caused.

 

 

Chapter 26

Duties relating to the Preservation of Human Life

 

 

300.         It is the duty of every person having charge of another who is unable by reason of age, sickness, unsoundness of mind, detention or any other cause to withdraw himself from such charge, and who is unable to provide himself with the necessaries of life, whether the charge is undertaken under a contract, or is imposed by law, or arises by reason of any act, whether lawful or unlawful, of the person who has such charge, to provide for that other person the necessaries of life; and he is held to have caused any consequences which result to the life or health of the other person by reason of any omission to perform that duty.

 

301.         It is the duty of every person who, as head of a family, has charge of a child under the age of fourteen years, being a member of his household, to provide the necessaries of life for such child; and he is held to have caused any consequences which result to the life or health of the child by reason of any omission to perform that duty, whether the child is helpless or not.

 

302.         It is the duty of every person who as master or mistress has contracted to provide necessary food, clothing, or lodging, for any servant or apprentice under the age of sixteen years to provide the same; and he or she is held to have caused any consequences which result to the life or health of the servant or apprentice by reason of any omission to perform that duty.

 

303.         It is the duty of every person who, except in a case of necessity, undertakes to administer surgical or medical treatment to any other person, or to do any other lawful act which is or may be dangerous to human life or health, to have reasonable skill and to use reasonable care in doing such act; and he is held to have caused any consequences which result to the life or health of any person by reason of any omission to observe or perform that duty.

 

304.         It is the duty of every person who has in his charge or under his control anything, whether living or inanimate, and whether moving or stationary, of such a nature that, in the absence of care or precaution in its use or management, the life, safety, or health, of any person may be endangered, to use reasonable care and take reasonable precautions to avoid such danger; and he is held to have caused any consequences which result to the life or health of any person by reason of any omission to perform that duty.

 

305.         When a person undertakes to do any act the omission to do which is or may be dangerous to human life or health, it is his duty to do that act; and he is held to have caused any consequences which result to the life or health of any person by reason of any omission to perform that duty.

 

305A.  (1)       Any person employed in any undertaking concerned in the supply of electricity or water who maliciously breaks his contract of service, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequence of his so doing, either alone or in combination with others, will be to deprive the community or any part thereof either wholly or to a great extent of the supply of electricity or water, shall be guilty of an offence.

 

   (2)         Any person who maliciously breaks a contract of service knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequences of his so doing, either alone or in combination with others, will be to endanger human life or seriously to endanger public health, including the health of the inmates of a hospital or similar institution, or to cause serious bodily injury, or to expose valuable property, whether real or personal, to destruction or serious injury, shall be guilty of an offence.

 

   (3)         For the purpose of this section-

 

(i)            "maliciously" means with the intention of producing any of the consequences set out in subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be, or with a reckless disregard of whether such consequences are produced or not; and

 

(ii)            the termination of any contract of service, either alone or in combination with others, on less than seven days' notice of intention so to terminate, in such circumstances that the actual or probable consequences of the termination are those set out in subsection (1) or (2), shall, where the length of such notice required by any enactment, or by any contract of service, is more than seven days, be deemed to be a malicious breach of contract, and the words "maliciously breaks" in this section shall be construed accordingly,

 

  (4)          Any person guilty of an offence against any of the provisions of this section shall be liable , on conviction to a fine of one hundred naira or to imprisonment for six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

  (5)          No prosecution for an offence under this section shall be instituted without the written consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

 

 

 

Chapter 27

Homicide. Suicide,- Infanticide; Concealment of Birth; Unlawful Possession of Human Head

 

 

306.         It is unlawful to kill any person unless such killing is authorised or justified or excused by law.

 

307.         A child becomes a person capable of being killed when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother, whether it has breathed or not, and whether it has an independent circulation or not, and whether the navel-string is severed or not.

 

308.         Except as hereinafter set forth, any person who causes the death of another, directly or indirectly, by any means whatever, is deemed to have killed that other person.

 

309.         When a child dies in consequence of an act done or omitted to be done by any person before or during its birth, the person who did or omitted to do such act is deemed to have killed the child.

 

310.         A person who, by threats or intimidation or by deceit, causes another person to do an act or make an omission which results in the death of that other person, is deemed to have killed him.

 

311.         A person who does any act or makes any omission which hastens the death of another person who, when the act is done or the omission is made, is labouring under some disorder or disease arising from another cause, is deemed to have killed that other person.

 

312.         When a person causes a bodily injury to another from which death results, it is immaterial that the injury might have been avoided by proper precaution on the part of the person injured, or that his death from that injury might have been prevented by proper care or treatment.

 

313.         When a person does grievous harm to another, and such other person has recourse to surgical or medical treatment, and death results either from the injury or the treatment, he is deemed to have killed that other person, although the immediate cause of death was the surgical or medical treatment, provided that the treatment was reasonably proper under the circumstances, and was applied in good faith.

 

314.         A person is not deemed to have killed another, if the death of that other person does not take place within a year and a day of the cause of death.

 

                Such period is reckoned inclusive of the day on which the last unlawful act contributing to the cause of death was done.

 

                When the cause of death is an omission to observe or perform a duty, the period is reckoned inclusive of the day on which the omission ceased.

 

                When the cause of death is in part an unlawful act, and in part an omission to observe or perform a duty, the period is reckoned inclusive of the day on which the last unlawful act was done or the day on which the omission ceased, whichever is the later.

 

315.         Any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of an offence which is called murder or manslaughter, according to the circumstances of the case.

 

316.         Except as hereinafter set forth, a person who unlawfully kills, another under any of the following circumstances, that is to say-

 

(1)            if the offender intends to cause the death of the person killed, or that of some other person;

 

(2)            if the offender intends to do to the person killed or to some other person some grievous harm;

 

(3)            if death is caused by means of an act done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose, which act is of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life;

 

(4)            if the offender intends to do grievous harm to some person for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence which is such that the offender may be arrested without warrant, or for the purpose of facilitating the flight of an offender who has committed or attempted to commit any such offence;

 

(5)            if death is caused by administering any stupefying or overpowering things for either of the purposes last aforesaid;

 

(6)            if death is caused by wilfully stopping the breath of any person for either of such purposes;

 

                is guilty of murder.

 

                In the second case it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt the particular person who is killed.

 

                In the third case it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt any person.

 

                In the three last cases it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to cause death or did not know that death was likely to result.

 

317.         A person who unlawfully kills another in such circumstances as not to constitute murder is guilty of manslaughter.

 

318.        When a person who unlawfully kills another in circumstances which, but for the provisions of this section, would constitute murder does the act which causes death in the heat of passion caused by grave and sudden provocation, and before there is time for his passion to cool, he is guilty of manslaughter only.

 

319.  (1)           Subject to the provisions of this section any person who commits the offence of murder shall he sentenced to death.

 

(2)            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 murder 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.

 

(3)            Where a woman who has been convicted of murder 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 he complied with.

 

320.         Any person who-

 

  (1)         attempts unlawfully to kill another; or

 

  (2)          with intent unlawfully to kill another does any act, or omits to do any act which it is his duty to do, such act or omission being of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life;

 

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

 

321.         Any person who, being under sentence of penal servitude or of imprisonment for three years or more, attempts to commit murder, is liable to imprisonment for life.

 

322.         Any person who becomes an accessory after the fact to murder is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

 

323.         Any person who, knowing the contents thereof, directly or indirectly causes any person to receive any writing threatening to kill any person is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

 

324.         Any person who conspires with any other person to kill any person, whether such person is in Nigeria or elsewhere, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

 

325.         Any person who commits the offence of manslaughter is liable to imprisonment for life.

 

326.         Any person who-

 

  (1)          procures another to kill himself; or

 

  (2)          counsels another to kill himself and thereby induces him to do so; or

 

  (3)          aids another in killing himself;

 

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

 

327.         Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

 

327A.      Where a woman by any wilful act or omission causes the death of her child being a child under the age of twelve months, but at the time of the act or omission the balance of her mind was disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth to the child or by reason of the effect of lactation consequent upon the birth of the child, then, notwithstanding that the circumstances were such that but for this section the offence would have amounted to murder, she shall be guilty of felony, to wit of infanticide, and may for such offence be dealt with and punished as if she had been guilty of the offence of manslaughter of the child.

 

328.         Any person who, when a woman is about to he delivered of a child prevents the child from being born alive by any act or omission of such a nature that, if the child had been born alive and had then died, he would be deemed to have unlawfully killed the child, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

 

329.         Any person who, when a woman is delivered of a child, endeavours, by any secret disposition of the dead body of the child, to conceal the birth, whether the child died before, at or after, its birth, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

329A.   (1)      Any person who receives or has in his possession a human head or skull within six months of the same having been separated from the body or skeleton with the intention that such head or skull shall be possessed by himself as a trophy, juju or charm or transferred by him to any other person as a trophy, juju or charm, is guilty of felony, and is liable to imprisonment for five years.

 

      (2)     Where in any prosecution under this section it is proved that the person charged received or had in his possession a human head or skull within six months of the same having been separated from the body or skeleton it shall be presumed that the person charged received or had in his possession such head or skull with the intention specified in the preceding subsection unless the contrary is proved.

 

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

 

 

Chapter 28

Offences Endangering Life or Health

 

 

330.         Any person who, by any means calculated to choke, suffocate or strangle, and with intent to commit or to facilitate the commission of a felony or misdemeanour, or to facilitate the blight of an offender after the commission or attempted commission of a felony or misdemeanour, renders or attempts to render any person incapable of resistance, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.

 

331.         Any person who, with intent to commit or to facilitate the commission of a felony or misdemeanour, or to facilitate the flight of an offender after the commission or attempted commission of a felony or misdemeanour, administers or attempts to administer any stupefying or overpowering drug or thing to any person is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

 

332.         Any person who, with intent to maim, disfigure or disable, any person, or to do some grievous harm to any person, or to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of any person-

 

 (1)          unlawfully wounds or does any grievous harm to any person by any means whatever; or

 

 (2)           unlawfully attempts in any manner to strike any person with any kind of projectile or with a spear, sword, knife, or other dangerous or offensive weapon; or

 

 (3)            unlawfully causes any explosive substance to explode; or

 

 (4)            sends or delivers any explosive substance or other dangerous or noxious thing to any person; or

 

 (5)            causes any such substance or thing to be taken or received by any person; or

 

 (6)            puts any corrosive fluid or any destructive or explosive substance in any place; or

 

 (7)           unlawfully casts or throws any such fluid or substance at or upon any person, or otherwise applies any such fluid or substance to the person of any person;

 

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

 

333.         Any person who unlawfully-

 

 (1)           prevents or obstructs any person who is on board of, or is escaping from a vessel which is in distress or wrecked, in his endeavours to save his life; or

 

 (2)           obstructs any person in his endeavours to save the life of any person so situated;

 

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

 

334.         Any person who, with intent to injure or to endanger the Safety of any person travelling by any railway, whether a particular person or not-

 

 (1)          places anything on the railway; or

 

 (2)          deals with the railway, or with anything whatever upon or near the railway, in such a manner as to affect or endanger the free and safe use of the railway or the safety of any such person; or

 

 (3)          shoots or throws anything at, into, or upon, or causes anything to come into contact with, any person or thing on the railway; or

 

 (4)          shows any light or signal, or in any way deals with any existing light or signal, upon or near the railway; or

 

 (5)          by any omission to do any act which it is his duty to do causes the safety of any such person to be endangered,

 

                is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.

 

335.         Any person who unlawfully does grievous harm to another is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

 

336.         Any person who unlawfully, and with intent to do any harm to another, puts any explosive substance in any place whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years. substances.

 

337.         Any person who unlawfully, and with intent to injure or annoy another, causes any poison or other noxious thing to be administered or taken by, any person, and thereby endangers his life, or does him some grievous harm, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

 

338.         Any person who-

 

 (1)          unlawfully wounds another; or

 

 (2)          unlawfully, and with intent to injure or annoy any person, causes any poison or other noxious thing to be administered to, or taken by, any person, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

339.         Any person who, being charged with the duty of providing for another the necessaries of life, without lawful excuse fails to do so, whereby the life of that other person is or is likely to he endangered, or his health is or is likely to be permanently injured, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

340.         Any person who, being charged as a master or mistress with the duty of providing necessary food, clothing, or lodging, for a servant or apprentice under the age of sixteen years, unlawfully fails to perform that duty, or in any other manner does any harm or causes any harm to be done to such servant or apprentice, whereby, in either case, the life of such servant or apprentice is or is likely to be endangered, or his health is or is likely to be permanently injured, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

341.         Any person who unlawfully abandons or exposes a child under the age of seven years, in such a manner that any grievous harm is likely to be caused to it, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for five years.

 

342.         Any person who sets or places any spring-gun, man-trap or other engine calculated to destroy human life or to inflict grievous harm, or causes any such thing to be set or placed in any place with the intent that it may kill or inflict grievous harm upon a trespasser or any person coming in contact with it, or sets or places any such thing in any such place and in any such manner that it is likely to cause any such result, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

                Any person who knowingly permits any such spring-gun, man-trap, or other engine, which has been set or placed by another person in any such place and in any such manner that it is likely to cause any such result, to continue so set or placed in any place which is then in, or afterwards comes into, his possession or occupation, is deemed to have set and placed the gun, trap, or engine, with the intent aforesaid.

 

                This section does not make it unlawful to set any gin or trap such as is usually set for the purpose of destroying vermin, or to set any spring-gun, man-trap, or engine, at night in a dwelling-house for the protection of the dwelling-house.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

343.  (1)           Any person who in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life or to be likely to cause harm to any other person-

 

(a)            drives any vehicle or rides on any public way; or

 

(b)            navigates, or takes part in the navigation or working of, any vessel; or

 

(c)            does any act with fire or any combustible matter, or omits to take precautions against any probable danger from any fire or any combustible matter in his possession; or

 

(d)            omits to take precautions against any probable danger from any animal in his possession; or

 

(e)            gives medical or surgical treatment to any person whom he has undertaken to treat; or

 

(f)            dispenses, supplies, sells, administers, or gives away, any medicine, or poisonous or dangerous matter; or

 

(g)           does any act with respect to, or omits to take proper precautions against any proper precautions against any probable danger from, any explosive in his possession is guilty of a misemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

 

344.         Any person who unlawfully does any act, or omits to do any act which it is his duty to do, not being an act or omission specified in the preceding section, by which act or omission harm is caused to any person, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for six months.

 

345.   (1)          Any person who sends or attempts to send or is party to sending or attempting to send a Nigerian ship to sea in such an unseaworthy state that the fife of any person is likely to be thereby endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanour, unless he proves either that he used all reasonable means to insure her being sent to sea in a seaworthy state, or that her going to sea in such an unseaworthy state was in the circumstances reasonable and justifiable.

 

 (2)           The master of a Nigerian ship who knowingly takes the same to sea in such an unseaworthy state that the life of any person is likely to be thereby endangered is guilty of a misdemeanour, unless he proves that her going to sea in such an unseaworthy state was in the circumstances reasonable and justifiable.

 

 (3)           Any person convicted of a misdemeanour under this section is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

 (4)           A prosecution shall not be instituted in respect of an offence under this section otherwise than by or with the consent of a law officer.

 

346.         Any person who, by any unlawful act, or by any omission to do any act which it is his duty to do, causes the safety of any person travelling by any railway to be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

347.         Any person who, being a person having actual control over a steam vessel, or over any part of the machinery of a steam vessel, does any act or makes any omission or is privy to any act or omission with respect to the machinery of the vessel, whereby to his knowledge, the safety of any person on board the vessel is or is likely to be endangered, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

348.         Any person who is an engineer, or one of the engineers, in charge of the machinery of a steam vessel at any time when any act is done or omitted to be done by any other person with respect to the machinery of the vessel, whereby the safety of any person on board the vessel is, or is likely to be, endangered, is guilty of a simple offence, and is liable to a fine of two hundred naira.

 

                It is a defence to a charge of the offence defined in this section to prove that the act or omission was done or made without the knowledge of the accused person, and without any neglect or default on his part.

 

349.         Any person who knowingly sends by any vessel, or carries in any vessel, any explosive substance, or any acid, or other thing of a dangerous or destructive nature, under a false description of the substance or thing, or with a false description of the sender thereof, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

350.        Any person who-

 

 (1)           being charged by law with any duty respecting the shipping, unshipping, landing, putting off shore, conveyance, delivery or storage of any explosive substance, or of any acid, or other thing of a dangerous or destructive nature, from any vessel, fails to perform that duty; or

 

 (2)           being concerned in the shipping, unshipping, landing, putting off shore, conveyance, delivery or storage of any such substance, acid or thing violates the provisions of the laws relating to such shipping, unshipping, landing, putting off shore, conveyance, delivery or storage;

 

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

 

                This section does not apply to any explosive, acid or other thing the property of the State while it is under the control of an officer of the armed forces of Nigeria.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

 

 

Chapter 29

Assaults

 

 

351.         Any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, if no greater punishment is provided, to imprisonment for one year.

 

352.         Any person who assaults another with intent to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

 

353.         Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults any male person is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

354.         Any person who unlawfully assaults and uses actual violence to a peace officer or any other person, while acting in the execution of his duty in or concerning the preservation of a vessel in distress, or of any vessel or goods wrecked, or stranded or lying under water, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

 

355.         Any person who unlawfully assaults another and thereby does him harm is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

 

356.         Any person who-

 

 (1)           assaults another with intent to commit a felony, or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of himself or of any other person; or

 

 (2)           assault, resists, or wilfully obstructs a police officer while acting in the execution of his duty, or any person acting in aid of a police officer while so acting; or

 

 (3)           unlawfully assaults, resists, or obstructs, any person engaged in the lawful execution of any process against any property, or in making a lawful distress, while so engaged; or

 

 (4)           assaults, resists, or obstructs any person engaged in such lawful execution of process, or in making a lawful distress, with intent to rescue any property lawfully taken under such process or distress; or

 

 (5)           assaults any person on account of any act done by him in the execution of any duty imposed on him by law; or

 

 (6)        assaults any person in pursuance of any unlawful conspiracy respecting any manufacture, trade, business, or  occupation, or respecting any person or persons concerned or employed in any manufacture, trade, business, or occupation, or the wages of any such person or persons;

 

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

 

 

Chapter 30

Assaults on Females: Abduction

 

 

357.         Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or, in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.

 

358.         Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.

 

359.         Any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without caning.

 

360.         Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a woman or girl is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

361.         Any person who, with intent to marry or carnally know a female of any age, or to cause her to be married, or carnally known by any other person, takes her away, or detains her, against her will, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

 

362.         Any person who unlawfully takes an unmarried girl under the age of sixteen years out of the custody or protection of her father or mother or other person having the lawful care or charge of her, and against the will of such father or mother or other person, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

363.         In the case of proceedings in respect of an offence under the preceding section-

 

(a)            it is immaterial that the offender believed the girl to be of or above the age of sixteen years;

 

(b)            it is immaterial that the girl was taken with her own consent or at her own suggestion.

 

 

 

Chapter 31

Offences against Liberty: Slave dealing:

 

 

364.         Any person who—

 

 (1)          unlawfully imprisons any person, and takes him out of Nigeria, without his consent; or

 

 (2)          unlawfully imprisons any person within Nigeria in such a manner as to prevent him from applying to a court for his release or from discovering to any other person the place where he is imprisoned, or in such a manner as to prevent any person entitled to have access to him from discovering the place where he is imprisoned; is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for ten years.

 

365.         Any person who unlawfully confines or detains another in any place against his will, or otherwise unlawfully deprives another of his personal liberty, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

366.         Subject to the provisions of the Trade Unions Act, any person who, with intent to prevent or hinder any other person from doing any act which he is lawfully entitled to do, or with intent to compel him to do any act which he is lawfully entitled to abstain from doing, or to abstain from doing any act which he is lawfully entitled to do--

 

(a)            threatens such other person with injury to his person, reputation, or property, or to the person, reputation, or property of any one in whom he is interested; or

 

(b)            persistently follows such other person about from place to place; or

 

(c)            hides any tools, clothes, or other property owned or used by such other person, or deprives him of or hinders him in the use thereof; or

 

(d)            watches or besets the house or other place where such other person resides, or works, or carries on business, or happens to be, or the approach to such house or place; or

 

(e)            follows such other person with two or more other persons in a disorderly manner in or through any street or road; or

 

(f)             induces or attempts to induce that person to believe that he, or any person in whom he is interested, will become an object of displeasure to the Government of Nigeria or to any person employed in the public service of Nigeria;

 

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

 

367.         Any person who, with any of the intents in the preceding section mentioned, assaults any other person or anyone in whom he is interested, is guilty of a felony, and liable to imprisonment for five years.

 

368.         Any person who- being required by law to keep any record touching any matter relating to any person in confinement, refuses or neglects to keep such record, or makes in such record an entry which, in any material particular, is, to his knowledge, false; or

 

 (2)           being required by law to give any information to any person touching any person in confinement, or to show to any person, any person in confinement, or any place in which a person is confined-

 

(a)            refuses or neglects to give such information or to show such person or place to any person to whom he is so required to give the information or show the person or place; or

 

(b)           gives to any person to whom he is so required to give it, information touching any such matter which, in any material particular, is, to his knowledge, false;

 

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

 

369.         Any person who-

 

 (1)           deals or trades in, purchases, sells, transfers or takes any slave;

 

 (2)           deals or trades in, purchases, sells, transfers or takes any person in order or so that such person should be held or treated as a slave;

 

 (3)           places or receives any person in servitude as a pledge or security for debt whether then due and owing, or to be incurred or contingent, whether under the name of a pawn or by whatever other name such person may be called or known;

 

 (4)           conveys or induces any person to come within the limits of Nigeria in order or so that such person should be held, possessed, dealt or traded in, purchased, sold, or transferred as a slave, or be placed in servitude as a pledge or security for debt;

 

 (5)           conveys or sends or induces any person to go out of the limits of Nigeria in order or so that such person should be possessed, dealt or traded in, purchased, sold, or transferred as a slave, or be placed in servitude as a pledge or security for debt;

 

 (6)           whether or not a citizen of Nigeria holds or possesses in Nigeria any person as a slave;

 

 (7)           enters into any contract or agreement with or without consideration for doing any of the acts or accomplishing any of the purposes herein above enumerated;

 

                is guilty of slave dealing and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

 

 

Chapter 32

Offences relating to Marriage and Parental Rights and duties       

 

 

370.         Any person who, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such. husband or wife, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. 

 

                This section does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been dissolved or declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction, nor to any person who contracts a marriage during the life of a former husband or wife, if such husband or wife, at the time of the subsequent marriage, shall have been absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such person as being alive within that time.

 

371.         Any person who, with intent to deprive any parent, guardian, or other person who has the lawful care or charge of a child under the age of twelve years, of the possession of such child, or with intent to steal any article upon or about the person of any such child-

 

  (1)           forcibly or fraudulently takes or entices away, or detains the child; or

 

  (2)           receives or harbours the child, knowing it to have been so taken or enticed away or detained;

 

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

 

                 It is a defence to a charge of any of the offences defined in this section to prove that the accused person claimed in good faith a right to the possession of the child, or, in the case of an illegitimate child, is its mother or claimed to be its father.

 

372.         Any person who being the parent, guardian or other person having the lawful care or charge of a child under the age of twelve years, and being able to maintain such child, wilfully and without lawful or reasonable cause deserts the child and leaves it without means of support, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

 

 

Chapter 33

Defamation

 

 

373.         Defamatory matter is matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by an injury to his reputation.

 

                Such matter may he expressed in spoken words or in any audible sounds, or in words legibly marked on any substance whatever, or by any sign or object signifying such matter otherwise than by words, and may be expressed either directly or by insinuation or irony.

 

                 It is immaterial whether at the time of the publication of the defamatory matter, the person concerning whom such matter is published is living or dead:

 

                 Provided that no prosecution for the publication of defamatory matter concerning a dead person shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

 

 

(a)            in the case of spoken words or audible sounds, the speaking of such words or the making of such sounds in the hearing of the person defamed or any other person;

 

(b)            in other cases, the exhibiting it in public, or causing it to be read or seen, or showing or delivering it, or causing it to he shown or delivered, with intent that it may be read or seen by the person defamed or by any other person.

 

  (2)          Sounds where recorded shall, if defamatory, be deemed to be published if reproduced in any place to the hearing of persons other than the person causing it to be reproduced.

 

  (3)          In this section-

 

                "recorded" means sounds collected or stored by means of 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;

 

                "sound" includes speech and mere noise.

 

375.         Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, any person who of publishes any defamatory matter is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year; and any person who publishes any defamatory matter knowing it to be false is liable to imprisonment for two years.

 

376.         Any person who publishes, or threatens to publish, or offers to abstain from publishing, or offers to prevent the publication of defamatory matter, with intent to extort money or other property, or with intent to induce any person to give, confer, procure, or attempt to procure, to, upon, or for, any person, any property or benefit of any kind. is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

 

                The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

 

377.        The publication of defamatory matter is not an offence if the of publication is, at the time it is made, for the public benefit, and if the defamatory matter is true.

 

378.         The publication of defamatory matter is absolutely privileged, and no person is criminally liable in respect thereof, in the following cases-

 

  (1)          if the matter is published by the President, Minister or a Governor or by order of the President, Minister or a Governor in any official document, Gazette or proceedings; or

 

  (2)          if the publication is made in a petition to the President, Minister, or a Governor; or

 

  (3)          if the publication takes place in any proceeding held before or under the authority of any court, or in any inquiry held under the authority of any Act, Law, Statute, or Order, or under the authority of the President, Minister, or a Governor; or

 

  (4)          if the publication takes place in an official report made by a person appointed to hold an inquiry under the authority of any Act, Law, Statute, or Order in Council, or of The President, Minister, or a Governor; or

 

  (5)          if the matter is published concerning a person subject to military discipline for the time being, and relates to his conduct as a person subject to such discipline, and is published by some person having authority over him in respect of such conduct, and to some person having authority over him in respect of such conduct.

 

379.         The publication of defamatory matter is conditionally privileged and no person is criminally liable in respect thereof, in the following cases-

 

  (1)          if the defamatory matter consists of an extract from, or an abstract of, a petition to, or a Gazette or document published by or under the authority of, the President or a Governor of a State, or a Minister, and the publication is made without ill-will to the person defamed; or

 

  (2)          if the defamatory matter constitutes, in whole or in part, a fair report, for the information of the public, of any proceeding of any court. whether preliminary or final; or of any public proceeding of any body, constituted, or authorised to hold such proceeding, by any Act, Law, Statute or Order; or of any public meeting so far as the public is concerned in the matter published; if in every such case the publication is made without ill-"1 to the person defamed; or

 

  (3)          if the publication is for the information of the public at the request of any Government department or peace officer, or if the defamatory matter is any notice or report issued by such department or officer, for the information of the public, and if in every such case the publication is made without ill-will to the person defamed; or

 

  (4)           if the defamatory matter consists of fair comment either on any matter the publication of which, or on any report which, is herein before in the preceding or this section referred to; or

 

  (5)          if the defamatory matter consists of fair comment upon the public conduct of any person in public affairs, or upon the public conduct of any person employed in the public service in the discharge of his public duties, or upon the character of any of such persons so far as it appears by such conduct; or

 

  (6)          if the defamatory matter consists of fair comment on any published book or other literary production, or any composition or work of art, or performance publicly exhibited, or any other communication made to the public on any subject; or of the character of the author of such book, production, composition, work of art, or the person exhibiting such performance, so far as their characters may appear therefrom respectively; or

 

  (7)          if the publication is in good faith for the purpose of seeking remedy or redress for any private or public wrong or grievance from a person who has, or is reasonably believed by the person publishing to have, the right to remedy or redress such wrong or grievance; or

 

  (8)          if the publication is made in good faith by a person having any lawful authority over another, and is made by him in the course of a censure passed by him on the conduct of that other, in matters to which such lawful authority relates; or

 

  (9)          if the publication is made on the invitation or challenge of the person defamed; or

 

 (10)         if the publication is made in order to answer or refute some other defamatory matter published by the person defamed, concerning the person making the publication or some other person; or

 

 (11)         if the defamatory matter constitutes an answer to inquiries made of the person publishing it, relating to some subject as to which the person by whom or on whose behalf the inquiry is made, has, or on reasonable grounds is believed by the person publishing to have, an interest in knowing the truth, and if the publication is made in good faith for the purpose of giving information in respect of that matter to that person; or

 

 (12)         if the defamatory matter constitutes information given to the person to whom the defamatory matter is published, with respect to some subject as to which he has, or is on reasonable grounds believed to have, such an interest in knowing the truth, as to make the conduct of the person giving the information reasonable in the circumstances:

 

                 Provided that as regards paragraphs (7), (8), (9), (10) and (11), the person making the publication honestly believes the matter published to be true, the matter published is relevant to the matters the existence of which may excuse the publication of defamatory matter, and the manner and extent of the publication do not exceed what is reasonably sufficient for the occasion; and as regards paragraph (12) that the defamatory matter is relevant to the subject therein mentioned, and that it is either true, or is made without ill-will to the person defamed and in the honest belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is true.

 

380.   (1)          In this and the next succeeding section, the term "periodical" includes any newspaper, review, magazine, or other writing or print, published periodically.

 

  (2)          The criminal responsibility of the proprietor, editor, or publisher, of any periodical for the publication of any defamatory matter contained therein, may be rebutted by proof that such publication took place without his knowledge and without negligence on his part.

 

381.        The sale by any person of any book, pamphlet, or other printed or written matter, or of any number or part of any periodical, is not a publication thereof for the purposes of this chapter, unless such person knows that such book pamphlet printed or written matter, or number of any or part, contains defamatory matter, or in the case of any part or number of any periodical, that such periodical habitually contains defamatory matter