Section 234-242 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Section 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act is under Chapter 22 (Nuisances; gaming houses; lotteries; misconduct relating to corpses) of the Act.
Section 234 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Any person who‐
(a) obstructs any highway, by any permanent work or erection thereon or injury thereto, which
renders the highway less commodious to the public than it would otherwise be; or
(b) prevents the public from having access to any part of a highway by an excessive and
unreasonable temporary use thereof, or by so dealing with the land in the immediate
neighbourhood of the highway as to prevent the public from using and enjoying it securely; or
(c) does not repair a highway which he is bound to repair; or
(d) does not repair a bridge which he is bound to repair; or
(e) wilfully diverts or obstructs the course of any navigable river so as to appreciably diminish its
convenience for purposes of navigation; or
(f) does any act not warranted by law, or omits to discharge any legal duty, which act or omission
obstructs or causes inconvenience or damage to the public in the exercise of rights common to
is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
It is immaterial whether the act complained of is convenient to a larger number of the public than it
inconveniences, but the fact that the act complained of facilitates the lawful exercise of their rights by a
part of the public, may show that it is not a nuisance to any of the public.
The owner of a vessel wrecked in a navigable river is not guilty of a common nuisance because he does
not remove it.
Section 235 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
(Repealed by No. 20 of 1944).
Section 236 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
(1) A person being the owner or occupier, or having the use of, any house, room or place, who
shall open, keep or use the same for the purpose of unlawful gaming being carried on therein, and any
person who, being the owner or occupier of any house, room or place, shall knowingly and wilfully
permit the same to be opened, kept or used by any other person for the purpose aforesaid, and any
person having the care or management of or in any manner assisting in conducting the business of any
house, room or place opened, kept or used for the purpose aforesaid, is said to keep a common gaming
(2) In this section, “unlawful gaming” includes roulette, every game of dice except
backgammon, every game of card which is not a game of skill, the game known as chacha and other
games of cowries, and any game the chances of which are not alike favourable to all the players,
including the banker or other person or persons by whom the game is managed or against whom the
other players stake, play or bet.
(3) Any person who keeps a common gaming house is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to a
fine of one thousand naira or to imprisonment for two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(4) Any person other than the persons mentioned in subsection (1) of this section who is found
in a common gaming house shall be deemed, unless the contrary is proved, to be there for the purpose
of unlawful gaming and is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of ten naira for the first offence and for
each subsequent offence to a fine of forty naira or imprisonment for three months or to both such fine
Section 237 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Police may be authorised to enter gaming houses, etc.
(1) A superior police officer or an administrative officer in charge of police, if he has reasonable
grounds for believing that any house, room or place is kept as a common gaming house, may by order in
writing authorise any police officer to enter and search such house, room or place at any time and if
necessary, to use force for the purpose of effecting such entry, whether by breaking open doors or
otherwise, and to arrest all persons who shall be found therein, and to seize all instruments of gaming
found in such house or premises and to seize all money found therein.
Obstructing entry of police to be evidence of unlawful gaming
(2) Where a police officer so authorised to enter any house, room or place is wilfully prevented
from or obstructed or delayed in entering the same or any part thereof, or where any external or
internal door of, or means of access to, any such house, room or place shall be found to be fitted or
provided with any bolt, bar, chains or any means or contrivance for the purpose of preventing, delaying
or obstructing the entry into the same or any part thereof of any police officer authorised as aforesaid
or for giving an alarm in the case of such entry, or if any such house, room or place is found fitted or
provided with any means or contrivance for unlawful gaming or with any means of contrivance for
concealing, removing or destroying any instruments of gaming, it shall be evidence until the contrary be
proved, that such house, room or place is used as a common gaming house within the meaning of
section 236 of this Code and that the persons found therein were unlawfully playing therein.
Section 238 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Indemnity of witnesses
Any person who shall be called to give evidence against any other person charged under the provisions
of section 236 of this Code shall be freed from all criminal prosecution in respect of the offence with
which such other person is charged or any other offence under section 236 of this Code.
Section 239 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Any house, room, or place, which is used for any of the following purposes‐
(1) for the purpose of bets being made therein between persons resorting to the place and‐
(a) the owner, occupier, or keeper of the place, or any person using the place; or
(b) any person procured or employed by or acting for or on behalf of any such owner,
occupier, or keeper, or person using the place; or
(c) any person having the care or management, or in any manner conducting the business,
of the place; or
(2) for the purpose of any money or other property, being paid or received therein by or on
behalf of any such owner, occupier, or keeper, or person using the place as, or for the consideration‐
(a) for an assurance, undertaking, promise, or agreement, express or implied, to payor give
thereafter any money or other property on any event or contingency of or relating to
any horse race, or other race, fight, game sport, or exercise; or
(b) for securing the paying or giving by some other person of any money or other property
on any such event or contingency,
is called a common betting house.
Any person who, being the owner or occupier of any house, room, or place, knowingly and wilfully
permits it to be opened, kept, or used, as a common betting house by another person, or who has the
use or management, or assists in conducting the business of a common betting house, is guilty of a
misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year, and to a fine of one thousand naira:
Provided always that nothing herein contained shall make illegal the use of a totalisator by a race club
recognised by the Government, at a race meeting, with the approval in each case, of the superintendent
of police in charge of the area where the meeting is held. In this proviso “totalisator” means and
includes the instrument, machine, or contrivance, commonly known as the totalisator, and any other
instrument, machine, or contrivance of a like nature, or any scheme for enabling any number of persons
to make bets with one another on the like principles.
Section 239A of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
(1) (Inserted by 44 of 1958 repealed by 1961 No. 69).
(2) (Inserted by 44 of 1958 repealed by 1961 No. 69).
(3) For the purpose of section 239 of this Code any house, room or place which is used for the
purpose of a licensed pool betting business shall not be deemed to be a common betting house by
reason only that it is so used.
[44 of 1958.1961 No. 69.]
(4) (Inserted by 44 of 1958 repealed by 1961 No. 69).
Section 239B of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
(Inserted by 44 of 1958 repealed by 1961 No. 69).
Section 240 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Definitions: lottery: lottery ticket: public lottery
In this Chapter”
lottery” includes any game, method or device whereby money or money’s worth is distributed or
allotted in any manner depending upon or to be determined by chance or lot;
“lottery ticket” includes any paper, ticket, token or other article whatsoever, which either expressly or
tacitly entitles or purports to entitle any person to receive any money or money’s worth on the
happening of any event or contingency connected with any public lottery;
“public lottery” means a lottery to which the public or any class of the public has, or may have, access,
and every lottery shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to be a public lottery.
Section 240A of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Offences relating to lotteries
Any person who‐
(a) gives or sells or offers for sale or delivers any lottery ticket or pays or receives directly
or indirectly any money or money’s worth for or in respect of any chance in or event or
contingency connected with a public lottery; or
(b) draws, throws, declares or exhibits, expressly or otherwise, the winner or winning
number, ticket, lot, figure, design, symbol, or other result of any public lottery; or
(c) writes, prints, publishes, or causes to be written, printed, or published, any lottery
ticket, or any announcement relating to a public lottery; or
(d) advances, furnishes, or receives money for the purpose of a public lottery; or
(e) in any manner carries on, or assists in carrying on, or invites or solicits any person to
take part in, a public lottery,
is liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred naira or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six
Section 240B of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Recovery of money paid for lottery tickets
Any money or money’s worth paid or deposited for or in respect of the purchase of a lottery ticket shall
be recoverable as money had and received to the use of the person by whom the same was paid or
Section 240C of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Contracting for sale of lottery ticket void
Every sale or contract for the sale of a lottery ticket is hereby declared to be void, and no action shall be
maintainable by any person in respect of any such sale or contract, except by the purchaser for the
return of the money or other consideration (if any) paid thereon.
Section 240D of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Saving of certain race club lotteries and sweepstakes
(1) Nothing in this Chapter contained shall apply to any lottery or sweepstake organised and
controlled by any race club in Nigeria to which a minister may by notice in the Federal Gazette extend
the provisions of this section of this Code, at or in connection with any race meeting held under the
auspices of any club or association.
[L.N. 257 of 1959.]
(2) Nothing in this Chapter contained shall apply to or prevent the sale by raffle or lottery of
articles exposed for sale at any bazaar or fancy fair held for raising funds in aid of any institution of a
public character, provided that permission for such sale shall have been given in writing by the Minister.
Section 240E of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Lotteries carried on in clubs with approval of Minister
(1) A Minister may grant to any club a licence authorising a lottery to be promoted and carried
subject to any conditions contained in the licence, as an incident of entertainment by members of the
club on the premises of the club.
[L.N. 257 of 1959.]
(2) It shall be a condition of every licence granted to a club under subsection (1) of this section in
respect of a lottery that only members of the club and their guests introduced in accordance with the
rules of the club shall have access to the lottery.
(3) A lottery promoted and carried on in a club in accordance with the terms of a licence issued
under this section of this Code shall not be deemed to be a public lottery.
(4) When any condition of a licence granted under this section of this Code is contravened,
every person concerned in the promotion or carrying on of the lottery is guilty of an offence, unless he
proves that the contravention was committed without his knowledge, and liable on summary conviction
to a fine of forty naira or to imprisonment for four months.
Section 241 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Acting as keeper of brothels, gaming houses and betting houses
Any person who appears, acts, or behaves, as master or mistress, or as the person having the care or
management of any such premises, house, room, set of rooms, or place, as is mentioned in section
225B, 236 or 239 of this Code, is to be taken to be the keeper thereof, whether he is or is not the real
Section 242 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act
Misconduct with regard to corpses
Any person who‐
(1) without lawful justification or excuse, the proof of which lies on him(
a) neglects to perform any duty imposed upon him by law, or undertaken by him, whether
for reward or otherwise, touching the burial or other disposition of a human body or
human remains; or
(b) improperly or indecently interferes with, or offers any indignity to, any dead human
body or human remains, whether buried or not;
(2) eats or receive for the purpose of eating any part of a dead human body,
is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.