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ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I - Establishment and Composition of the Armed Forces

1. Establishment and functions of the Armed Forces.

2. Establishment of the Armed Forces Reserve.

3. Pay regulations, duties, recall, etc., of the Armed Forces Reserve.

PART II - Establishment of Armed Forces Council

4. Establishment of the Armed Forces Council.

5. Functions of the Forces Council.

6. Powers of the Forces Council.

PART III - Command and operational use

7. Day-to-day command of the Armed Forces.

8. Operational use of the Armed Forces.

PART IV - Nigerian Army Council

9. Establishment and composition of the Nigerian Army Council.

10. Functions of the Army Council.

11. Powers of the Army Council.

PART V - Nigerian Navy Board

12. Establishment of the Nigerian Navy Board.

13. Membership of the Board.

14. Powers of the Board.

PART VI - Nigerian Air Council

15. Establishment of the Air Council.

16. Membership of the Air Council.

17. Powers of the Air Council.

PART VII - Administration, Government and Command

18. Appointment of Service Chiefs, etc.

19. Powers of command of members of co-operating services.

20. Attachment of members of other services.

21. Attachment of personnel of foreign armed forces, powers of command, etc.

22. Regulations as to command.

PART VIII - Officers

23. Appointment of officers.

24. Publication of promotion, etc., of officers.

25. Recall of officers from retirement.

26. Regulations as to officers.

PART IX - Enlistment and Terms and Conditions of Service

27. Recruiting officers.

28. Enlistment.

29. Terms of enlistment.

30. Re-engagement and continuance in service.

31. Prolongation of service.

 

PART X - Discharge and Transfer to the Reserve

32. Discharge.

33. Transfer to the Reserve.

34. Right of warrant officer, chief petty officer to be discharged on reduction to ranks or rating.

35. Power to discharge.

36. Right of enlisted person to purchase discharge.

PART XI - Miscellaneous and Supplementary Provisions relating to Discharge, etc.

37. Rules for reckoning service.

38. Validity of attestation and enlistment.

39. Fraudulent, irregular enlistment, etc.

40. Pensions provisions.

41. Provisions as to death or injury.

42. Service outside Nigeria.

43. Postponement of discharge or transfer pending proceedings for offences, etc.

44. Interpretation of, and power to make certain regulations for this Part.

PART XII - Offences        

Misconduct in Action

45. Aiding the enemy.

46. Communication with the enemy.

47. Cowardly behaviour.

48. Offences against morale.

49. Becoming a prisoner of war through disobedience or wilful neglect and failure to rejoin Armed Forces.

50. Offences by or in relation to sentries, watch, etc.

51. Looting.

Mutiny

52. Mutiny.

53. Failure to suppress mutiny.

Insubordination

54. Insubordinate behaviour.

55. Fighting, quarrelling and disorderly behaviour.

56. Disobedience to particular orders.

57. Disobedience to standing orders.

58. Obstruction of provost officers.

Absence from Duty, etc.

59. Absence without leave.

60. Desertion.

61. Assisting and concealing desertion and absence without leave.

62. Failure to perform military duties.

Malingering and Drunkenness

63. Malingering.

64. Drunkenness.

65. Drugs: wrongful use, possession, etc., of controlled substances.

Offences relating to Property

66. Offences in relation to public and service property.

67. Offences in relation to property of members of Armed Forces.

68. Miscellaneous offences relating to property.

Navigation and Flying Offences

69. Loss or hazarding vehicle, ship or aircraft.

70. Dangerous flying, etc.

71. Low flying.

72. Annoyance by navigation or flying.

Other Offences in respect of Ships and Aircraft, etc.

73. Inaccurate certification of ships, aircraft, parachutes, etc.

74. Improper carriage of persons and goods.

Prize Offences

75. Prize offences by commanding officers.

76. Other prize offences.

Sexual Offences

77. Rape and carnal knowledge.

78. Defilement.

79. Sexual relation with service personnel's spouse.

80. Fraternisation.

81. Sodomy.

Offences relating to Billeting and Requisitioning of Vehicles

82. Billeting offences.

83. Offences in relation to requisitioning of vehicles.

Offences relating to and by Persons in Custody

84. Irregular arrest and confinement.

85. Permitting escape and unlawful release of prisoner.

86. Resistance to arrest.

87. Escape from confinement or custody.

Miscellaneous Offences

88. Injurious disclosures.

89. Making of false statement on enlistment.

90. Making of false documents.

91. Scandalous conduct of officer.

92. Ill-treatment of officer, soldier, rating or aircraftman of inferior rank.

93. Disgraceful conduct.

94. False accusation.

95. Attempts to commit offences.

96. Examination malpractices.

97. Impersonation.

98. Aiding and abetting service offence.

99. Obstruction of police officer arresting service person.

Offences in relation to Court-Martial

100. Offences in relation to court-martial.

101. False evidence.

102. Court-martial records: destruction, falsifying, removing, etc.

Conduct to Prejudice of Service Discipline

103. Conduct to the prejudice of service discipline.

Civil Offences

104. Assault.

105. Manslaughter.

106. Murder.

107. Robbery.

108. Extortion.

109. Burglary.

110. House-breaking.

111. Arson.

112. Forgery.

113. Cheating.

114. Other civil offences.

PART XIII

Punishment

Summary Trial

115. Officers.

116. Warrant or petty officer, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, ratings or aircraftmen.

117. Right of election of officers, warrant and petty officers to be tried by court-martial.

Courts-Martial

118. Punishment of officers.

119. Punishment of soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen.

120. Field punishment.

PART XIV

Trial Procedure

Arrest

121. Power to arrest offenders.

122. Provisions for avoiding delay after arrest, etc.

Investigation of and Summary Dealing with Charges

123. Investigation of charges by commanding officer.

124. Charges to be dealt with summarily or by court-martial.

125. Further proceedings on charges against non-commissioned officers, soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen.

126. Further proceedings on charges against officers and warrant officers.

127. Dismissal of charges referred to higher authority.

128. Officers who are to act as appropriate superior authority.

Courts-Martial: General Provisions

129. Types of courts-martial.

130. Jurisdiction of courts-martial.

131. Officers having power to convene court-martial.

132. Jurisdiction for joint trial.

133. Constitution of courts-martial.

134. Supplementary provisions as to constitution of courts-martial.

135. Place for sitting of courts-martial and adjournment to other places.

136. Dissolution of courts-martial.

Courts-Martial: Provisions relating to Trial

137. Challenges by accused of membership of court-martial.

138. Administration of oaths and affirmations.

139. Courts-martial to sit in open court.

140. Decisions of courts-martial.

141. Finding and sentence.

142. Power to convict for offence other than that charged.

143. Rules of evidence.

144. Privileges of witness and others at courts-martial.

145. Summoning of witnesses.

146. Offences by civilians in relation to courts-martial.

PART XV

Post- Trial Procedure

Review of Summary Findings and Awards

147. Review of summary findings and awards.

Confirmation, Revision and Review of Proceedings of Courts-Martial

148. Confirmation of proceedings of courts-martial and unconditional release from custody.

149. Petitions against findings or sentences of courts-martial.

150. Revision of findings of court-martial.

151. Powers of confirming authority.

152. Confirming authority.

153. Sentence of death to be approved by President.

154. Petitions after confirmation, review of findings and sentences.

155. Reconsideration of sentence of imprisonment.

Finding of Insanity, etc.

156. Provisions where accused found insane.

Commencement, Suspension and Duration of Sentence

157. Commencement of sentence.

158. Duration of sentence of imprisonment.

159. Suspension of sentence and right of accused to release from custody.

160. Release pending appeal to confirming authority or appropriate superior authority.

161. Undertaking by accused.

162. Release from custody, review, new undertaking and return to duty.

163. Breach of undertaking.

164. Special provisions as to civil prisons in Nigeria.

165. Special provisions as to carrying out or serving of sentence outside Nigeria.

166. Country in which sentence of imprisonment is to be served.

167. Duties of persons in charge of prison and others to receive prisoners.

Trial of Persons ceasing to be subject to Service Law and Time Limited for Trials

168.  Trial, etc., of offences although offender no longer subject to service law.

169.  Limitation of time for trial of offences under this Act.

Relations between Armed Forces and Civil Courts and Finality of Trials

170.  Powers of civil courts.

171.  Offences already disposed of not to be retried.

Inquiries and Related Subjects

172.  Boards of inquiry.

173.  Inquiries into absence without leave.

Miscellaneous Provisions

174.  Restitution or compensation for theft, etc.

175.  Promulgation of findings, etc.

176.  Custody of proceedings of courts-martial and right to copies.

177.  Indemnity for prison officers, etc.

Redress of Complaints

178.  Complaints by officers.

179.  Complaints by soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen.

Rules of Procedure, etc.

180.  Rules of procedure and other rules, etc.

181.  Savings and repeal: rules of procedure.

182.  Interpretation of this Part of this Act.

PART XVI

Appeals from Courts-Martial

183.  Right of appeal.

184.  Procedure for applying for leave to appeal or lodging appeal.

185.  Determination of appeal in ordinary cases.

186.  Powers of the Court of Appeal.

187.  Appeals not to be final.

188.  Supplementary powers of the Court of Appeal.

189.  Proceedings may be heard in absence of appellants.

190. Defence of appeals.

191. Right of appellant to present his case in writing.

192. Suspension of death sentences.

193. Persons not to be tried again where conviction quashed.

194. Removal of prisoners for purposes of proceedings under this Part.

195. Furnishing on appeal of documents relating to trial.

196. Duties of Registrar of the Court of Appeal with respect to appeals, etc.

197. Rules of court.

198. Saving of powers of reviewing authorities.

199. Composition of the Court.

200. Exercise of certain powers of the Court of Appeal by a Justice.

201. General provisions as to procedure.

202. Right of further appeal to the Supreme Court.

PART XVII

Forfeitures and Deductions

203.  Regulations as to pay.

204.  Forfeitures and deductions: general provisions.

205. Forfeiture of pay for absence from duty.

206. Deduction for payment of civil penalties.

207. Compensation for loss occasioned by wrongful act or negligence.

208. Deduction for barrack damage.

209. Remission of forfeitures and deductions.

PART XVIII

Enforcement of Maintenance and Affiliation Orders by Deduction from pay

210.  Enforcement of maintenance and affiliation orders by deduction from pay.

211. Deductions from pay for maintenance of wife or child.

212. Deductions from pay in respect of judgment debts, etc.

213. Limits of deductions under sections 210 to 212 of this Act and effect on forfeiture.

214. Service of process in maintenance proceedings.

PART XIX - Billeting and Requisitioning of Vehicles

Billeting

215.  Billeting requisitions.

216. Premises in which billets may be provided.

217. Provision of billets.

218. Billeting schemes.

219. Accommodation to be provided and the payment therefore.

220. Appeals against billeting.

221. Compensation for damage.

222. Refusal to receive persons billeted, etc.

223. Application to civilians employed by the Armed Forces.

224. Suspension of laws against billeting.

Requisitioning of Vehicles

225. Requisitioning orders.

226. Provision of vehicles.

227. Period for which vehicles to be furnished.

228. Payment for vehicles furnished.

229. Avoidance of hardship in the requisitioning of vehicles.

230. Record and inspection of mechanically propelled vehicles.

231. Enforcement of provisions as to requisitioning.

232. Application to horses, food, forage, stores, ships, aircraft, and aircraft material.

233. Liability of Federal Government for damage by vehicles being delivered for requisitioning.

General

234.  Bringing into operation of sections 215 and sections 225 of this Act.

PART XX - General Provisions

Privileges and Exemptions for Members of the Forces

235. Exemption from tolls, etc.

236. Exemption from levying of execution on property, etc.

237. Exemption as to arms and explosives.

238. Immunity from proceedings or judgment where appearance is not entered.

239. Indemnity for actions in aid to civil authority and military duty.

240. Privileges of reservists.

Provisions relating to Deserters and Absentees without Leave

241.  Arrest of deserters and absentees without leave.

242. Proceedings before a civil court where persons suspected of illegal absence.

243. Deserters and absentees without leave surrendering to police.

244. Certificates of arrest or surrender of deserters and absentees.

245. Duties of superintendents of prisons and others to receive deserters and absentees.

Offences relating to Service Matters punishable by Civil Courts

246. Punishment for pretending to be a deserter.

247. Punishment for procuring and assisting desertion.

248. Punishment for obstructing members of the Armed Forces.

249. Punishment for aiding malingering.

250. Unlawful purchase, etc., of service stores.

251. Illegal dealings in documents relating to pay, pensions, mobilisation, etc.

252. Unauthorised use of and dealing in decorations, etc.

253. Intoxicating liquor not to be conveyed on board any vehicle, naval ship, aircraft or thing.

Provisions as to Evidence

254. General provisions as to evidence.

255. Proof of outcome of civil trial.

256. Evidence of proceedings of court-martial.

Reduction in Rank

257. Restriction on reduction or disrating in rank of warrant or petty officers and non-commissioned officers.

258. Special disciplinary provisions.

Miscellaneous Provisions

259. Temporary reception in civil custody of persons under escort.

260. Avoidance of assignment of, or charge on service pay, pension, etc.

261. Powers of certain officers to take statutory declarations.

PART XXI

Reservists and Pensioners

262. Reservists and pensioners.

263. Annual training.

264. Calling out of reservists and pensioners to aid the civil power.

265. Calling out of reservists and pensioners on permanent service.

266. Punishment for non-attendance.

267. Record of illegal absence.

268. Discharge during service.

269. Regulations as to reservists and pensioners.

PART XXII

Supplementary and Miscellaneous Provisions

Application of this Act

270. Application of this Act.

271. Application of this Act to women.

272. Application of this Act to civilians.

273. Application of this Act to passengers.

274. Application of this Act to cadets, recruits and boys.

Wills and Distribution of Property

275.  Service persons on enlistment to register the name of personal representative in case of death.

276. Service person's wills: special provisions.

277. Distribution in case of deceased service person's intestacy.

278. Payment of debts of deceased service person.

279. Property of deceased service person to be distributed subject to rights of creditors.

280. Deceased service person's money undisposed of to constitute a fund.

281. Application of money, etc., in case of desertion.

282. Uniforms and decorations of deceased service person.

Miscellaneous

283. Power to make regulations generally.

284. Powers exercisable in subsidiary legislation.

285. Provisions as to active service.

286. Execution of orders, instruments, etc.

287. Establishment of the Armed Forces Benefit Fund.

288. Rights of officers.

289. Corresponding structure of ranks in the Armed Forces.

290. Repeal and savings.

291. Interpretation.

292. Short title.

 SCHEDULES

FIRST SCHEDULE

Alternative Offences of which Accused may be convicted by Court-Martial

SECOND SCHEDULE

Supplementary Provisions as to Payment for Requisitioned Vehicles

THIRD SCHEDULE

Armed Forces Services' Corresponding Rank Structure (officer)

FOURTH SCHEDULE

Armed Forces Services' Corresponding Rank Structure (Soldiers, Ratings and Aircraftmen)

____________________________

 

CITATION

An Act to provide for the command, maintenance and administration of the Armed Forces of the Federation.

 

[Commencement. ]                        [6th July, 1994]

 

PART I

Establishment and Composition of the Armed Forces

1. Establishment and functions of the Armed Forces

(1)    There is hereby established for the Federation an Armed Forces which shall be maintained and administered as set out in this Act and comprise the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force (in this Act referred to as the "Army", "Navy" and "Air Force") respectively.

(2)    The Armed Forces shall consist of such-

(a)    establishments and number of equipment;

(b)    officers and non-commissioned officers; and

(c)    soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen, as the case may be,

as the President may, in consultation with the National Assembly, determine.

(3)    The Armed Forces shall be charged with the defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by land, sea and air and with such other duties as the National Assembly may, from time to time, prescribe or direct by an Act.

(4)    Notwithstanding the generality of the provisions of subsection (3) of this section-

(a)    the Navy shall, in particular, be further charged with-

(i)     enforcing and assisting in co-ordinating the enforcement of all customs, laws, including anti-bunkering, fishery and immigration laws of Nigeria at sea;

(ii)    enforcing and assisting in co-ordinating the enforcement of national and international maritime laws ascribed or acceded to by Nigeria;

(iii)    making of charts and co-ordinating of all national hydrographic surveys; and

(iv)   promoting, co-ordinating and enforcing safety regulations in the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria;

(b)    the Air Force shall, in particular, be further charged with-

(i)     enforcing and assisting in co-ordinating the enforcement of international law, conventions, practices and customs ascribed or acceded to by Nigeria relating to aerial or space activities in the Nigerian air space;

(ii)    co-ordinating and enforcing of national and international air laws acceded or ascribed to by Nigeria; and

(iii)    delineating, demarcating and co-ordinating of all aerial surveys and security zones of the Nigerian air space.

(5)    The authority conferred by this Act to maintain the Armed Forces shall include authority to raise and maintain units of or including women, and accordingly the provisions of this Act shall apply to women, subject to section 271 of this Act and to such modifications and adaptations as the President may by order specify from time to time.

2. Establishment of the Armed Forces Reserve

There shall be established and maintained by the Armed Forces an Armed Forces Reserve (in this Act referred to as "the Reserve") which shall consist of such number of officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen who are transferred to it on completion of their period of service in the Armed Forces and in such other services as the President may prescribe.

3. Pay regulations, duties, recall, etc., of the Armed Forces Reserve

The President may make regulations governing the pay, duties and methods of recall of members of the Reserve and any other matters pertaining to the Reserve as seems to him necessary.

 

PART II

Establishment of Armed Forces Council

4. Establishment of the Armed Forces Council

(1)    There shall be established for the Armed Forces a Council to be known as the Armed Forces Council (in this Act referred to as "the Forces Council").

(2)    The Forces Council shall consist of-

(a)    the President who shall be the Chairman;

(b)    the Minister of Defence;

(c)    the Chief of Defence Staff;

(d)    the Chief of Army Staff;

(e)    the Chief of Naval Staff; and

(f)     the Chief of Air Staff.

(3)    The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence shall be the Secretary to the Forces Council.

(4)    The Chairman may appoint a member of the Forces Council to perform the duties of the Chairman at any meeting of the Forces Council at which the Chairman is absent and the appointment may be either general or in respect of a particular meeting.

(5)    If a member of the Forces Council is unable for any reason whatsoever to perform his duties as a member, he may, with the approval of the Chairman, nominate an officer in the Armed Forces to perform those duties during the period he is unable to do so.

(6)    The Forces Council may whenever it deems it necessary co-opt any officer, public officer or any other person as a member of the Forces Council for the purpose of any particular meeting but that officer, public officer or other person shall not be entitled to vote at the meeting or count towards a quorum and his membership of the Forces Council shall cease at the end of that particular meeting unless the Forces Council otherwise decides.

5. Functions of the Forces Council

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the Forces Council shall be responsible, under the general authority of the President, for the command, discipline and administration of, and for all other matters relating to the Armed Forces.

(2)    The responsibility of the Forces Council shall not extend to the operational use of the Armed Forces.

6. Powers of the Forces Council

The Forces Council shall have power-

(a)    to organise the work of the Forces Council and the manner in which it shall perform its functions and determine the duties and responsibilities of the members of the Forces Council;

(b)    to delegate to any member of the Forces Council, by notification, any function and power of the Forces Council;

(c)    to consult with persons who are not members of the Forces Council;

(d)    to determine the procedure to be followed by the Forces Council in conducting its business, including its quorum; and

(e)    to do such other things which the Forces Council may consider necessary or desirable to secure the better performance of its functions under this Act.

PART III

Command and Operational Use

7. Day-to-day command of the Armed Forces

(1)    The Chief of Defence Staff shall, subject to the general direction of the President and of the National Assembly, be vested with the day-to-day command and general superintendence of the Armed Forces.

(2)    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the President may make regulations-

(a)    as to the Service Chief in whom command over the respective service is vested; and

(b)    as to the circumstance in which the command is to be exercised.

(3)    Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, regulations made under this section may provide for the duties, functions and powers of the Chief of Defence Staff and the respective Service Chiefs.

8. Operational use of the Armed Forces

(1)    The President shall determine the operational use of the Armed Forces, but may, under general or special directives, delegate his responsibility for the day-to-day operational use-

(a)    of the Armed Forces, to the Chief of Defence Staff;

(b)    of the Army, to the Chief of Army Staff;

(c)    of the Navy, to the Chief of Naval Staff; and

(d)    of the Air Force, to the Chief of Air Staff.

(2)    It shall be the duty of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff, as the case may be, to comply with any directive given to them by the President under subsection (1) of this section.

(3)    In this section, "operational use of the Armed Forces" includes the operational use of the Armed Forces in Nigeria for the purpose of maintaining and securing public safety and public order.

 

PART IV

Nigerian Army Council

9. Establishment and composition of the Nigerian Army Council

(1)    There shall be established for the Army a council to be known as the Nigerian Army Council (in this Act referred to as "the Army Council").

(2)    The Army Council shall consist of-

(a)    the Minister of Defence who shall be the Chairman;

(b)    the Chief of Defence Staff who shall be the Vice-Chairman; and

(c)    the Chief of Army Staff.

(3)    The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence shall be the Secretary to the Council.

(4)    The Chairman may, from time to time, appoint any member of the Army Council to perform the duties of the Chairman at any meeting of the Army Council at which the Chairman is absent and the appointment may be either general or in respect of a particular meeting.

(5)    If a member of the Army Council is unable for any reason whatsoever to perform his duties as a member, he may, with the approval of the Chairman, nominate any other officer to perform those duties during the period he is unable to do so.

(6)    The Army Council may, whenever it deems it necessary, co-opt any officer, public officer or any other person as a member of the Army Council for the purpose of any particular meeting of the Army Council but that officer, public officer or other person shall not be entitled to vote at the meeting or count towards a quorum, and his membership of the Army Council shall cease at the end of that particular meeting unless the Army Council otherwise decides.

10. Functions of the Army Council

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the Army Council shall be responsible, under the general authority of the Chief of Defence Staff, for the command, discipline and administration of and for all other matters relating to the Army.

(2)    The responsibility of the Army Council shall not extend to the operational use of the Army.

11. Powers of the Army Council

The Army Council shall have power-

(a)    to organise the work of the Army Council and the manner in which it shall perform its functions and determine the duties and responsibilities of the members of the Army Council;

(b)    to delegate to any member of the Army Council by notification in the Gazette any of the functions and powers of the Army Council;

(c)    to authorise the Service Chief to delegate his powers in accordance with section 258 of this Act;

(d)    to consult with persons who are not members of the Army Council;

(e)    to determine the procedure to be followed by the Army Council in conducting its business, including its quorum; and

(f)     to do such other things which the Army Council may consider necessary or desirable to secure the better performance of its functions under this Act.

 

PART V

Nigerian Navy Board

12. Establishment of the Nigerian Navy Board

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, there shall be established for the Navy a board to be known as the Nigerian Navy Board (in this Act referred to as "the Board") which shall be responsible, under the general authority of the Chief of Defence Staff, for matters relating to the command, discipline and administration of, and all other matters relating to the Navy.

(2)    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Board shall not have responsibility for the operational use of the Navy.

13. Membership of the Board

(1)    The Board shall consist of-

(a)    the Minister of Defence who shall be the Chairman;

(b)    the Chief of Defence Staff who shall be the Vice-Chairman; and

(c)    the Chief of Naval Staff.

(2)    The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence shall be the Secretary of the Board.

(3)    The Board may, whenever it deems it necessary, co-opt any officer, public officer or any other person as a member of the Board for the purpose of any particular meeting of the Board, but that officer, public officer or other person shall not be entitled to vote at the meeting or count towards a quorum and his membership of the Board shall cease at the end of that particular meeting unless the Board otherwise decides.

(4)    The Chairman may, from time to time, appoint any member of the Board to perform the duties of the Chairman at any meeting of the Board at which the Chairman is absent and the appointment may be either general or in respect of a particular occasion.

(5)    If any member is for any reason whatsoever unable to perform his duties as a member, he may, with the approval of the Chairman, nominate any other person to perform those duties during the period he is unable to do so.

14. Powers of the Board

The Board shall have power-

(a)    to organise the work of the Board and manner in which it shall perform its functions and the duties and responsibilities of the members;

(b)    to delegate to any member of the Board by notification in the Gazette any of the powers or duties of the Board;

(c)    to authorise the Service Chief to delegate his powers in accordance with section 258 of this Act;

(d)    to consult with persons who are not members of the Board;

(e)    to determine the procedure to be followed by the Board in conducting its business, including its quorum; and

(f)     to do such other things which the Board may consider necessary or desirable to secure the better performance of its functions under this Act.

 

PART VI

Nigerian Air Council

15. Establishment of the Air Council

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, there shall be established for the Air Force a council to be known as the Nigerian Air Council (in this Act referred to as "the Air Council") which shall be responsible under the general authority of the Chief of Defence Staff for matters relating to the command, discipline and administration of, and of other matters relating to, the Air Force.

(2)    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Air Council shall not have responsibility for the operational use of the Air Force.

16. Membership of the Air Council

(1)    The Air Council shall consist of-

(a)    the Minister of Defence who shall be the Chairman;

(b)    the Chief of Defence Staff who shall be the Vice-Chairman; and

(c)    the Chief of Air Staff.

(2)    The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence shall be the Secretary of the Air Council.

(3)    The Air Council may, whenever it deems it necessary, co-opt any officer, public officer or any other person as a member of the Council for the purpose of any particular meeting of the Council, but that officer, public officer or other person shall not be entitled to vote at the meeting or count towards a quorum and his membership of the Air Council shall cease at the end of that particular meeting unless the Air Council otherwise decides.

(4)    The Chairman may nominate any member of the Air Council to perform the duties of the Chairman at any meeting of the Air Council at which the Chairman is absent and any such nomination may be either general or in respect of a particular occasion.

(5)    If a member of the Air Council is, for any reason whatsoever, unable to perform his duties as a member, he may, with the approval of the Chairman, nominate any other person to perform those duties during the period he is unable to do so.

17. Powers of the Air Council

The Air Council shall have power-

(a)    to organise the work of the Air Council and the manner in which it shall perform its functions and the duties and responsibilities of the members;

(b)    to delegate to any member of the Air Council by notification in the Gazette any of the powers or duties of the Air Council;

(c)    to authorise the Service Chief to delegate his powers in accordance with section 258 of this Act;

(d)    to consult with persons who are not members of the Air Council;

(e)    to determine the procedure to be followed by the Air Council in conducting its business; and

(f)     to do such other things which the Air Council may consider necessary or desirable to secure the better performance of its functions under this Act.

 

PART VII

Administration, Government and Command

Command

18. Appointment of Service Chiefs, etc.

(1)    The President, may, after consultation with the Chief of Defence Staff and subject to confirmation by the National Assembly, appoint such officers (in this Act referred to as "the Service Chiefs") as he thinks fit, in whom the command of the Army, Navy and Air Force, as the case may be, and their Reserves shall be vested.

(2)    The Service Chief shall be known-

(a)    in the case of the Nigerian Army, as the Chief of Army Staff;

(b)    in the case of the Nigerian Navy, as the Chief of Navy Staff; and

(c)    in the case of the Air Force, as the Chief of Air Staff.

(3)    Subject to the terms of appointment of the Service Chiefs and to such directions as to the operational use of the Army, Navy and Air Force as may be given under section 8 of this Act, the Service Chiefs shall have the command, direction and general superintendence of the Army, Navy and the Air Force respectively, and their Reserves.

(4)    The President may, before consulting with the Chief of Defence Staff, consult with the Forces Council, but the question as to whether any consultation was held or what happened in the course of a consultation shall not be enquired into.

19. Powers of command of members of co-operating services

In so far as the power of command depends on ranking, a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or of a military unit, who is acting together with any of the services, jointly or severally (either with or without his unit or any part thereof) shall have the like powers as a member of the corresponding rank of the respective service and for purposes of an act or omission relating to insubordination and the like offence that member shall be treated as if he were a member of the corresponding rank of the respective service.

20. Attachment of members of other services

(1)    A member of the Armed Forces may be attached temporarily to any of the services by order of the Forces Council.

(2)    The Forces Council shall make regulations to prescribe circumstances in which officers, soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen shall be deemed to be attached to any of the services, as the case may be.

21.    Attachment of personnel of foreign armed forces, powers of command, etc.

(1)    The President may, by order, direct that this section shall apply to a member of the force of a foreign country and where the President so directs, the Forces Council-

(a)    may attach temporarily to any of the services any member of the foreign force to which the other force belongs; or

(b)    subject to anything to the contrary in the conditions applicable to the Armed Forces, the Forces Council may place any member of the Armed Forces at the disposal of the service authorities of a foreign country for the purpose of being attached temporarily by those authorities to the forces of that country.

(2)    Where a member of a foreign force is by virtue of this section attached temporarily to the Armed Forces as an officer, a soldier, rating or an aircraftman, as the case may be, he shall for the period of attachment be subject to this Act to the extent to which its application to him is not modified by an order which the President may make under this subsection, in like manner as if he were a member of the Armed Forces of relative rank, and accordingly he shall be so treated and have like powers of command and punishment over members of the Armed Forces.

(3)    When the Armed Forces and the force to which this section applies are serving together whether alone or not-

(a)    a member of the foreign force shall be treated and shall have over members of the Armed Forces the like powers of command as if he were a member of the Armed Forces of relative rank; and

(b)    if the Armed Forces and the foreign force are acting in combination, an officer of the foreign force appointed by the Forces Council, or in accordance with regulations made by the Forces Council to command the combined force or any part thereof, shall have, over members of the combined force, like powers of command and punishment and may be invested with the like authority to convene and confirm the findings and sentences of courts-martial as if he were an officer of the Armed Forces of relative rank and holding the same command.

(4)    For the purposes of this section, forces shall be deemed to be serving together or acting in combination if, and only if, they are by order of the Forces Council declared to be so serving or so acting, and the relative rank of members of the combined forces shall be such as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Forces Council.

(5)    Without prejudice to any agreement which may be reached, a person shall not cease to be subject to this Act by reason only of attachment in pursuance of this section.

(6)    In this section, "force of a foreign country" or "foreign force" means the armed forces of a foreign country.

22. Regulations as to command

The President may make regulations as to the person in whom command over the establishments and units or any member thereof is vested and as to the circumstance in which command as aforesaid is to be exercised, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may in such regulations provide for the duties, functions and powers of command and staff of the Armed Forces.

 

PART VIII

Officers

23. Appointment of officers

(1)    No person shall be appointed to a commission in any of the services of the Armed Forces unless he is a citizen of Nigeria and has been recommended by a board of officers set up by the appropriate Service Chief.

(2)    A person recommended for appointment to a commission in the Armed Forces shall be appointed to a commission either for an indefinite period or for a specified time.

(3)    An officer on appointment shall be issued with a commission in the form prescribed by regulations made under section 26 of this Act and signed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

(4)    The appointment of a person to a commission in the Armed Forces shall be published in the Gazette.

24. Publication of promotion, etc., of officers

All promotions, retirements, resignations and dismissals of an officer from any of the services of the Armed Forces shall be published in the Gazette.

25. Recall of officers from retirement

An officer who has retired or was permitted to resign may be recalled at any time during the currency of any term of reserve service in accordance with regulations made under this Act, and on the recall, shall be liable to serve until he is released or discharged.

26. Regulations as to officers

The President may make regulations governing the commissioning of officers, their terms of service, promotion, retirement, resignation, dismissal and such other matters concerning officers of the Armed Forces as may seem to him necessary.

 

PART IX

Enlistment and Terms and Conditions of Service

27. Recruiting officers

A person (in this Act referred to as a "recruiting officer") authorised in that behalf by regulations made under this Part of this Act may enlist recruits in the Armed Forces.

28. Enlistment

(1)    A person seeking to enlist in the Armed Forces shall be given a notice in the prescribed form setting out questions to be answered on attestation and stating the general conditions of the engagement to be entered into by him and a recruiting officer shall not enlist a person in the Armed Forces, unless he is satisfied by that person that he was given that notice, understands it and wishes to be enlisted.

(2)    A recruiting officer shall not enlist a person under the apparent age of eighteen years, unless consent to the enlistment has been given in writing by that person's parents or guardian or, where the parents or guardian are or is dead or unknown, by some person approved by the Chairman of the Local Government in which the person applying for enlistment resides or, in the case of a person who resides in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the Mayor.

29. Terms of enlistment

(1)    The term for which a person enlisting in the Armed Forces may be enlisted shall be such a term beginning with the date of his attestation, as is mentioned in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

(2)    Where the person enlisting has apparently attained the age of eighteen years, the term of enlistment shall, as may be prescribed, not exceed twelve years, and be classed-

(a)    as a term of regular service; or

(b)    as to a prescribed part, a term of regular service and as to the remaining part, a term in the Armed Forces Reserve.

(3)    Where the person enlisting has not apparently attained the age of eighteen years, the term shall be a term ending with the expiration of such period not exceeding twelve years as may be prescribed beginning with the date on which he attained that age, and be classed-

(a)    as a term of regular service; or

(b)    as to a prescribed part, a term of regular service, and as to the remaining part, a term of service in the Armed Forces Reserve.

30. Re-engagement and continuance in service

(1)    An enlisted person, before or after completing the term of his regular service, may, with the approval of the respective competent service authority, re-engage for such further period or periods of regular service and service in the Reserve as may be prescribed, so however that-

(a)    at the expiration of twelve years of continuous regular service from the date of his original attestation or the date when he apparently attained the age of eighteen years, whichever is the later, all reserve service due by him shall be deemed to have been completed; and

(b)    such further period or periods of regular service, together with the original period of regular service, shall not, except as provided by subsections (2) and (3) of this section, exceed a total continuous period of eighteen years of regular service from the date of the enlisted person's original attestation or the date upon which he apparently attained the age of eighteen years, whichever is the later.

(2)    An enlisted person who has completed a period of eighteen years of regular service may, if he so desires and with the approval of the respective competent service authority, continue to serve to complete 22 years of regular service in all respects as if his term of regular service was still unexpired, provided that-

(a)    he claims his discharge at the expiration of three months after he has given notice to his commanding officer of his wish to be discharged; and

(b)    his commanding officer may give him three months' notice of intention to discharge him.

(3)    An enlisted person who has completed a period of 22 years of regular service may, if he so desires and with the approval of the respective competent service authority, continue to serve in all respects as if his term of regular service was still unexpired.

31. Prolongation of service

An enlisted person whose term of regular service expires during a state of war, insurrection, hostilities or public emergency may be retained in the Armed Forces and his service prolonged for such further period as the respective competent service authority, with the approval of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Minister, may direct.

 

PART X

Discharge and Transfer to the Reserve

32. Discharge

(1)    Unless otherwise prescribed by this Act, if an enlisted person becomes entitled to be discharged, he shall be discharged with all convenient speed; but until discharged, he shall remain subject to service law under this Act.

(2)    If an enlisted person to be discharged is serving out of Nigeria and his term of service is prolonged under this Act, he shall be returned to Nigeria free of cost with all convenient speed and be discharged on his arrival in Nigeria or, if he consents to his discharge being delayed, within six months from his arrival.

(3)    Except in pursuance of a sentence of a court-martial under this Act, an enlisted person shall not be discharged unless his discharge has been authorised by order of the respective Service Chief in accordance with regulations made under this Part of this Act.

(4)    An enlisted person shall be given on his discharge a certificate of discharge containing such particulars as may be prescribed, provided that, an enlisted person who is discharged within six months of the date of attestation shall not be entitled to receive a certificate of discharge.

(5)    An enlisted person who is discharged in Nigeria shall be entitled to be conveyed free of cost from the place where he is discharged to the place stated in his attestation paper to be the place where he was attested or to any place at which he intends to reside and to which he can be conveyed with no greater cost.

33. Transfer to the Reserve

(1)    Subject to the provisions of this Act, an enlisted person whose term of service requires his transfer to the Reserve shall, when so due, be transferred to the Reserve; but until he is so transferred, he shall remain subject to this Act.

(2)    When an enlisted person due for transfer to the Reserve is serving outside Nigeria, he shall be returned to Nigeria free of cost with all convenient speed and be transferred to the Reserve on his arrival in Nigeria; or, if he consents to his transfer being delayed, he shall be so transferred not later than six months from the date of his arrival in Nigeria.

(3)    An enlisted person who is transferred to the Reserve in Nigeria shall be entitled to be conveyed free of cost from the place where he is transferred to the place stated in his attestation paper to be the place where he was attested or to any place at which he intends to reside and to which he can be conveyed at no greater cost.

(4)    An enlisted person due for transfer to the Reserve may, instead of being so transferred, be discharged forthwith by the respective competent service authority without assigning any reason.

(5)    If an enlisted person is so discharged, the provisions of section 32 of this Act shall have effect instead of the provisions of this section.

34. Right of Warrant Officer, Chief Petty Officer to be discharged on reduction to ranks or rating

Unless there exists a state of war or public emergency or there is an insurrection or hostilities have commenced, if a Warrant Officer or Chief Petty Officer is reduced to the ranks or ordinary rating, as the case may be, he may thereupon claim to be discharged.

35. Power to discharge

An enlisted person may be discharged at any time by a competent service authority during his term of engagement.

36. Right of enlisted person to purchase discharge

(1)    Subject to the provisions of section 43 of this Act, an enlisted person may claim his discharge within six months after the date of his first attestation, and if a competent service authority approves, he shall, on payment of a sum of not more than three hundred naira as may be determined by the competent service authority, be discharged accordingly.

(2)    Nothing in section 32 of this Act shall apply to a discharge under subsection (1) of this section, and until his discharge, the enlisted person shall remain subject to service law under this Act.

 

PART XI

Miscellaneous and Supplementary Provisions relating to Discharge, etc.

37. Rules for reckoning service

(1)    In reckoning the service of an enlisted person for discharge or re-engagement or transfer to the Reserve, there shall be excluded therefrom-

(a)    all periods during which he has been absent from duty for any of the following causes-

(i)     imprisonment;

(ii)    desertion;

(iii)    absence without leave exceeding twenty-eight days; and

(b)    any period ordered by a court-martial to be forfeited.

(2)    Regulations under this Part of this Act may make provision for restoring service excluded by the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, in consideration of good service or on other grounds justifying the restoration of service so excluded.

38. Validity of attestation and enlistment

(1)    Where a person has on attestation made the prescribed declaration and thereafter receives pay as a member of the Armed Forces-

(a)    the validity of his enlistment shall not be called in question on the grounds of an error or omission in his attestation paper;

(b)    after the expiration of a period of three months from the date on which he made the declaration, he shall be deemed to have been validly enlisted notwithstanding any non-compliance with the requirements of this Act or any other ground whatsoever (not being an error or omission in his attestation paper),

and, accordingly, he shall be subject to service law under this Act until his discharge under this Act.

(2)    Where a person has received pay consequent on enlistment without having previously made the prescribed declaration for enlisting, he may claim his discharge at any time, and if he makes such claim, the claim shall be submitted as soon as may be to the competent service authority who shall cause him to be discharged with all convenient speed, and until he is discharged, he shall be deemed to be an enlisted person.

(3)    Nothing in this section shall be construed as prejudicing the determination of any question as to the term for which a person was entitled or as preventing the discharge of a person who has not claimed his discharge.

39. Fraudulent or irregular enlistment, etc.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Act, liability for prosecution shall lie in the case of an enlisted person whose enlistment into any service of the Armed Forces is founded on fraudulent misrepresentation of actual facts or any other irregularity which otherwise shall have disentitled or disqualified the person from being enlisted nor shall such false representation regularise his intention to commit an offence, vacate or evade military duty of any kind.

40. Pensions provisions

The Armed Forces Pensions Act shall apply.

[Cap. A23.]

41. Provisions as to death or injury

(1)    Notwithstanding the definition of service as provided for under section 16 of the Armed Forces Pensions Act, every officer, soldier, rating or aircraftman to whom that Act applies who, in the actual discharge of his duty and without his own default, has received wounds or injuries or suffered illness, shall be entitled to disability pension.

(2)    The family of any officer, soldier, rating or aircraftman who has been killed or has died of wounds received in the course of his duty or who has died through illness directly attributable to fatigue or exposure incidental to his service in the Armed Forces, shall be entitled to such benefits under the Armed Forces Pensions Act as may be prescribed.

(3)    For the purpose of this section-

"active service" includes military service in peace-time; and

"duty" includes active service.

42. Service outside Nigeria

The President may, by order, direct that any officer, soldier, rating or aircraftman of the Armed Forces shall proceed to any place outside Nigeria for the purpose of undergoing instruction or training or for duty or employment.

43.    Postponement of discharge or transfer pending proceedings for offences, etc.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act-

(a)    a person subject to service law under this Act shall not be discharged or transferred to the Reserve at a time when he has become liable as a person subject to service law under this Act to be proceeded against for an offence against any of the provisions of service law;

(b)    any person subject to service law under this Act who is serving a sentence of imprisonment or detention awarded by a court-martial under service law or by his commanding officer, shall not be entitled to be discharged or transferred to the Reserve during the currency of the sentence.

44.    Interpretation of, and power to make certain regulations for this Part

(1)    In this Part of this Act, "competent service authority" means an officer designated as such by the Army Council, Navy Board or Air Council, as the case may be, for the purposes of this Part of this Act.

(2)    The Forces Council may, with the approval of the President, make such regulations as appear to the Forces Council to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of, or in connection with the enlistment of recruits for the Army, Navy, Air Force and generally for carrying this Part of this Act into effect, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection, such regulations may make provisions for-

(a)    prescribing the form of attestation paper to be used; and

(b)    an oath or affirmation to be administered on enlistment.

 

PART XII

Offences

Misconduct in action

45. Aiding the enemy

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, with intent to assist the enemy-

(a)    abandons or delivers up any place, post or thing which it is his duty to defend, or induces any other person to abandon or deliver up any place, post or thing which it is that person's duty to defend; or

(b)    does or fails to do any act calculated to imperil the success of operation of any service of the Armed Forces or of any forces co-operating with the Armed Forces or of any part of any of those forces; or

(c)    having been made a prisoner of war, serves with or aids the enemy in the prosecution of hostilities or of measures calculated to influence morale, or in any other manner whatsoever not authorised by international usage; or

(d)    furnishes the enemy with arms or ammunition or with supplies of any description; or

(e)    harbours or protects an enemy not being a prisoner of war,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death or any other punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, knowingly and without lawful excuse-

(a)    abandons or delivers up any place, post or thing which it is his duty to defend or induces any other person to deliver up any place, post or thing which it is that person's duty to defend; or

(b)    does or fails to do any act calculated to imperil the success of operations of any service of the Armed Forces or of any force co-operating with the Armed Forces or of any part thereof or of any of those forces; or

(c)    having been made a prisoner of war, serves with or aids the enemy in the prosecution of hostilities or of the measures calculated to influence morale, or in any manner whatsoever not authorised by international usage; or

(d)    furnishes the enemy with arms or ammunition or with supplies of any description; or

(e)    habours or protects an enemy not being a prisoner of war,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(3)    For the purpose of this section, "thing" means and includes a vehicle, ship, gun, tank, vessel, craft, boat, an aircraft, a radar and an ammunition.

46. Communication with the enemy

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, with intent to assist the enemy, communicates with or gives intelligence to the enemy, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death or any other punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, without lawful authority, communicates with or gives intelligence to the enemy is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death or any other punishment provided by this Act.

(3)    In this section, "intelligence" means information which is or purports to be information as to any matter such that information about it would or might be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection) as to a matter falling within any of the following paragraphs, being a matter such that information as to it would or might be useful as aforesaid, that is-

(a)    the number, description, armament, equipment, disposition, movement or condition of any service of the Armed Forces or of any force co-operating with the Armed Forces or of a ship or an aircraft of the co-operating force;

(b)    any operation or projected operation of the Armed Forces or any force co-operating with the Armed Forces or a ship or aircraft of the co-operating force;

(c)    any code, cipher, call sign, password or countersign;

(d)    any measure for the defence or fortification of any place on behalf of the Federal Government;

(e)    the number, description or location of any prisoner of war;

(f)     munitions of war.

47. Cowardly behaviour

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, when before the enemy-

(a)    leaves the post, position, watch or other place where it is his duty to be; or

(b)    throws away his arms, ammunition or tools, in such a manner as to show cowardice or otherwise behaves in such a manner as to show cowardice,

shall be guilty of an offence against this section.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who when before the enemy, induces any other person subject to this Act and before the enemy to commit an offence under subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence against this section.

(3)    A person guilty of an offence against this section shall, on conviction by a court-martial, be liable to suffer death or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(4)    It shall be a valid defence under this section if the surrender or abandonment of a place, post or thing by a person charged with its defence is justified by reason of superior order, the utmost necessity such as want of provisions, water, logistic support, the absence of hope or relief, inability to offer further resistance or the certainty or extreme probability that no further efforts could prevent the place, post or thing falling into enemy hands.

48. Offences against morale

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    spreads (whether orally, in writing, by signal or otherwise) reports relating to operations of any of the services of the Armed Forces or any forces co-operating therewith, or of any part of any of these forces being reports calculated to create despondency or unnecessary alarm; or

(b)    when before the enemy, uses words calculated to create despondency or unnecessary alarm,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for life or any less punishment provided by this Act.

49.    Becoming a prisoner of war through disobedience or wilful neglect and failure to rejoin Armed Forces

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, through disobedience to order or wilful neglect of his duty, is captured by the enemy, is guilty of an offence under this section.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, having been captured by the enemy, fails to take, or prevents or discourages any other person subject to service law under this Act who has been captured by the enemy from taking any reasonable steps which are available to him or, as the case may be, to that other person, to rejoin the Armed Forces, is guilty of an offence under this section.

(3)    A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for life or any less punishment provided by this Act.

50.    Offences by or in relation to sentries, watch, etc.

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, while on guard duty or watch-

(a)    sleeps at his post or watch; or

(b)    when not on duty at a post or watch is asleep at a time when he is not allowed to be asleep; or

(c)    is drunk; or

(d)    leaves his post or watch without having been regularly relieved; or

(e)    otherwise absents himself from any place, post or watch where it is his duty to be,

is guilty of an offence under this section.

(2)    For the purposes of this section, a person shall be treated as being drunk if owing to the influence of alcohol or any drug, whether alone or in combination with any other circumstances, he is unfit to be entrusted with his duty.

(3)    A person subject to service law under this Act who strikes or otherwise uses force against any person on guard duty or watch being a member of the Armed Forces, or of any force co-operating with the Armed Forces, or by threat or force compels that person to let him or any other person pass, is guilty of an offence against this section.

(4)    A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for-

(a)    five years, if the offence was committed on active service; and

(b)    a term not exceeding two years if the offence was not committed on active service.

(5)    Reference in this section to a person on guard duty or watch is reference to a person who-

(a)    is posted or ordered to patrol, keep watch or has adopted the position of sentry at a post or has undertaken the patrol; or

(b)    is a member of a guard or other party mounted or ordered to patrol for the purpose of protecting any person, premises or place.

(6)    The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply in relation-

(a)    to a person posted or ordered to patrol or keep watch or who has adopted the position of sentry at a post or has undertaken the patrol; and

(b)    to a member of a party mounted or ordered to patrol or keep watch for purposes or preventing or controlling access to or egress from any premises or place or of regulating traffic by road, by rail, by air or any inland navigation,

as they apply to a person on guard duty or watch.

51. Looting

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    steals from, or with intent to steal, searches the body of a person killed, wounded or captured in the course of war-like operations, or killed, injured or detained in the course of operation undertaken by any service of the Armed Forces for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities; or

(b)    steals any property which has been left exposed or unprotected in consequence of the operations as are mentioned in paragraph (a) of this section; or

(c)    takes, otherwise than for the public service, any vehicle, equipment or stores abandoned by the enemy,

is guilty of looting and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 

Mutiny

52. Mutiny

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    takes part in a mutiny involving the use of violence or the threat of the use of violence or having as its object or one of its objects the refusal or avoidance of any duty or service against, or in connection with operations against the enemy, or the impeding of the performance of that duty or service; or

(b)    incites any other person subject to service law under this Act to take part in a mutiny, whether actual or intended,

is guilty of an offence under this subsection and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, in a case not falling within subsection (1) of this section, takes part in a mutiny, or incites any person subject to service law to take part in a mutiny, whether actual or intended, is guilty of an offence under this subsection and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to life imprisonment.

(3)    In this section and other sections of this Act, "mutiny" means a combination between two or more persons subject to service law under this Act or between persons, two at least of whom are subject to service law under this Act-

(a)    to overthrow or resist lawful authority in the Federation or in any arm or service of the Armed Forces or in any force co-operating with the Armed Forces or in any part of those forces; or

(b)    to disobey the authority as is mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection in such circumstances as to make the disobedience subversive of discipline, or with the object of avoiding any duty or service against, or in connection with operations against the enemy; or

(c)    to impede the performance of any duty or service in the Federation or in any arm or service of the Armed Forces or in any force co-operating with the Armed Forces or in any part of those forces.

53. Failure to suppress mutiny

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, knowing that a mutiny is taking place or is intended-

(a)    fails to use his utmost endeavour to suppress or prevent it; or

(b)    fails to report without delay that the mutiny is taking place or is intended,

is guilty of an offence under this section.

(2)    A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) of this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial-

(a)    if the offence was committed with intent to assist the enemy, to life imprisonment;

(b)    in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

Insubordination

54. Insubordinate behaviour

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    strikes or otherwise uses violence to, or offers violence to, his superior officer; or

(b)    uses threatening or insubordinate language to his superior officer,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person convicted under subsection (1) of this section shall only be liable to be imprisoned for not more than two years if the offence was committed on active service or involved the striking or other use of violence, to the superior officer exercising authority as such.

(3)    In subsections (1) and (2) of this section, "superior officer" in relation to a person, means an officer, a warrant officer or its equivalent rank, non-commissioned officer subject to service law under this Act of superior rank, and includes an officer, a warrant officer or its equivalent rank, or non-commissioned officer so subject of equal rank but greater seniority while exercising authority as that person's superior.

55. Fighting, quarrelling and disorderly behaviour

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    fights, quarrels or behaves in a disorderly manner with any other person, whether subject to service law under this Act or not; or

(b)    uses threatening, abusive, insulting or provocative words or behaviour likely to cause a disturbance,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

56. Disobedience to particular orders

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, in such manner as to show wilful defiance of authority, disobeys a lawful command given or sent to him by whatever means is guilty of an offence under this subsection and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, whether wilfully or through neglect, disobeys a lawful command is guilty of an offence under this subsection and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

57. Disobedience to standing orders

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who contravenes or fails to comply with a provision of an order to which this section applies, being a provision known to him, or which he might reasonably be expected to know, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    This section applies to standing orders or other routine orders of a continuing nature made for any formation, unit or body of troops or for any area, garrison or place, or for any ship, train or aircraft.

58. Obstruction of provost officers

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    obstructs; or

(b)    when called on, refuses to assist,

a person known to him to be a provost officer, or to be a person (whether subject to service law under this Act or not) lawfully exercising authority under or on behalf of a provost officer, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 

Absence from Duty, etc.

59. Absence without leave

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    absents himself without leave; or

(b)    persuades or procures any other person subject to service law under this Act to absent himself without leave,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

60. Desertion

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    deserts; or

(b)    persuades or procures any other person subject to service law under this Act to desert,

is guilty of desertion and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of this section shall only be liable to be imprisoned for not more than two years if-

(a)    where the offence is against paragraph (a) of that subsection, he was on active service or under orders for active service at the time when it was committed; or

(b)    where the offence is against paragraph (b) of that subsection, the person in relation to whom it was committed was on active service or under orders for active service at that time.

(3)    In addition to or in lieu of any punishment authorised by subsection (1) or (2) of this section, the court-martial by whom a person subject to service law under this Act is convicted for desertion may direct that the whole or part of his service, previous to the period in respect of which he is convicted of having been a deserter, shall be forfeited, but this subsection shall not apply to a member of the Reserve called out on permanent service.

(4)    For the purposes of this section and other sections of this Act, a person deserts who-

(a)    leaves any service of the Armed Forces or when it is his duty to do so, fails to join or rejoin the Armed Forces, with (in either case) the intention, subsisting at the time of the leaving or failure to join or formed thereafter, of remaining permanently absent from his duty; or

(b)    being an officer, enlists in or enters any of the other services of the Armed Forces, without having resigned his commission, or being a soldier, rating or aircraftman, enlists in or enters any of the services of the Armed Forces without having been discharged from his previous enlistment; or

(c)    absents himself without leave with intent to avoid serving at any place outside Nigeria or to avoid service or any particular service when before the enemy,

and reference in this section and other sections of this Act to desertion shall be construed accordingly.

61. Assisting and concealing desertion and absence without leave

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    knowingly assists any other person subject to service law under this Act to desert or absent himself without leave; or

(b)    knowing that a person subject to service law under this Act has deserted or absented himself without leave, or is attempting to desert or absent himself without leave, fails to report that fact without delay, or fails to take any step in his power to cause that person to be apprehended,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

62. Failure to perform military duties

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    without reasonable excuse, fails to attend for a parade or other duty of any description or leaves parade or duty before he is permitted to do so; or

(b)    neglects to perform, or negligently performs, a duty of any description,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

Malingering and Drunkenness

63. Malingering

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    falsely pretends to be suffering from sickness or disability; or 

(b)    injures himself with intent thereby to render himself unfit for duty, or causes himself to be injured by any other person with that intent; or

(c)    injures any other person subject to service law under this Act at the instance of that person with intent thereby to render that person unfit for duty; or

(d)    with intent to render or keep himself unfit for service, does or fails to do anything (whether at the time of the act or omission he is in hospital or not) whereby he produces, prolongs or aggravates, any sickness or disability,

is guilty of malingering.

(2)    A person guilty of malingering under subsection (1) of this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial-

(a)    where the offender is on active service, to suffer death or any less punishment provided by this Act;

(b)    in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

(3)    In this section, "unfit" includes temporarily unfit.

64. Drunkenness

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who is drunk, whether on duty or not, is guilty of drunkenness and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act, so however, that where the offence is committed by a soldier, rating or aircraftman who is not on active service or on duty, the sentence imposed on him shall not exceed imprisonment for a term of six months.

(2)    For purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a person is drunk if owing to the influence of alcohol or any drug, whether alone or in combination with any other substance, he is unfit to be entrusted with his duty or with any duty which he may be called upon to perform, or behaves in a disorderly manner or in any manner likely to bring discredit to the Armed Forces.

65. Drugs: wrongful use, possession, etc. of controlled substances

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who wrongfully uses, possesses, manufactures, distributes, imports into the customs territory of Nigeria, exports from Nigeria, or introduces into a cantonment or barrack, any vessel, craft, vehicle or aircraft used by or under the control of the Armed Forces, a substance described in subsection (2) of this section, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 21 years.

(2)    The substances referred to in subsection (1) of this section are as follows-

(a)    opium, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, lysergic acid, phencyclidme, diethylamide, mathamphetamine, barbituric acid, marijuana and any compound or derivative of any such substance;

(b)    a substance not specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection that is listed on a schedule of controlled substances prescribed by the President for the purposes of this section; and

(c)    any other substance not specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection or contained on a list prescribed by the President under paragraph (b) of this subsection that is listed in a controlled substances law existing in Nigeria.

 

Offences relating to Property

66. Offences in relation to public and service property

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    steals or fraudulently misapplies a public or service property, or is concerned in or, connives at the stealing or fraudulent misapplication of a public or service property; or

(b)    receives or retains a public or service property knowing or having reason to believe that the property has been stolen or has been fraudulently misapplied; or

(c)    wilfully damages or is concerned in the wilful damage of a public or service property; or

(d)    by wilful neglect, causes damage to a public or service property,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

67. Offences in relation to property of members of the Armed Forces

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    steals or fraudulently misapplies a property belonging to a person subject to service law under this Act or is concerned in or connives at the stealing or fraudulent misapplication of a property belonging to a person subject to service law under this Act; or

(b)    receives or retains a property belonging to a person subject to service law under this Act knowing or having reason to believe that the property has been stolen or has been fraudulently misapplied; or

(c)    wilfully damages or is concerned in the wilful damage of a property belonging to a person subject to service law under this Act,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

68. Miscellaneous offences relating to property

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    loses a public or service property of which he has the charge or which forms part of the property of which he has the charge or which has been entrusted to his care; or

(b)    by negligence, damages a public or service property of which he has the charge or which has been entrusted to his care or which forms part of the property of which he has the charge or which has been entrusted to his care; or

(c)    by negligence, causes damage to a public or service property; or

(d)    fails to take proper care of an animal or a bird used in the public service which is in his charge; or

(e)    makes away (by pawning or in any other way) with any military, naval or air force decoration granted to him or any clothing, arms, ammunition or other equipment issued to him for his use for military purposes,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    It shall be a defence for a person charged under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section with losing a property that he took reasonable steps for the care and preservation of the property.

 

Navigation and Flying offences

69. Loss or hazarding vehicle, ship or aircraft

A person subject to service law under this Act who, whether wilfully or by negligence, causes or allows to be lost or hazarded any vehicle, ship, or aircraft in the service of the Armed Forces, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial-

(a)    if he acts wilfully or with wilful neglect, to life imprisonment or to any less punishment provided by this Act; and

(b)    in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to any less punishment provided by this Act.

70. Dangerous flying, etc.

A person subject to service law under this Act who is guilty of an act or neglect in flying or in the use of an aircraft, or in relation to an aircraft or aircraft material, which causes or is likely to cause loss of life or bodily injury to any other person, is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to life imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act, so however that, if the offender has not acted wilfully or with wilful neglect the sentence imposed on him shall not exceed imprisonment for a term of two years.

71. Low flying

A person subject to service law under this Act who, being the pilot of a service aircraft, flies it at a height less than the height from time to time prescribed by regulations made by the Forces Council under this Act, except while taking off or alighting or in such other situation as may be so prescribed, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

72. Annoyance by navigation or flying

A person subject to service law under this Act who, being the commanding officer of a naval ship or the pilot of a service aircraft, navigates or flies it, as the case may be, so as to cause or to be likely to cause, unnecessary annoyance to any other persons is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

Other Offences in respect of Ships and Aircraft, etc.

73. Inaccurate certification of ships, aircraft, parachutes, etc.

A person subject to service law under this Act who signs a certificate relating to a matter affecting the seagoing or fighting efficiency of any service ship, vessel, aircraft, parachute or a certificate relating to any service aircraft or aircraft material without ensuring the accuracy of the certificate is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

74. Improper carriage of persons and goods

A person subject to service law under this Act who, being in command of a service vessel, ship, vehicle or an aircraft without lawful authority-

(a)    receives or permits to be received on board the ship, vehicle or aircraft any goods or merchandise intended for disposal or delivery by way of trade or business (whether on his own account or on account of any other person), not being merchandise received in the course of salvage; or

(b)    agrees to carry any goods or merchandise on board the ship, vehicle or aircraft in consideration of the payment of freight, or demands or receives payment in respect of the carnage; or

(c)    carries or agrees to carry on board the vehicle, ship, vessel or aircraft a person not being his immediate dependant or member of the Armed Forces,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 

Prize Offences

75. Prize offences by commanding officers

A person subject to service law under this Act who, being in command of a service ship, vessel or an aircraft-

(a)    having taken a ship, vessel or an aircraft as prize, fails to send to the most convenient High Court in his opinion, in Nigeria, all the ship or aircraft papers, as the case may be, found on board; or

(b)    unlawfully makes an agreement for the ransoming of a ship, vessel, an aircraft or goods taken as prize; or

(c)    in pursuance of an agreement as aforesaid or, otherwise by collusion, restores or abandons the ship, vessel, aircraft or goods taken as prize,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or any less punishment provided by this Act.

76. Other prize offences

A person subject to service law under this Act, who-

(a)    strikes or otherwise ill-treats any person who is on board a ship, vessel or an aircraft when taken as prize, or unlawfully takes from that person anything in his possession; or

(b)    removes out of a ship, vessel or an aircraft or for the necessary use and service of any of the services of the Armed Forces, any goods not previously adjudged by a High Court in Nigeria to be lawful prize; or

(c)    breaks bulk on board a ship, vessel or an aircraft taken as prize or detained in exercise of any belligerent right or under any enactment, with intent to embezzle or fraudulently misapply anything therein,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 

Sexual Offences

77. Rape and carnal knowledge

A person subject to service law under this Act who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl without her consent or with her consent if obtained-

(a)    by force or by means of threat or intimidation of any kind; or

(b)    by fear of harm; or

(c)    by means of fake and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act; or

(d)    in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

78. Defilement

A person subject to service law under this Act who has carnal knowledge of a girl, being under the age of sixteen years is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

79. Sexual relation with service personnel's spouse

A person subject to service law under this Act who has carnal knowledge of the spouse of any other person subject to service law under this Act is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, so however that no person shall be convicted under this section upon the uncorroborated evidence of the witness.

80. Fraternisation

An officer subject to service law under this Act, who fraternises with a soldier, rating or an aircraftman, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 81. Sodomy

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    has carnal knowledge of a person against the order of nature; or

(b)    has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c)    permits a person to have carnal knowledge of him against the order of nature,

is guilty of an offence under this section.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, whether in public or private, commits an act of gross indecency with any other person or procures another person to commit an act of gross indecency with him or attempts to procure the commission of an act of gross indecency by any person with himself or with another person whether in public or private, is guilty of an offence under this section.

(3)    A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

Offences relating to Billeting and Requisitioning of Vehicles

82. Billeting offence

A person who-

(a)    knowing that no billeting requisition is in force under this Act authorising him to demand a billet or that he is otherwise not authorised to demand a billet, obtains a billet or orders or procures another person to obtain a billet; or

(b)    takes or agrees to take, or demands, from a person on whom he or any other person or a vehicle is or is to be billeted in pursuance of a billeting requisition under this Act, any money or thing, as consideration for not requiring or for ceasing to require, accommodation for himself or that other person or parking space for the vehicle; or

(c)    wilfully or by wilful neglect damages, or causes or allows to be damaged, any premises in which he is billeted in pursuance of a billeting requisition, or any property in the premises,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

83. Offences in relation to requisitioning of vehicles

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    knowing that no requisitioning order is in force under this Act authorising him to give directions, or for the provision of any vehicle, or that he is otherwise not authorised to give those directions, gives directions for the provision of the vehicle or orders or procures another person to give those directions; or

(b)    in purported exercise of a power conferred by a requisitioning order under this Act, takes or orders or procures any other person to take possession of a vehicle, knowing that no requisitioning order is in force under this Act under which the taking possession of the vehicle could be authorised, or the taking possession thereof is otherwise not authorised under the requisitioning order; or

(c)    takes or agrees to take, or demands from a person any money or thing as consideration for directions, or any particular direction, for the provision of a vehicle not being given or for possession of a vehicle not being taken, or not being retained under a requisitioning order under this Act,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall apply in relation to an aircraft, a ship, vehicle, vessel and stores (within the meaning of this Part of this Act) as they apply in relation to a vehicle under that subsection.

(3)    It shall not be an offence under this section or section 82 of this Act, if a billeting requisition is authorised in an emergency by an appropriate superior authority as contained in Part XIX of this Act.

Offences relating to and by Persons in Custody

84. Irregular arrest and confinement

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, when any other person subject to this Act is under arrest-

(a)    unreasonably delays the taking of such steps as it is his duty to take-

        (i)     for investigating the allegations against that other person; or

        (ii)    for having the allegation against that other person investigated by his commanding officer or an appropriate superior authority or, as the case may be, tried by a court-martial; or

(b)    fails to release or effect the release of that other person when it is his duty to do so,

is guilty of an offence under this section.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, having committed a person (in this section referred to as "the prisoner") to the custody of any other person to whom he is authorised to commit the person, fails, without reasonable cause to deliver-

(a)    at the time of committal; or

(b)    if it is not practicable so to do, at the time of the committal, or within twenty-four hours thereafter,

to a person, to whose custody the prisoner was committed, a report in writing signed by himself of the offence which the prisoner is alleged to have committed, is guilty of an offence under this section.

(3)    Where a person is committed to the charge of a person subject to service law under this Act who is in command of a guard, then if without reasonable cause that person does not as soon as he is relieved from his guard and any further duty, or, if he is not sooner relieved, within twenty-four hours after the committal, give to the officer to whom it is his duty to report-

(a)    a written statement containing so far as is known to him, the prisoner's name and alleged offence, the name and rank or other description of the officer or other person who alleged that the prisoner had committed the offence; and

(b)    the report required by subsection (2) of this section if he has already received it,

he is guilty of an offence under this section.

(4)    A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

85. Permitting escape and unlawful release of prisoner

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who wilfully allows to escape a person who is committed to his charge or whom it is his duty to guard, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    without proper authority, releases a person who is committed to his charge; or

(b)    without reasonable excuse, allows to escape a person who is committed to his charge or whom it is his duty to guard,

is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

86. Resistance to arrest

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, being concerned in any quarrel or disorder, refuses to obey an officer who orders him into arrest, or strikes or otherwise uses violence or offers violence to the officer, is guilty of an offence under this section whether or not the officer is his superior.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who strikes or otherwise uses violence or offers violence to a person whose duty it is to apprehend him or in whose custody he is, is guilty of an offence under this section.

(3)    A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(4)    For the avoidance of doubt, "officer" for the purpose of this section, includes a warrant or non-commissioned officer.

87. Escape from confinement or custody

A person subject to service law under this Act who escapes from arrest, prison or other lawful custody (whether military or not) is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 

Miscellaneous Offences

88. Injurious disclosures

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, without authority, discloses orally, in writing, by signal or by any other means whatsoever, any information which is or purports to be information useful to an enemy, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    In this section, "information useful to an enemy" means information as to any matter such that information as to it would or might be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy, and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection) information as to any matter falling within the following paragraphs of this subsection, being a matter such that information as to it would or might be useful to an enemy, that is-

(a)    the number, description, armament, equipment, disposition, movement or condition of any of the services of the Armed Forces or of any forces co-operating with the Armed Forces, or any ship, aircraft or thing belonging to the Armed Forces or to any of those forces; or

(b)    any operation or projected operation of the Armed Forces or of any forces co-operating with the Armed Forces or of any ship, aircraft or thing belonging to the Armed Forces or to any of those forces; or

(c)    any code, cipher, call sign, password or countersign; or

(d)    any measure for the defence or fortification of any place on behalf of Nigeria; or

(e)    the number, description or location of a prisoner of war; or

(f)     munitions of war.

89. Making of false statement on enlistment

A person who, when before a recruiting officer for the purpose of being attested in pursuance of Part IX of this Act, has knowingly given a false answer to a question contained in the attestation paper and put to him by or by the direction of the recruiting officer is, if he has since become and remains subject to service law under this Act, guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to any less punishment provided by this Act.

90. Making of false documents

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    makes, signs or makes an entry in a service report, return, pay list or certificate, or any other service or official document, being a document or an entry which is to his knowledge false in a material particular; or

(b)    alters a service report, return, pay list or certificate or any other service or official document, or alters an entry in any of those documents, so that the document or entry is to his knowledge false in a material particular, or suppresses, defaces or makes away with the document or entry which it is his duty to preserve or produce; or

(c)    with intent to defraud, fails to make an entry in a document referred to in paragraph (b) of this section; or

(d)    aids, abets, commands, counsels, procures or connives at the commission by any other person subject to service law under this Act of the offence under this section (whether or not he knows the nature of the document or entry in relation to which the offence will be committed),

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

91. Scandalous conduct of officer

An officer subject to service law under this Act who behaves in a scandalous manner, unbecoming of the character of an officer and a gentleman, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to be cashiered.

92. Ill-treatment of officer, soldier, rating or aircraftman of inferior rank

If-

(a)    an officer subject to service law under this Act strikes or otherwise ill-treats an officer subject to

service law under this Act of inferior rank or less authority or a soldier, rating or an aircraftman subject to service law under this Act; or

(b)    a warrant or petty officer or a non-commissioned officer subject to service law under this Act, strikes or otherwise ill-treats any other warrant or petty officer or a non-commissioned officer of inferior rank or less authority or a soldier, rating or an aircraftman subject to this Act,

he is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

93. Disgraceful conduct

A person subject to service law under this Act who is guilty of a disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent or unnatural kind is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

94. False accusation

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    makes an accusation against an officer, a soldier, rating or an aircraftman subject to service law under this Act, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true; or

(b)    in making a complaint where he thinks himself wronged, makes a statement affecting the character of an officer, a soldier, rating or an aircraftman which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, or wilfully suppresses any material fact,

is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

95. Attempts to commit offences

A person subject to service law under this Act who attempts to commit an offence under any section of this Part of this Act is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to the like punishment as for that offence, so however that if the offence is one punishable by death he shall not be liable to any greater punishment than imprisonment for life.

96. Examination malpractices

(1)    A person subject to this Act who, before, at, during or in anticipation of an examination-

(a)    by a fraudulent trick or device or in abuse of his office or with intent to unjustly benefit himself or any other person, procures, gives, allows to be given to a person or is in any way concerned in the unjust benefit, procurement or giving of, a question paper or an answer script produced or intended to be used in an examination or graded exercise; or

(b)    by any false pretence with intent to cheat or unjustly benefit himself or any other person or for any other purpose whatsoever, buys, sells, procures or otherwise deals with a question paper or answer script intended for use or represented as genuine in respect of a particular examination or graded exercise of persons,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    In a charge for an offence under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, it is immaterial that the question paper or answer script concerned is proved not to be the one in question or to be false, not genuine or not related to the examination.

97. Impersonation

A person subject to service law under this Act who, with intent to defraud any other person, falsely represents himself to be some other person, living or dead, is guilty of impersonation and liable, on conviction by a court-martial-

(a)    if the person represents himself to be a person entitled by will or operation of law to any specific property and he commits the offence to obtain that property, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years;

(b)    in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

98. Aiding and abetting service offence

A person subject to service law under this Act who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another person of an offence under any of the provisions of this Act is guilty of the like offence and liable to be charged, tried and punished as a principal offender.

99. Obstruction of police officer arresting service person

A person subject to service law under this Act who at any place either within or outside Nigeria prevents or obstructs-

(a)    the execution by a police officer of a warrant for the arrest of a person subject to service law under this Act who has committed or is suspected of having committed an offence punishable on conviction by a civil court; or

(b)    the arrest of a person subject to service law under this Act by a police officer acting in the exercise of his powers of arrest without warrant,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

 

Offences in relation to Courts-Martial

100. Offences in relation to court-martial

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    having been duly summoned or ordered to attend as a witness before a court-martial, fails to comply with the summons or order; or

(b)    refuses to swear an oath or make an affirmation when duly required by a court-martial to do so; or

(c)    refuses to produce a document in his custody or under his control which a court-martial has lawfully required him to produce; or

(d)    when a witness, subject to the provisions of section 176 of the Evidence Act, refuses to answer a question which a court-marital has lawfully required him to answer; or

[Cap. E14.]

(e)    wilfully insults a person, being a member of a court-martial or a witness or any other person whose duty it is to attend on or before the court-martial, while that person is acting as a member of the court-martial or is so attending, or wilfully insults that other person while that person is going to or returning from the proceedings of the court; or

(f)     wilfully interrupts the proceedings of a court-martial or otherwise misbehaves before the court-martial,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, other than the court in relation to which the offence was committed to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1) of this section, where an offence under paragraph (e) or (f) of that subsection is committed in relation to a court-martial held in pursuance of this Act, the court-martial, if of opinion that it is expedient that the offender should be dealt with summarily by that court-martial instead of being brought to trial before another court-martial, may by order under the hand of the President order the offender to be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 21 days or any less punishment provided for under this Act.

(3)    References in paragraphs (a) to (f) of subsection (1) of this section to a court-martial includes references to a court-martial held in pursuance of service law.

101. False evidence

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, having been duly sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in proceedings before a court-martial or before a board or person having power to administer oaths under service law, makes a statement material in those proceedings, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person shall not be liable to be convicted of an offence under this section solely on the evidence of one witness as to the falsity of a statement alleged to be false.

102. Court-martial records: destruction, falsifying, removing, etc.

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    destroys, falsifies, removes, defaces, conceals, mutilates, obliterates or takes with the intent to destroy, falsify, remove, deface, conceal, mutilate, obliterate, any document relating to a court-martial; or

(b)    is concerned in or causes, procures, aids or abets another person whether or not that person is subject to service law under this Act to commit an offence against this section,

is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to any less punishment provided by this Act.

Conduct to prejudice of Service Discipline

103. Conduct to the prejudice of service discipline

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who is guilty of a conduct or neglect to the prejudice of good order and service discipline is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    It shall be a defence to a charge under subsection (1) of this section that the conduct or neglect of the accused had already been charged under sections 45 to 102 and sections 104 to sections 114 of this Act.

Civil Offences

104. Assault

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who, with unlawful force or violence, does or attempts to do any bodily harm to another person is guilty of assault and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    unlawfully assaults another person with a dangerous weapon or other means of force likely to cause death; or

(b)    unlawfully assaults another person and thereby does him grievous harm,

is guilty of aggravated assault and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

105. Manslaughter

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    unlawfully kills another person in such circumstances as not to constitute murder; or

(b)    with intent to kill or do some grievous harm to another person, unlawfully kills that person in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation, and before there is time for his passion to cool,

is guilty of manslaughter and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for life.

106. Murder

A person subject to service law under this Act who, without justification or excuse, unlawfully kills another person whether or not subject to service law under this Act when-

(a)    he intends to cause the death of the person killed or that of any other person; or

(b)    he intends to do the person killed or to any other person some grievous harm; or

(c)    death is caused by means of an act done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose, where the act is of a nature that is likely to endanger human life,

is guilty of murder and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death.

107. Robbery

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who steals anything and, at or immediately before or immediately after the time of stealing it, uses or threatens to use actual violence to any person or property in order-

(a)    to obtain or retain the thing stolen; or

(b)    to prevent or overcome resistance to the thing being stolen or retained,

is guilty of robbery and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years.

(2)    If the robbery is committed by a person subject to service law under this Act, armed with a dangerous or an offensive weapon or instrument, he is liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to suffer death and to a fine.

108. Extortion

A person subject to service law under this Act who communicates threats to another person with the

intention thereby to obtain a thing of value or gain is guilty of extortion and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

109. Burglary

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    with intent to commit an offence punishable by imprisonment for five years or more under this Act, breaks and enters the dwelling-house of another person; or

(b)    having entered the dwelling-house of another person with the intent to commit an offence punishable by imprisonment for five years or more under this Act, breaks out of the dwelling-house,

is guilty of burglary.

(2)    A person found guilty of an offence under subsection (1) of this section is liable, on conviction by a court-martial-

(a)    if the offence is committed in the night, to imprisonment for life;

(b)    if the offence is committed at any other time, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

110. House-breaking

A person subject to service law under this Act who, with intent to commit an offence under this Act, enters or is in the dwelling house, building or structure of another person, is guilty of house-breaking and liable, on conviction by a court-martial-

(a)    if the offence is committed in the night, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years;

(b)    if the offence is committed at any other time, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

111. Arson

A person subject to service law under this Act who wilfully or maliciously sets fire-

(a)    to a public building, dwelling house, an office or any structure whatsoever, movable or immovable, whether completed or not, occupied or not; or

(b)    to any vessel, ship, aircraft, railway track or wagon, or vehicle or thing; or

(c)    to a mine or working, fitting or an appliance of a mine,

is guilty of arson and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for life.

112. Forgery

A person subject to service law under this Act who-

(a)    fraudulently or knowingly utters, forges, procures, alters, accepts or presents to another person any cheque, promissory note or other negotiable instrument knowing it to be false, forged, stolen or unlawfully procured; or

(b)    knowingly and by means of a false representation or with intent to defraud the Federal Government, the Government of any State or any Local Government, causes the delivery or payment to himself or any other person of any property or money by virtue of any forged or false cheque, promissory note or other negotiable instrument whether in Nigeria or elsewhere; or

(c)    makes or utters any forged document, cheque, promissory note or other negotiable instrument, knowing it to be false or with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, to the prejudice of any person or with intent that any person may, in the belief that it is genuine, be induced to do or refrain from doing any act or thing, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 21 years.

113. Cheating

A person subject to service law under this Act who by means of a fraudulent trick or device-

(a)    obtains from another person anything capable of being stolen; or

(b)    induces another person-

(i)     to deliver to any person a thing capable of being stolen; or

(ii)    to pay or deliver to any person any money or goods or any greater sum of money or greater quantity of goods than he would have paid or delivered but for the trick or device,

is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

114. Other civil offences

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act who commits any other civil offence, whether or not listed under this Act or committed in Nigeria or elsewhere, is guilty of an offence under this section.

(2)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, "civil offence" means an act or omission punishable as an offence under the penal provisions of any law enacted in or applicable to Nigeria, and in this Act "corresponding civil offence" means the civil offence the commission of which constitutes the offence under this section.

(3)    A person convicted by a court-martial for an offence under this section is liable-

(a)    if the corresponding civil offence is treason or murder, to suffer death; and

(b)    in any other case, to suffer any punishment or punishments which a civil court could award for the corresponding civil offence, if committed in Nigeria being a punishment or punishments, less than the maximum punishment, which a civil court could so award, as is so provided,

so however that where a civil court may not so award imprisonment, a person so convicted shall be liable to suffer such punishment, less than cashiering in the case of an officer or discharge with ignominy in the case of a soldier, rating or aircraftman, as is provided.

(4)    Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, a person shall not be charged with an offence under this section committed in Nigeria if the corresponding civil offence is treason, murder, manslaughter, or treasonable felony.

(5)    Where the corresponding civil offence is murder or manslaughter, an offence under this section shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, to have been committed at the place of the commission of the act or occurrence of the neglect which caused the death, irrespective of the place of the death.

 

PART XIII

Punishment

Summary Trial

115. Officers

(1)    Subject to the provisions of this section, an officer who is charged with an offence which may be summarily tried under Part XIV of this Act may be summarily tried and punished to the extent permitted in accordance with the following provisions of this section by the officer in command of the unit, ship or establishment to which that officer belongs either at the time of the commission of the offence or at the time of the trial of the offence, that is-

Company commander or equivalent

(a)    where the accused is of or below the rank of an Army Captain or corresponding rank, the commanding officer of the company or establishment or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     confinement not exceeding seven days;

(ii)    award of extra duties not exceeding seven days;

(iii)    admonition;

Battalion commander or equivalent

(b)    where the accused is of or below the rank of Major or corresponding rank, the battalion commander or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     fine not exceeding N500;

(ii)    where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damage, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N 2,500;

Brigade commander or equivalent

(c)    where the accused is of or below the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or corresponding rank, the brigade commander or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     fine not exceeding N 1,000;

(ii)    forfeiture of pay not exceeding thirty days;

(iii)    where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damages, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N 3,000;

General officer commanding or equivalent

(d)    where the accused is of the rank of or above Colonel or corresponding rank, the general officer commanding or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     fine not exceeding N 2,000;

(ii)    forfeiture of pay not exceeding sixty days;

(iii)    where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damages, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N 5,000;

(iv)   reprimand or severe reprimand;

(v)    admonition.

(2)    For the purpose of this subsection (1) of this section, a punishment specified in a sub-paragraph of the scale shall be treated as less than the punishment specified in the preceding sub-paragraphs and greater than those specified in the succeeding sub-paragraph of the scale.

(3)    Except as expressly provided in this Act, not more than one punishment shall be awarded in a summary trial for one offence, provided that-

(a)    stoppages may be awarded either in addition to or without any other punishment; and

(b)    a reprimand or severe reprimand may be awarded in addition to a fine.

116. Warrant or petty officer, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, ratings or aircraftmen

(1)    Subject to the provisions of this section, a warrant or petty officer, non-commissioned officer, soldier, rating or aircraftman who is charged with an offence which may be summarily tried under Part XIV of this Act, may be summarily tried and punished to the extent permitted and in accordance with the following provisions of this section by the officer in command of the unit, ship or establishment to which that person belongs either at the time of the commission of the offence or at the time of the trial of the offence, that is-

Company commander or equivalent

(a)    where the accused is below the rank of a sergeant or corresponding rank, the commanding officer of the company or establishment or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     imprisonment with hard labour not exceeding seven days in the unit guardroom;

(ii)    extra duties not exceeding seven days;

(iii)    confinement not exceeding seven days;

(iv)   where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damage, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N 200;

(v)    reprimand;

(vi)   admonition;

Battalion commander or equivalent

(b)    where the accused is below the rank of warrant officer class one or chief petty officer, the battalion commander or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     dismissed regiment to the rank of corporal, able rate or below;

(ii)    imprisonment with hard labour up to twenty-eight working days in the unit guardroom, provided that the person so charged is of the rank of corporal, able rate or below;

(iii)    reduction in rank not below one step for sergeants, leading hands and below;

(iv)   forfeiture of pay not exceeding seven days;

(v)    where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damage, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N500;

(vi)   confinement to barracks not exceeding 28 days;

(vii)   extra duties not exceeding seven days;

(viii)  reprimand or severe reprimand;

(ix)   admonition;

Brigade commander or equivalent

(c)    where the accused is below the rank of warrant officer class one or chief petty officer, the brigade commander, or his equivalent, may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     dismissed regiment to rank of staff sergeant or below;

(ii)    imprisonment with hard labour up to 28 days in the unit guardroom;

(iii)    reduction in rank of staff sergeant or leading rate and below not more than two steps;

(iv)   fine not exceeding N 200;

(v)    where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damages, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N 2,500;

(vi)   forfeiture of pay not exceeding thirty days;

(vii)   reprimand or severe reprimand;

(viii) admonition;

General officer commanding or equivalent

(d)    where the accused is of the rank of warrant officer class one or chief petty officer and above, the general officer commanding or his equivalent may summarily deal with the charge by either dismissing the case or by awarding any of the following punishments, that is-

(i)     dismissed regiment to the rank of warrant officer class two, petty officer or below;

(ii)    imprisonment with hard labour up to 28 days in the unit guardroom;

(iii)    reduction in rank or disrating of warrant officer class two or petty officer and below, not more than two steps;

(iv)   fine not exceeding N 250;

(v)    where the offence has occasioned any expenses, loss or damages, make good the loss by stoppages not exceeding N 3,500;

(vi)   forfeiture of pay not exceeding 28 days;

(vii)   reprimand or severe reprimand;

(viii) admonition.

(2)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a punishment specified in any sub-paragraph of the scale shall be treated as less than the punishment specified in the preceding sub-paragraph and greater than those specified in the succeeding sub-paragraph of the scale.

(3)    Except as expressly provided in this Act, not more than one punishment shall be awarded in a summary trial for one offence, provided that-

(a)    stoppages may be awarded either in addition to or without any other punishment; and

(b)    a reprimand or severe reprimand may be awarded in addition to a fine.

(4)    Where a warrant or petty officer or a soldier, rating or an aircraftman is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 35 days or more, he shall also be sentenced to dismissal from the service.

117. Right of election of officers, warrant and petty officers to be tried by court-martial

Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing sections of this Act, a commanding officer shall not proceed summarily with the trial of an officer, a warrant or petty officer until he has afforded the officer, warrant or petty officer an opportunity of electing to be tried by a court-martial and if the person so elects in writing, the commanding officer shall take the prescribed steps with a view to the charge being tried by a court-martial.

Courts-Martial

118. Punishment of officers

(1)    The punishments which may be awarded to an officer by sentence of a court-martial under this Act are those set out in the following scale, that is-

(a)    death;

(b)    imprisonment;

(c)    dismissal with disgrace and dishonour;

(d)    dismissal from the Armed Forces;

(e)    reduction in rank;

(f)     forfeiture of seniority in the rank;

(g)    a fine of a sum not exceeding the equivalent of 3 months' pay;

(h)    severe reprimand or reprimand;

(i)     admonition;

(j)     forfeiture, where the offence is fraud, fraudulent mis-application, theft or any other form of undue enrichment of the accused, provided that evidence exists which satisfies the court that the accused or his estate has benefited from the property or thing subject of the offence;

(k)    stoppages, where the offence has occasioned any expense, loss or damage not exceeding one third of the total sum.

(2)    Where a court-martial decrees an officer to be reduced in rank under subsection (1) (e) of this section, the court-martial shall also decree the officer's seniority in the lower rank, for example, if an officer is sentenced to reduction in rank from lieutenant colonel to major, the court-martial shall specify that his seniority in the new rank will be three months, six months, nine months, one year or any other period, provided that if the court-martial fails to decree as aforesaid, the sentence of reduction in rank shall not be invalid, but the seniority in the new rank shall only be specified on review of sentence as is deemed appropriate.

(3)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a punishment specified in any paragraph of scale shall be treated as less than the punishment specified in the preceding paragraph of the scale.

(4)    Except as expressly provided in this Act, not more than one punishment shall be awarded by a court-martial for one offence.

(5)    Forfeiture or stoppages may be awarded by a court-martial either in addition to or without any other punishment.

(6)    A severe reprimand or reprimand may be awarded by a court-martial in addition to a fine.

(7)    Where an officer is sentenced by a court-martial to imprisonment, he shall also be sentenced to be dismissed with disgrace and dishonour, provided that if the court-martial fails to sentence him to be dismissed, the sentence of imprisonment shall not be invalid but shall be deemed to include a sentence of dishonour and disgrace.

119. Punishment of soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen

(1)    The punishment which may be awarded to a soldier, rating or an aircraftman by sentence of a court-martial under this Act are those set out in the following scale, that is-

(a)    death;

(b)    imprisonment;

(c)    dismissal with ignominy from the Armed Forces;

(d)    in the case of a warrant or petty officer, dismissal from the Armed Forces;

(e)    in the case of warrant officer, petty officer or non-commissioned officer, reduction to ranks or disrating to ordinary rating or any less reduction in rank;

(f)     a fine of a sum not exceeding the equivalent of three months' pay;

(g)    in the case of a warrant or petty officer or non-commissioned officer, severe reprimand or reprimand;

(h)    where the offence is absence without leave or desertion, forfeiture of service;

(i)     forfeiture where the offence is fraud, fraudulent mis-application, theft or any other form of undue enrichment of the accused, provided that evidence exists which satisfies the court that the accused or his estate has benefited from the property subject of the offence;

(j)     stoppages, where the offence has occasioned any expense, loss or damage not exceeding one third of the total sum.

(2)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a punishment specified in any paragraph of a scale shall be treated as less than the punishment specified in the preceding paragraph, and greater than that specified in the succeeding paragraph of the scale.

(3)    Except as expressly provided in the Act, not more than one punishment shall be awarded by a court-martial for one offence.

(4)    A soldier, rating or aircraftman sentenced by a court-martial to imprisonment may in addition thereto be sentenced to be discharged with ignominy from the service.

(5)    Where a warrant or petty officer or a non-commissioned officer is sentenced by a court-martial to imprisonment, he shall also be sentenced to be reduced to the ranks or disrated to ordinary rating, provided that, if the court-martial fails to sentence him to be so reduced, the sentence shall not be invalid but shall be deemed to include a sentence or reduction to the ranks or disrating to ordinary rating and shall also include dismissal from the service.

(6)    In the case of a warrant or petty officer or a non-commissioned officer, a severe reprimand or reprimand may be awarded by a court-martial in addition to a fine.

(7)    Forfeiture or stoppage may be awarded by a court-martial either in addition to or without any other punishment.

120. Field punishment

(1)    In relation to an offence committed by a soldier, rating or aircraftman on active service, the scale of punishments set out in subsection (1) of section 119 of this Act shall have effect as if after paragraph (d) thereof there were inserted the following paragraph-

"(dd) field punishment for a period not exceeding ninety days",

and subsection (5) of section 119 shall apply to field punishment as it applies to imprisonment.

(2)    Field punishment shall consist of such duties or drills, in addition to those which the offender might be required to perform if he were not undergoing punishment, and such loss of privileges, as may be provided by or under rules made under this Part of this Act and may include confinement in such place and manner as may be so provided and such personal restraint as may be necessary to prevent the escape of the offender and as may be so provided.

 

PART XIV

Trial Procedure

Arrest

121. Power to arrest offenders

(1)    A person subject to service law under this Act found committing an offence under any provision of this Act, or alleged to have committed or reasonably suspected of having committed the offence, may be arrested in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2)    A person authorised to effect arrest under this Part of this Act may use such force as is reasonably necessary for that purpose.

(3)    An officer may be arrested by an officer subject to service law under this Act of superior rank, or, if engaged in a quarrel or disorder, by an officer of any rank.

(4)    A soldier, rating or an aircraftman may be arrested by an officer, warrant or petty officer or a non-commissioned officer subject to service law under this Act, provided that, a person shall not be arrested by virtue of this subsection except by a person of superior rank.

(5)    A provost or any officer, warrant or petty officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, rating or aircraftman subject to service law under this Act who is lawfully exercising authority under a provost officer or on his behalf, may arrest any officer or soldier, rating or aircraftman, provided that, an officer shall not be arrested by virtue of this subsection except on the order of another officer.

(6)    The power of arrest vested in a person by this section may be exercised either personally or by ordering into arrest the person to be arrested or by giving orders for that person's arrest.

122. Provisions for avoiding delay after arrest, etc.

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, the allegations against a person subject to service law under this Act who is under arrest shall be duly investigated within reasonable time and as soon as may be, either proceedings shall be taken for punishing his offence or he shall be released from arrest within 24 hours.

(2)    The commanding officer shall have power to determine whether further detention shall continue beyond a period of 24 hours.

(3)    Where a person subject to service law under this Act, having been taken into service custody, remains under arrest for a longer period than eight days without a court-martial for his trial being assembled-

(a)    a special report on the necessity for further delay shall be made by the commanding officer to the prescribed authority in the prescribed manner; and

(b)    a similar report shall be made to the like authority and in the like manner every eight days until a court-martial is assembled or the offence is dealt with summarily or the person is released from arrest, the total period of such further detention not exceeding ninety days,

so however that in the case of a person on active service or in the Navy at sea, compliance with this subsection shall be excused in so far as it is not reasonably practicable having regard to the exigencies of service operations.

(4)    For the purposes of subsection (1) of section 84 of this Act, the question whether there has been unreasonable delay in the taking of any steps for the investigation against a person under arrest shall be determined without regard to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section.

(5)    The prescribed authority referred to in subsection (3) of this section shall have power to review the adequacy of probable cause and the propriety or otherwise of further detention.

(6)    A person arrested under this Act by virtue of this section shall, as soon as is practicable, be released from custody by the person making the arrest unless he believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary in the interest of public order or the Armed Forces and the need to prevent deliberate undermining of service discipline that the person be retained in custody having regard to all the circumstances, including-

(a)    the seriousness of the allegation or accusation, for example, murder or treason;

(b)    the need to establish the identity of the person under arrest;

(c)    the need to secure or preserve evidence of or relating to the allegation or accusation;

(d)    the need to prevent the continuation or repetition of the offence or any other offence;

(e)    the necessity to ensure the safety of the person, other persons or property;

(f)     the need to forestall the actual or likelihood of interference with investigation, for example, threatening, intimidating, eliminating or subornation of witnesses;

(g)    the need to prevent escape of the accused; and

(h)    the fact that the accused has not surrendered but has been apprehended as an illegal absentee or has habitually absented himself.

(7)    In this section-

(a)    "Navy at sea" relates to a person on board a ship at sea in which case-

(i)     confinement on board the ship at sea may continue only until the person can be transferred to a confinement facility ashore;

(ii)    the transfer shall be accomplished at the earliest opportunity permitted by the operational requirements and mission of the ship; and

(iii)    on the transfer, the special report required shall be transmitted to the prescribed authority under subsection (3) of this section;

(b)    "prescribed authority" means the appropriate superior authority under this Act.

 

Investigation of and Summary dealing with Charges

123. Investigation of charges by commanding officer

Before an allegation against a person subject to service law under this Act (in this section referred to as the "accused") that he has committed an offence under a provision of this Act is further proceeded with, the allegation shall be reported, in the form of a charge, to the commanding officer of the accused and the commanding officer shall investigate the charge in the prescribed manner.

124. Charges to be dealt with summarily or by court-martial

(1)    After investigation, a charge against an officer below the rank of lieutenant colonel or its equivalent or against a warrant or petty officer may, if an authority has power under the provisions of this Part and Part XIII of this Act to deal with it summarily, be so dealt with by that authority (in this Act referred to as "the appropriate superior authority") in accordance with those provisions.

(2)    After investigation, a charge against a non-commissioned officer, soldier, rating or an aircraftman may be dealt with summarily by his commanding officer subject to and in accordance with the following provisions of this Part and Part XIII of this Act.

(3)    A charge not dealt with summarily shall, after investigation, be remanded for trial by a court-martial.

(4)    Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this section, where the commanding officer has investigated a charge against an officer or a warrant or petty officer, he may dismiss the charge if he is of opinion that it ought not to be further proceeded with.

(5)    References in this Act to dealing summarily with a charge are references to the taking by the appropriate superior authority or the commanding officer of the accused, as the case may require, of the following action, this is-

(a)    dismissing the charge; or

(b)    determining whether the accused is guilty; or

(c)    where the accused is guilty, recording a finding of guilty and awarding punishment; or

(d)    condoning the offence in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(6)    A commanding officer shall not deal summarily with a charge under any of the following sections of this Act, that is-

(a)    sections 45, 46, 47, 48, 51, 52, 53, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 83, 88, 91 and 93;

(b)    sections 95 and 98 so far as they are applicable to an offence under any of the provisions mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(7)    Where an officer holding a post specified in Part VIII of this Act has been absent from his post on duty or approved leave for more than 96 hours, continuously, or has otherwise ceased to carry out his duties through sickness or any cause, any other officer temporarily authorised to carry out the duties of the post may while so authorised by the commanding officer carry out the duties of the substantive holder of the post and Part XIII of this Act shall be construed accordingly.

(8)    The power conferred by subsection (1) of this section may, in the case of an officer in command of a ship or Naval establishment and subject to any rules made under this Act, be exercised-

(a)    in respect of a person on board a single tender or boat who is absent from the ship or establishment on detached service, by the officer in command of that tender or boat;

(b)    in respect of persons on board one or two or more tenders or boats who are absent as aforesaid on detached service in company or acting together, by the officer in immediate command of those persons.

125.  Further proceedings on charges against non-commissioned officers, soldiers, ratings and aircraftmen

(1)    The following provisions of this section shall have effect where the commanding officer has investigated a charge against a non-commissioned officer or soldier, rating or an aircraftman.

(2)    Where the charge is one which can be dealt with summarily, the commanding officer may-

(a)    if of opinion that it should not be so dealt with, take the prescribed steps with a view to the charge being tried by a court-martial; or

(b)    otherwise deal with the charge summarily, and if he records a finding of guilty he may award punishment as provided under Part XIII of this Act.

126.  Further proceedings on charges against officers and warrant officers

(1)    Without prejudice to the provisions of Part XIII of this Act, a commanding officer, shall, if he can not adequately deal with a charge, and unless he has dismissed the charge, submit it in the prescribed manner to a higher authority who shall thereupon determine how the charge is to be proceeded with in accordance with subsection (2) of this section.

(2)    The higher authority may refer the charge to the appropriate superior authority or take the prescribed steps with a view to the charge being tried by a court-martial.

(3)    Where the charge is referred to the appropriate superior authority, that authority shall investigate the charge in the prescribed manner and determine whether the accused is guilty of the charge and accordingly dismiss the charge or record a finding of guilty.

(4)    If in the course of investigating the charge, the appropriate superior authority determines that it is desirable that the charge should be tried by a court-martial, the prescribed steps shall be taken with a view to its being so tried.

(5)    If the appropriate superior authority records a finding of guilty, it may award punishment as provided under Part XIII of this Act.

127. Dismissal of charges referred to higher authority

(1)    Notwithstanding anything in sections 123 and 124 of this Act, where a charge-

(a)    has been referred to higher authority with a view to its being tried by a court-martial; or

(b)    has been submitted to higher authority for determination on how it is to be proceeded with,

that authority may, subject to the provisions of this section, refer the charge back to the commanding officer of the accused with a direction that it shall be dismissed, and in that case the commanding officer shall dismiss the charge.

(2)    Where a case is referred back under subsection (1) (b) of this section, it shall be without prejudice to the preferring of another charge if the higher authority has so directed or the commanding officer thinks fit.

128. Officers who are to act as appropriate superior authority

(1)    The following persons may act as appropriate superior authority in relation to a person charged with an offence, that is-

(a)    the commanding officer; and

(b)    any officer of the rank of brigadier or above or officer of corresponding rank or those directed to so act under whose command the person is for the time being.

(2)    The President may make rules for the purpose of this section and those rules may confer on the appropriate superior authority power to delegate his functions in such cases and to such extent as may be specified in the rules, to officers of a class so specified.

Courts-Martial: General Provisions

129. Types of courts-martial

There shall be, for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Act, two types of courts-martial, that is-

(a)    a general court-martial, consisting of a President and not less than four members, a waiting member, a liaison officer and a judge advocate;

(b)    a special court-martial, consisting of a President and not less than two members, a waiting member, a liaison officer and a judge advocate.

130. Jurisdiction of courts-martial

(1)    A general court-martial shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, try a person subject to service law under this Act for an offence which, under this Act, is triable by a court-martial and award for the offence a punishment authorised by this Act for that offence, except that, where the court-martial consists of less than seven members it shall not impose a sentence of death.

(2)    A general court-martial shall also have power to try a person subject to service law under this Act who by law of war is subject to trial by a military tribunal and may adjudge a punishment authorised by law of war or armed conflict.

(3)    A special court-martial shall have the powers of a general court-martial, except that, where the court-martial consists of only two members it shall not impose a sentence that exceeds imprisonment for a term of one year or of death.

131. Officers having power to convene court-martial

(1)    Subject to the following provisions of this section, a court-martial may be convened by-

(a)    the President; or

(b)    the Chief of Defence Staff; or

(c)    the Service Chiefs; or

(d)    a general officer commanding, a brigadier, colonel or lieutenant colonel or their corresponding ranks having command of a body of troops or establishments; or

(e)    an officer for the time being acting in place of those officers.

(2)    A general court-martial may be convened by-

(a)    the President; or

(b)    the Chief of Defence Staff; or

(c)    the Service Chiefs; or

(d)    a general officer commanding or corresponding command; or

(e)    a brigade commander or corresponding command.

(3)    A special court-martial may be convened by-

(a)    a person who may convene a general court-martial; or

(b)    the commanding officer of a battalion or of a corresponding unit in the Armed Forces.

(4)    The senior officer of a detached unit, establishment or squadron may be authorised by the appropriate superior authority to order a court-martial in special circumstances.

132. Jurisdiction for joint trial

(1)    Subject to the provisions of section 128 of this Act, where two or more persons subject to service law under this Act under different commands or service jointly commit an offence, the following provisions shall apply as if they were under the same command for the purpose of their trial, that is-

(a)    the accused persons shall be tried by one court-martial;

(b)    the convening officer for the court-martial shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, be the officer in whose area of responsibility the offence was committed where one of the accused persons is under his command.

(2)    Where two or more accused persons who jointly commit an offence, are in the same area but under different commands, the convening officer for the court-martial shall be the most senior in rank among the two.

133. Constitution of courts-martial

(1)    Subject to the provisions of sections 128 and 129 of this Act, a court-martial shall be duly constituted if it consists of the President of the court-martial, not less than two other officers and a waiting member.

(2)    An officer shall not be appointed to be a member of a court-marital unless he is subject to service law under this Act and has been an officer in any of the services of the Armed Forces for a period amounting in the aggregate to not less than five years.

(3)    The President of a court-martial shall be appointed by order of the convening officer and shall not be under the rank of major or corresponding rank, unless, in the opinion of the convening officer, a major or an officer of corresponding rank having suitable qualifications is not, with due regard to the public service, available, so however that-

(a)    the president of a court-martial shall not be under the rank of a captain or a corresponding rank; and

(b)    where an officer is to be tried, the President shall be above or of the same or equivalent rank and seniority of the accused and the members thereof shall be of the same but not below the rank and seniority of the accused.

(4)    The members of a court-martial, other than the President, shall be appointed by order of the convening officer or in such other manner as may be prescribed.

(5)    A convening officer shall appoint a judge advocate for every court-martial.

(6)    A judge advocate shall be a commissioned officer who is qualified as a legal practitioner in Nigeria with at least three years post-call experience or failing that he shall on request by the convening officer be nominated by the Directorate of Legal Services of the respective services of the Armed Forces.

(7)    If a court-martial is to be convened at a place where, in the opinion of the convening officer, the necessary number of officers having suitable qualifications is not available to form the court-martial and cannot be made available with due regard to the circumstances, the convening officer may, with the consent of the proper superior authority appoint any service officer as President of the court-martial in lieu of, or as any other member of the court in lieu of, or in addition to any service officer or officers.

134. Supplementary provisions as to constitution of courts-martial

(1)    The officer who convenes a court-martial shall not be the President or a member of that court-martial.

(2)    An officer who, at any time between the date on which the accused was charged with the offence and the date of the trial, has been the commanding officer of the accused and any other officer who has investigated the charge against the accused, or who under service law has held or has acted as one of the persons holding an inquiry into matters relating to the subject matter of the charge against the accused, shall not sit as a member of a court-martial or act as judge advocate at the court-martial.

(3)    When the convening officer of a court-martial appoints a captain or an officer of corresponding rank to be president being of opinion that a major or an officer of corresponding rank having suitable qualifications is not with regard to the public service's exigency available, the order convening the court-martial shall contain a statement of that opinion, and that statement shall be conclusive.

135.  Place for sitting of courts-martial and adjournment to other places

(1)    Subject to the provisions of this section, a court-martial shall sit at such place as may be specified in the order convening the court-martial, and the convening officer may convene it to sit at a place outside the limits of his command.

(2)    A court-martial sitting at a place shall, if the convening officer directs it to sit at some other place, and may, without any such direction if it appears to the court-martial requisite in the interest of justice to sit at some other place, adjourn for the purpose of sitting at that other place.

(3)    Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, a court-martial may if it appears to the court-martial that an adjournment is desirable for any reason, be adjourned for such period as the court-martial thinks fit, provided that, except with the consent of the accused and prosecution, the period for which the court-martial may be adjourned under this subsection shall not on any occasion exceed six days.

(4)    Subject to the provisions of this section, a court-martial shall, unless prevented by weather or other unavoidable cause, sit from day to day until the court-martial has arrived at a finding and, in the case of a conviction, until sentence is pronounced but the court shall not sit on a Sunday, or any day that is a public holiday unless, in the opinion of the court-martial or of the convening officer, exigencies of service make it necessary to do so.

136. Dissolution of courts-martial

(1)    Where, whether before or after the commencement of the trial, it appears to the convening officer necessary or expedient in the interest of the administration of justice that a court-martial should be dissolved, the convening officer may by order dissolve the court-martial.

(2)    Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, if after the commencement of a trial by a court-martial, the membership of the court-martial is reduced, by reason of the death of one or more of the members or for any other reason, below the legal minimum, it shall be dissolved.

(3)    The proceedings of a court-martial shall be valid notwithstanding the absence of one or more of the members other than the President, provided that the number of members present throughout the proceedings is not reduced below the legal minimum, but a member of the court-martial who has been absent for any time during a sitting shall take no further part in the proceedings.

(4)    Where after the commencement of the trial, the President of the court-martial dies or is otherwise unable to attend and the court-martial is not reduced below the legal minimum, then-

(a)    if the senior member of the court-martial is of the rank of major or corresponding rank or is of higher rank and seniority than the accused, the convening officer may appoint him President and the trial shall proceed accordingly; and

(b)    if she is not, the court-martial shall be dissolved.

(5)    Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, if after the commencement of the trial, it is represented to the convening officer that owing to the sickness or other incapacity of the accused it is impracticable, having regard to all the circumstances, to continue the trial within a reasonable time, the convening officer may dissolve the court-martial.

(6)    Where a court-martial is dissolved under the provisions of this section, the accused may be tried by another court-martial.

Courts-Martial: Provisions relating to Trial

137. Challenges by accused of membership of court-martial

(1)    An accused about to be tried by a court-martial shall be entitled to object, on any reasonable grounds, to any member of the court-martial or the waiting member whether appointed originally or in lieu of another officer.

(2)    For the purpose of enabling the accused to avail himself of the right conferred by subsection (1) of this section, the names of the members of the court-martial and the waiting member shall be read over in the presence of the accused before they are sworn, and the accused shall be asked whether he objects to any of those officers.

(3)    An objection made by an accused to an officer shall be considered by the other officers appointed members of the court-martial.

(4)    If objection is made to the President of the court-martial and not less than one-third of the other members of the court-martial allow it, the court-martial shall adjourn and the convening officer shall appoint another President.

(5)    If objection is made to a member of the court-martial, other than the President of the court-martial and not less than one half of the members entitled to vote allow it, the member objected to shall retire and the vacancy may, and if the number of members would be reduced below the legal minimum, shall, be filled in the prescribed manner by another suitable officer and in such a way always as to ensure that the membership is not reduced below the legal minimum.

138. Administration of oaths and affirmations

(1)    An oath shall be administered to every member of a court-martial and to any person in attendance on a court-martial as judge advocate, waiting member, shorthand writers and interpreters.

(2)    Subject to subsections (3) and (6) of this section, a witness before a court-martial shall be examined on oath.

(3)    Where a child of tender age called as a witness does not, in the opinion of the court-martial, understand the nature of an oath, his evidence may be received, though not given upon oath, if in the opinion of the court-martial he is possessed of sufficient intelligence to justify the reception of the evidence and understands the duty of speaking the truth.

(4)    Where the evidence given by a child under subsection (3) of this section is given on behalf of the prosecution, the accused shall not be liable to be convicted upon that evidence alone, unless it is corroborated by some other material evidence in support thereof implicating the accused.

(5)    An oath required to be administered under this section shall be in the prescribed form and shall be administered at the prescribed time by the prescribed person and in the prescribed manner.

(6)    Where-

(a)    a person, required by virtue of this Act to take an oath for the purposes of proceedings before a court-martial, objects to being sworn and states, as the ground of his objection, either that he has no religious belief or that the taking of oath is contrary to his religious belief; or

(b)    it is not reasonably practicable to administer an oath to the person as aforesaid in the manner appropriate to his religious belief,

he shall be required to make a solemn affirmation in the prescribed form instead of taking an oath.

139. Courts-martial to sit in open court

(1)    Subject to the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a court-martial shall sit in open court and in the presence of the accused.

(2)    Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall affect the power of a court-martial to sit in camera on the ground that it is necessary or expedient in the interests of defence and security to do so.

(3)    Without prejudice to the power under subsection (2) of this section, a court-martial may order that, subject to such exceptions as it may specify, the public shall be excluded from all or any part of the proceedings of the court-martial if it appears to the court-martial that any evidence to be given or statement to be made in the course of the proceedings or that part, as the case may be, might otherwise lead to the disclosure of any information which would or might be directly or indirectly useful to any enemy or inimical to national or security interest.

(4)    A court-martial shall sit in closed court while deliberating on their finding or sentence on any charge.

(5)    A court-martial may sit in closed court on any other deliberation amongst the members.

(6)    Where a court-martial sits in closed court, no person shall be present except the members of the court-martial and such other person as may be prescribed.

(7)    A judge advocate shall be present at all sittings of a court-martial, except during deliberation on finding and sentence.

140. Decisions of courts-martial

(1)    Subject to the other provisions of this section, every question to be determined by a court-martial shall be by a majority of the votes of the members of the court-martial.

(2)    In the case of an equality of votes on the finding, the court-martial shall acquit the accused.

(3)    A finding of guilty where the only punishment which the court-martial can award is death shall not have effect unless it is reached with the concurrence of all members of the court-martial and where in any other case there is no concurrence in the finding by a majority of members, the court-martial may award any less punishment provided by this Act.

(4)    Where the accused is found guilty and the court-martial has power to sentence him either to death or to some less punishment, sentence of death shall not be passed without the concurrence of all the members of the court-martial.

(5)    In the case of equality of votes on the sentence or on any question arising after the commencement of a trial, other than the finding, the President of the court-martial shall have a second or casting vote.

141. Finding and sentence

(1)    Without prejudice to the provisions of section 139 of this Act, the finding of a court-martial on each charge shall be announced in open court and, if the finding is guilty, shall be, and be announced as being subject to confirmation.

(2)    The sentence of a court-martial, together with any recommendation to mercy, shall be announced as being subject to confirmation.

142. Power to convict for offence other than that charged

(1)    An accused charged before a court-martial with an offence under this Act may, on failure of proof of the offence having been committed under circumstances involving a higher degree of punishment, be found guilty of the offence as having been committed under circumstances involving a lesser degree of punishment.

(2)    An accused charged before a court-martial with an offence may be found guilty of attempting to commit the offence.

(3)    An accused charged before a court-martial with attempting to commit an offence may be convicted on that charge notwithstanding that it is proved that he actually committed the offence.

(4)    Where an accused is charged before a court-martial under section 95 of this Act in respect of attempting to commit a civil offence, he may be convicted on that charge notwithstanding that it is proved that he actually committed the civil offence.

(5)    Where an accused is charged before a court-martial with an offence under sec-tion 114 of this Act and the corresponding civil offence is one in proceedings for which, if he had been tried by a civil court for committing the offence in Nigeria, he might have been found guilty of another civil offence, then if the court-martial finds that he has committed that other civil offence he may be convicted of an offence against the said section in respect of the commission of that other civil offence.

(6)    An accused charged before a court-martial with an offence specified in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act may, be found guilty of an offence specified in relation thereto in the second column of that Schedule.

[First Schedule.]

143. Rules of evidence

(1)    Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the rules as to evidence to be observed in proceedings before a court-martial shall be the same as those observed in criminal courts in Nigeria and no person shall be required in a proceeding before a court-martial to answer a question or to produce a document which he could not be required to answer or produce in a similar proceeding before a civil court in Nigeria.

(2)    Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) of this section, a statutory declaration shall, in a trial by a court-martial, be admissible as evidence of the fact stated in the declaration in a case where, and to the extent which, oral evidence to the like effect would be admissible in that trial, but a statutory declaration shall not be admitted in evidence in the trial on behalf of either of the prosecution or of the defence-

(a)    where the declaration is put forward on behalf of the prosecution, unless a copy of the declaration has, not less than seven days before the commencement of trial, been served on the accused; or

(b)    where the declaration is put forward on behalf of the defence, unless a copy of the declaration has, not less than seven days or such less period as the convening officer may allow, before the commencement of the trial, been served on the convening officer by the accused; or

(c)    in any case, if, not later than three days before the commencement of the trial or within such further time as the court-martial may in special circumstances allow, the accused or, as the case may be, the commanding officer of the accused, serves a notice in the prescribed form on the commanding officer or accused requiring that oral evidence shall be given in lieu of the declaration; or

(d)    in any case, if the court-martial is of the opinion that it is desirable in the interest of justice that oral evidence should be given in lieu of the declaration and declares that it is of that opinion.

(3)    A court-martial shall take judicial notice of all matters of notoriety, including all matters within the general service knowledge of the court-martial, and of all other matters of which judicial notice would be taken in a civil court in Nigeria.

144. Privileges of witness and others at courts-martial

A witness before a court-martial or any other person whose duty it is to attend on or before the court-martial shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as a witness before a High Court.

145. Summoning of witnesses

(1)    A person, whether subject to this Act or not, who is required to give evidence before a court-martial may, be summoned by notice in writing given by order of the convening officer or the court.

(2)    A person not subject to this Act who attends a court-martial in pursuance of a notice under subsection (1) of this section shall be entitled to receive such expenses of his attendance as may be prescribed.

146. Offences by civilians in relation to courts-martial

(1)    Where in Nigeria a person other than a person subject to service law under this Act-

(a)    having been duly summoned to attend as a witness before a court-martial, fails to comply with the summons; or

(b)    refuses to swear on oath when duly required by a court-martial to do so; or

(c)    refuses to produce a document in his custody or under his control which a court-martial has lawfully required him to produce; or

(d)    when a witness, refuses to answer a question which a court-martial has lawfully required him to answer; or

(e)    wilfully insults a person, being a member of a court-martial or a witness or any other person whose duty it is to attend on or before a court-martial, while that person is acting as a member of the court-martial or is so attending, or wilfully insults that person while that person is going to or returning from the proceedings of a court-martial; or

(f)     wilfully interrupts the proceedings of a court-martial or otherwise misbehaves before the court-martial; or

(g)    does any other thing which would, if the court-martial had been a court of law having power to commit for contempt, have been contempt of that court,

the President of the court-martial may certify the offence of that person under his hand to the High Court having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria where the offence is alleged to have been committed or in the place where the offender is to be found.

(2)    The High Court to which an offence is certified under subsection (1) of this section may inquire into the alleged offence and after hearing witnesses (if any) and taking any statement that may be offered in defence, punish or take any steps for the punishment of that person in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of that High Court.

(3)    A person shall not be dealt with under this section in respect of failure to comply with a summons requiring him to attend as a witness before a court-martial unless any expenses in respect of his attendance have been paid or tendered.

(4)    For the purposes of subsection (3) of this section-

(a)    the tender of a warrant or voucher entitling a person to travel shall be deemed to constitute tender of his expenses in respect of the travelling authorised by the warrant or voucher; or

(b)    the tender of a written undertaking on behalf of the convening officer to defray at the trial any other expenses to which the person may be entitled shall be deemed to constitute tender of those expenses.

(5)    In this section, "court-martial" means a court-martial held under service law.

 

PART XV

Post- Trial Procedure

Review of Summary Findings and Awards

147. Review of summary findings and awards

(1)    Where a charge has been dealt with summarily and the charge is not dismissed, the authority specified in subsection (4) of this section may review the finding or award either upon a petition submitted under subsection (2) of this section or at any time if facts material to the case arise which were not available during the trial.

(2)    A person convicted and sentenced summarily may petition against the finding or award or both to the authority not later than one month after the finding or award was made.

(3)    Where on a review under this section, it appears to the authority-

(a)    expedient so to do by reason of any mistake of law in the proceedings on the summary dealing with the charge or of anything occurring in those proceedings which, in the opinion of the authority, involved substantial injustice to the accused, the authority may quash the finding, and if the finding is quashed, the authority shall also quash the award;

(b)    that a punishment awarded was invalid or too severe or (where the award included two or more punishments) that those punishments or some of them could not validly have been awarded in combination or are, taken together, too severe, the authority may vary the award by substituting such punishment or punishments as the authority may think proper, being a punishment which could have been included in the original award.

(4)    In this section, "the authority" means appropriate superior authority.

Confirmation, Revision and Review of Proceedings of Courts-Martial

148. Confirmation of proceedings of courts-martial and unconditional release from custody

(1)    Where a court-martial finds the accused guilty of a charge, the record of the proceedings of the court-martial shall be transmitted within sixty days from the date of the finding to the confirming authority for confirmation of the finding and sentence of the court-martial on that charge.

(2)    Where the record of proceedings of a court-martial, other than proceedings resulting in sentence of death or life imprisonment, are not transmitted within sixty days as aforesaid, and the accused remains in custody, he shall be released unconditionally pending such confirmation or review.

(3)    A finding of guilty or sentence of a court-martial shall not be treated as a finding or sentence of the court-martial until it is confirmed:

Provided that-

(a)    this subsection shall not affect the keeping of the accused in military custody pending confirmation, where the sentence is a term of imprisonment or a higher sentence, or the operation of sections 149 and 150 of this Act, or the provisions of this Act as to confirmation or approval; and

(b)    the power of detention under this section or the provisions of this Act shall not prejudice the right of an accused to an order of stay of execution of sentence pending appeal or review.

(4)    Where an accused person has been refused an order of stay of execution of sentence pending appeal or confirmation of sentence and has been taken in custody, the sentence shall include the period of detention commencing with the date he was so admitted.

(5)    In this section, "custody" means detention in an officers' mess, official residence of the accused or a public guest house, in the case of officers, or in any separate premises designated by the President as a detention facility for persons serving sentence of imprisonment and it excludes civil prison.

149. Petitions against findings or sentences of courts-martial

(1)    An accused may, within three months after being sentenced by a court-martial and before the sentence is confirmed, submit to the confirming authority any written matter which may reasonably tend to affect the confirming authority's decision whether to disapprove a finding of guilty or to approve the sentence.

(2)    The matters which may be submitted under this subsection (1) of this section include-

(a)    allegations of errors affecting the legality of the trial;

(b)    portions or summaries of the record or copies of documentary evidence offered or introduced at the trial; and

(c)    matters in mitigation which were not available for consideration at the trial.

(3)    Before the confirming authority takes action under section 150 of this Act on a record of trial by a court-martial, the confirming authority shall obtain from the Directorate of Legal Services of the Armed Forces, a legal review of the case, so however that no person who has acted as a member, judge advocate, trial counsel, defence counselor investigating officer in the case may later review the same case.

[1997 No. 15.]

150. Revision of findings of courts-martial

(1)    A confirming authority may direct that a court-martial shall revise its finding of guilty in any case where it appears to him that-

(a)    the finding was against the weight of evidence; or

(b)    some question of law determined at the trial and relevant to the finding was wrongly determined.

(2)    A direction shall be accompanied by the necessary directions for the re-assembly of the court-martial, and shall contain a statement of the reasons for the direction.

(3)    On the revision of a finding, the court-martial shall-

(a)    consider the finding and unless the court-martial adheres thereto, may substitute therefore either a finding of not guilty or any other finding to which the court-martial could originally have reached at the trial in lieu of the finding under revision;

(b)    not have power to receive further evidence.

(4)    Where on a revision, the court either adheres to the original findings or substitutes therefore a finding of guilty of another offence, or of the same offence in different circumstances, the court-martial may substitute a different sentence for the original sentence.

(5)    The court-martial shall not have power to substitute a sentence of a punishment greater than the punishment or the greatest of the punishments awarded by the original sentence, or to substitute a sentence which in the opinion of the court-martial is more severe than the original sentence.

(6)    The confirming authority shall not have power to direct the revision of a substituted finding reached by the court-martial on a previous direction of a confirming authority, or the revision of the original finding if adhered to by the court-martial on the previous direction.