Section 233E of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria. Power of search and seizure

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, if a magistrate is satisfied by information on oath that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that articles deemed to be obscene for the purposes of this Chapter are, or are from time to time, kept for publication for gain in any premises or on any stall or vehicle in the State, the magistrate may issue a warrant under his hand empowering any constable to enter (if need be by force) and search the premises, or to search the stall or vehicle, within fourteen days from the date of the warrant, and to seize and remove any articles found therein or thereon which the constable has reason to believe to be obscene articles for the purposes of this Chapter and to be kept for publication for gain.

[1961 No. 51.]

(2) A warrant under subsection (1) of this section shall, if any obscene articles are seized under the warrant, also empower the seizure and removal of any documents found in the premises or, as the case may be, on the stall or vehicle which relate to a trade or business carried on at the premises or from the stall or vehicle.

(3) Articles seized under subsection (1) of this section may, be brought before the magistrate who issued the warrant or before any other magistrate and the magistrate before whom the articles are brought may thereupon issue a summons to the occupier of the premises, or as the case may be, the user of the stall or vehicle, to appear on a day specified in the summons before a magistrate's court, to show cause why the articles or any of them should not be forfeited. If the court is satisfied, as respects any of the articles, that at the time when they were seized they were obscene articles kept for publication for gain, the court shall order those articles to be forfeited; but no order shall be made under this subsection in default of appearance by the person summoned unless service of the summons is proved.

(4) In addition to the person summoned, any other person being the owner, author or maker of any of the articles brought before the court, or any other person through whose hand they had passed before being seized, shall be entitled to appear before the court on the day specified in the summons to show cause why they should not be forfeited.

(5) Where an order is made under this section of this Code for the forfeiture of any articles, any person who appeared, or was entitled to appear, to show cause against the making of the order, may appeal to the High Court; and no such order shall take effect until the expiration of fourteen days after the day on which the order is made, or, if before the expiration thereof notice of appeal is duly given, until the final determination or abandonment of the proceedings on the appeal.

(6) If, as respects any articles brought before it, the court does not order forfeiture, the court may if it thinks fit, order the person on whose information the warrant for the seizure of the articles was issued to pay such costs as the court thinks reasonable to any person who has appeared before the court to show cause why those articles should not be forfeited; and costs ordered to be paid under this subsection shall be enforceable as a civil debt.

(7) For the purposes of this section of this Code, the question whether an article is obscene shall be determined on the assumption that copies of it would be published in any manner likely having regard to the circumstances in which it was found, but in no other manner.

(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the making of any order for the purposes of section 263 of the Criminal Procedure Act (which relates to disposal of property produced before a court).

[Cap. C41.]

Section 233E of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria

Act structure