Section 453-468 Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act
Section 453 to 468 of the Penal Code Act is under Chapter XXXIV of the Act. The chapter is titled “Offences relating to posts and telecommunications”.
Section 453 Penal Code Act
In this Chapter-
“mail” includes any conveyance of any kind by which postal matter is carried, and also any vessels employed by or under the Nigerian Postal Services Department, or the postal authority of any other country, or the Admiralty, for the conveyance of postal matter, under contract or not, and also a ship of war or other vessel in the service of the State in respect of letters conveyed by it and also a person or
animal used for the conveyance or delivery of postal matter;
“postal matter” includes any letter, telegram, newspaper, packet, parcel, or other thing, authorised by law to be transmitted by post, which has been posted or received at a post office for delivery or transmission by post, and which is in course of transmission by post and any movable receptacle which
contains any such thing, and which is in course or transmission by post;
“post office” and “telegraph office” respectively, include any structure, room, place or receptacle or any kind appointed by authority of the Postmaster-General for the receipt, despatch or delivery, of any postal matter or telegram, or for the transaction of the business of the department relating to posts and telegraphs; and
“telegraph office” includes any room or places used by a telegraph company for the receipt, despatch or delivery of telegrams.
Section 454 Penal Code Act
Paper and dies for postage stamps
Whoever without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on him-
(a) makes, or begins or prepares to make, or uses for any postal purpose, or has in his possession or disposes of any imitation or representation on paper or any other material, or any stamp used for denoting any rate or postage of Nigeria, or any other country; or
(b) make or mends, or begins or prepares to make or mend, or uses, or has in his possession or disposes of, any die, plate, instrument or material, for making any such imitation or representation, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to N 100 or with both.
Explanation – A stamp purporting to denote a rate of postage of any country is to be taken to be a stamp used for postal purposes in that country until the contrary is shown.
Section 455 Penal Code Act
Paper for postal purposes
Whoever without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on him, knowingly has in his possession or disposes of any paper which has been specially provided by the proper authority for the purposes of being used for postage stamps, money orders, or postal orders, before such paper has been lawful issued for public use, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Section 456 Penal Code Act
Whoever stops a mail with intent to carry out an unlawful search or to commit theft of postal matter shall be punished with imprisonment for life or any less term or with fine or with both.
Section 457 Penal Code Act
Intercepting telegrams or postal matter
Whoever unlawfully secretes, destroys, tampers with or obtains by cheating any postal matter shall be punished-
(a) with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both; and
(b) if the postal matter so secreted or destroyed shall contain any money or chattel or any valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or any less term and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 458 Penal Code Act
Misdelivery of postal matter
Whoever being a public servant charged by virtue of his employment with the delivery of any postal matter intentionally delivers it to a person other than the person to whom it is addressed or to his authorised agent shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.
Section 459 Penal Code Act
Retarding delivery of postal matter
Whoever being a public servant charged with the handling of postal matter-
(a) neglects or refuses to receive, despatch, deliver or convey postal matter;
(b) intentionally detains or delays any postal matter;
(c) without proper authority allows any postal matter out of his possession;
(d) is guilty of any neglect whereby any postal matter is endangered, mislaid, detained or delayed, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
Explanation 1 – Nothing in this section shall extend to the opening or detaining of any postal matter returned because the addressee is dead or cannot be found or refuses to accept delivery or refuses or neglects to pay any charges payable in respect of the postal matter.
Explanation 2 – Nothing in this section shall extend to the opening, detaining or delaying of any postal matter by a public servant under the authority of any act or law or in obedience to an express warrant in writing under the hand of the Minister charged with responsibility for posts and telecommunications.
Section 460 Penal Code Act
Fraudulently removing stamps
Whoever with intent to defraud removes from any postal matter any stamp affixed thereon or removes from a stamp previously used any postal mark or knowingly uses a postage stamp which has been marked by a public servant authorised so to do shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
Section 461 Penal Code Act
Fraudulent evasion of postal laws
Whoever with fraudulent intent-
(a) subscribes on the outside of anything sent by post a false statement of its contents; or
(b) puts into a post office anything which falsely purports to be a thing falling within any exemption or privilege declared by the laws relating to postal matter, shall be punished with a fine which may extend to N 100.
Section 462 Penal Code Act
Unlawful franking of letters
Whoever being a public servant franks any postal matter-
(a) which does not relate to the business of his office; or
(b) which contains anything which does not relate to such business,
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
Section 463 Penal Code Act
Sending dangerous or obscene things by post
Whoever intentionally sends by post anything which-
(a) encloses anything of such a nature as to be likely to cause injury to any person or thing in the course of conveyance; or
(b) encloses any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, gramophone record or similar article, drawing, painting, representation or figure, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with tine or with both.
Section 464 Penal Code Act
Illegally setting up of post office
Whoever without the authority in writing of the Post-Master General places or maintains or permits to be placed or maintained, or to remain on any place under his control-
(a) the words “post office”, or
(b) the words “letter box”, accompanied with words, letters or marks which signify or imply, or may reasonably lead the public to believe, that it is a receptacle provided by authority for the reception of postal matter; or
(c) any words, letters or marks which signify or imply, or may reasonably lead the public to believe, that any place is a post office, or that any such receptacle is provided by authority, shall be punished with a fine which may extend to N 10.
Section 465 Penal Code Act
Damaging post office, etc.
Whoever intentionally destroys, damages or defaces, any post office, receptacle provided by authority for the reception of postal matter, or any card or notice relating to the postal or telegraph service set up by authority of the Post-Master General, shall be punished with a fine which may extend to N l00.
Section 466 Penal Code Act
Placing injurious substances in or against letter box
Whoever places in or against any receptacle provided by authority for the reception of postal matter or telegrams, any fire or match, or any explosive, dangerous, noxious or deleterious substance, or any fluid or filth shall be punished with a fine which may extend to N40.
Section 467 Penal Code Act
Interference with telecommunications
Whoever intentionally and unlawfully-
(a) destroys, damages or removes, any telecommunication works; or
(b) prevents or obstructs the sending or delivering of a communication by any telecommunication equipment, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.
Section 468 Penal Code Act
Negligently injuring telecommunications
Whoever negligently destroys or damages any telecommunication works shall be punished with a fine which may extend to N4.