CRIMINAL OFFENCES ACT, 1960 (ACT 29) SS 172-270

Unlawful Damage
172. Causing unlawful damage

(1) A person who intentionally and unlawfully causes damage to property

(a) to a value not exceeding one million cedis or without a pecuniary value, commits a misdemeanour, [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(b) to a value exceeding one million cedis commits a second a degree felony.

(2) A person who intentionally and unlawfully causes damage to property in a manner which causes, is likely to cause, danger to life commits a first degree felony.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “property” means movable or immovable property.

173. Definition of damage

For the purposes of this Act, “damage” includes not only damage to the matter of a thing, but also an interruption in the use of that thing, or an interference with that thing by which the thing becomes permanently or temporarily useless, or by which expense is rendered necessary in order to render the thing fit for the purposes for which it was used or maintained. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

174. Explanation of unlawful damage

(1) A person does an act or causes an event unlawfully, within the meaning of the provisions of this Act relating to unlawful damage, where that person is liable to a civil action or proceeding, or to a fine or any other punishment under an enactment,

(a) in respect of the doing of the act causing an event, or

(b) in respect of the consequences of the act or event, or

(c) in which that person would be so liable if that person caused the event directly by a personal act, or

(d) in which that person is liable to be restrained by injunction or any other proceeding from doing that act or causing that event.

(2) It is immaterial whether a person accused of a criminal offence in respect of any premises or a thing is or is not in possession or occupation of the premises or of that thing.

(3) A person who is interested jointly or in common with other persons in any premises or a thing as an owner or otherwise, or who as owner is a trustee for any other person, can commit a criminal offence punishable under the provisions referred to in subsection (1) by an act which is unlawful under this Chapter.

(4) A person who is the sole beneficial owner of any premises or a thing can commit a criminal offence punishable under the provisions referred to in subsection (1) by an act done with intent to injure or defraud a person or to cause harm to a person although the act is not otherwise unlawful.

(5) Despite anything contained in Part One as to mistake of law, a person is not liable to punishment in respect of doing a thing which that person in good faith, believes to be entitled to do.

Illustrations

Subsection (2) A tenant of a house can commit a criminal offence against those provisions by setting fire to the house.

Subsection (3) A person who is a joint owner or in common with other persons of a house or other property can commit a criminal offence against those provisions in respect of the injury caused by that person’s criminal offence to the other joint owners or co-owners.

Subsection (4) A person who intentionally sets fire to that person’s own dwelling-house or ship may commit the criminal offence of causing unlawful damage as, for instance, if the fire is likely to spread to and does spread to other houses or if the property of any other persons is likely to be destroyed and is destroyed.

175. Explanation as to amount of damage

(1) Where an intention to cause damage to a certain amount, or a causing of damage to a certain amount, is required by a provision of this Act relating to unlawful damage, it is not necessary that the damage to that amount should be intended or done to an individual thing of a kind mentioned in this provision, but it suffices if damage to that amount in the aggregate is intended or done to a number or collection of those things.

(2) Where different punishments are provided by a provision of this Act relating to unlawful damage, according to the differences in the amount of damage caused, a person who is accused of having attempted to cause damage to a greater amount shall not be acquitted or relieved from liability to the greater punishment on the ground that a lesser amount of damage was actually caused.

176. Poisoning or using dynamite in river

A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units, who

(a) throws a substance poisonous to fish into a river, stream, or lagoon, in order to poison or stupefy the fish, or

(b) turns or obstructs a river or stream, for the purpose of taking or destroying fish, or

(c) throws a substance poisonous to fish into a part of the sea at the mouth of a river or stream running into the sea, for the purpose of poisoning, stupefying, taking or destroying fish, or

(d) uses dynamite or any other explosive substance to catch or destroy fish in a river, stream, or lagoon, or

(e) uses a mode of catching fish which tends to destroy the fish in a river, stream or lagoon.

177. Repairs endangering train, vessel or aircraft

(1) A person who in constructing or repairing a vessel or an aircraft or a fitting or machinery for a vessel or an aircraft, or any engine, carriage, or apparatus to be used on or forming part of a railway, knowingly uses those materials, or so does a work, or so conceals a defect, so that the safety of the vessel or aircraft, or who may use the railway, is likely to be endangered, commits a second degree felony.

(2) A person who supplies for use on board a vessel or an aircraft a medical or surgical store or instrument, or a life-belt or an apparatus for saving life, of an inferior quality or in a condition that renders it substantially unfit for the purposes for which it is supplied or likely to endanger life, commits a misdemeanour if that person does so knowingly or negligently.

178. Intentionally endangering train, vessel or aircraft

A person who causes the safety of an engine, a carriage, or a train on a railway, or of a vessel or an aircraft, to be endangered, with intent to cause harm or danger to a person, commits a first degree felony.

179. Interference with signal

A person who unlawfully interferes with or obstructs the working of a lighthouse, beacon, buoy, signal, or any other apparatus or thing which is used or maintained for the safety of navigation, whether on the sea or on a river or any other water or in the air or for the safe working or using of a railway, commits a misdemeanour.

CHAPTER FOUR
Special Offences

[Inserted by Act 458, section 3]

179 A. Causing loss, damage or injury to property

(1) A person who by a wilful act or omission causes loss, damage or injury to the property of a public body or an agency of the Republic commits a criminal offence.

(2) A person who in the course of a transaction or business with a public body or an agency of the Republic intentionally causes damage or loss whether economic or otherwise to that body or agency commits a criminal offence.

(3) A person commits a criminal offence through whose wilful, malicious or fraudulent action or omission

(a) the Republic incurs a financial loss, or

(b) the security of the Republic is endangered.

(4) In this section “public body” includes the Republic, the Government, a public board or corporation, a public institution and a company or any other body in which the Republic or a public corporation or other statutory body has a proprietary interest.

179 B. Importation of explosives

(1) A person who without lawful authority the proof of which lies on that person, imports any explosives, firearms or ammunition commits a criminal offence.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) explosives, firearms or ammunition have the meaning as provided under section 192.

179 C. Using public office for profit

A person commits a criminal offence who

(a) while holding a public office corruptly or dishonestly abuses the office for private profit or benefit; or

(b) not being a holder of a public office acts or is found to have acted in collaboration with a person holding a public office for the latter to corruptly or dishonestly abuse the public office for private profit or benefit.

179 D. Penalty

A person convicted of a criminal offence specified in this Chapter is liable to a fine of not less than two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

PART FOUR
Offences against Public Order, Health and Morality
CHAPTER ONE
Offences against the Safety of the State
180. Treason

(1) A person who commits high treason is liable to suffer death.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), high treason has the meaning assigned to it by clause (3) of article 3 of the Constitution.

(3) A person who is not a citizen is not punishable under this section for anything done outside Ghana, but a citizen may be tried and punished for high treason under this section wherever committed. [Substituted by the Second Schedule of the Constitution (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 406)].

181. Misprision of treason

A person who knows of the commission of high treason, or of a treason within the meaning of clause

(17) of article 19 of the Constitution, and does not forthwith reveal it to the President, or to a police officer not below the rank of Inspector, commits a misprision of treason and is punishable as for a first degree felony. [As amended by N.L.C.D. 398, section 8].

182. Treason felony

A person commits a treason felony and is punishable as for a first degree felony who

(a) prepares or endeavours to procure by unlawful means an alteration of the law or of the policies of the Government, or

(b) prepares or endeavours to carry out by unlawful means an enterprise which usurps the executive powers of the Republic in a matter of both a public and a general nature.

182 A. Prohibition of certain organisations

[Repealed by Act 602, section 1].

183. Prohibition and importation or publication of newspaper, sedition

[Repealed by Act 602].

183 A. Limitation on institution of proceedings

[Repealed by Act 602].

183 B. Unqualified persons or voting in Parliament

A person who sits other than in the public gallery or votes in Parliament knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that that person is not entitled to do so commits a criminal offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ten penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding thirty days or to both the fine and the imprisonment. [Inserted by Act 458, section 4].

184. Insulting the national flag or emblem

A person who does an act or utters words or publishes a writing with intent to insult or bring into contempt or ridicule the official national flag or emblem of Ghana or a representation or pictorial reproduction of the flag or emblem commits a misdemeanour.

185. False reports injuring the reputation of the State

(1) A person who communicates to any other person, whether by word of mouth or in writing or by any other means, a false statement or report which is likely to injure the credit or reputation of Ghana or the Government and which that person knows or has reason to believe is false, commits a second degree felony.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a statement which is absolutely privileged under section 117.

(3) It is not a defence to a charge under this section that the person charged did not know or did not have reason to believe that the statement or report was false unless it is proved that, before the communication of statement or report; reasonable measures were taken to verify the accuracy of the statement or report.

(4) A citizen may be tried and punished for an offence under this section whether committed in or outside Ghana. [Repealed by Act 602].

186. Aiding or permitting escape of prisoner of war

(1) A person who intentionally and unlawfully aids or permits the escape of a prisoner of war commits a second degree felony.

(2) A person who negligently and unlawfully permits the escape of a prisoner of war commits a misdemeanour.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “escape” includes the departure by a prisoner on parole beyond the limits within which the prisoner is allowed to be at large.

187. Abetment of mutiny or desertion or assault

(1) A person who is not subject to military law, and who abets the commission of a mutiny by a person subject to military law, commits a first degree felony.

(2) A person who is not subject to military law, and who abets the desertion of a person subject to military law, or the commission by that person of an assault on a superior officer where the superior officer is discharging an official duty, commits a misdemeanour.

188. Abetment of insubordination by sailor

A person who is not subject to military law, and who abets an act of insubordination by a person subject to military law, commits a misdemeanour.

189. Unlawful training

Where three or more persons meet or are together for the purposes of military training or exercise, without the permission of the President or of an officer or a person authorised by law to give the permission, each of them commits a misdemeanour.

190. Evasion of military service

A person who causes a personal harm or procures any other person to cause harm to that person, for the purpose of evading a liability to perform service or duty with the Armed Forces, commits a misdemeanour.

191. Unlawful oath

(1) A person who takes or administers or attempts or offers to administer to any other person an unlawful oath commits a misdemeanour.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), “unlawful oath” means an oath or engagement

(a) to commit or abet a criminal offence, or

(b) to conceal a design to commit a criminal offence including a criminal offence punishable on indictment, whether under this Act or under any other enactment, or

(c) to prevent the discovery of a criminal offence, or

(d) to conceal the existence, purposes or proceedings of an association of persons associated for a treasonable seditious purpose.

192. Possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition

(1) Despite the provisions of any other enactment, a person who has in possession, custody or control, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on that person, an explosive, a firearm or an ammunition commits a first degree felony.

(2) A prosecution under subsection (1) shall not be instituted without the consent in writing of the Attorney-General.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1),

ammunition” includes ammunition for a firearm, and grenades, bombs and any other similar missiles;

explosive” means gunpowder, nitro-glycerine, dynamite, gun-cotton, blasting powder, fulminate of mercury or of other metals, and every other substance, whether similar to the above-mentioned or not, used or manufactured with a view to producing a practical effect by explosion;

firearm” includes a lethal barrelled weapon from which a shot, bullet or any other missile can be discharged or which can be adapted for the discharge of a shot, bullet or any other missile, and a component part of that weapon. [As amended by N.L.C.D. 398, section 11].

CHAPTER TWO
Piracy
193. Piracy

(1) A person commits an act of piracy who, as the owner or master of a ship,

(a) sails the seas in that ship without authorisation from the government of a country with the object of committing depredations on property or acts of violence against persons, or

(b) commits an act of depredation or violence from or by means of the ship.

(2) A person commits an act of piracy who, as a member of the crew or a passenger of a ship,

(a) conspires with any other person to rise against its master and officers or to seize the ship, or

(b) in common with any other person, engages in an act of hostility against her master and officers.

(3) A master or seaman commits an act of piracy if the master or seaman

(a) betrays the trust reposed in any of them, runs away with the ship or goods belonging to the ship or yields them up voluntarily to a person contrary to duty, or

(b) conspires or combines with or attempts to corrupt a master, an officer or a seaman to yield up or run away with a ship or goods, or

(c) makes or endeavours to make a revolt in the ship.

(4) A person belonging to a ship commits an act of piracy if that person on meeting a ship at sea or in any port, harbour or haven, forcibly boards or enters the ship and, though that person does not seize or carry off the ship, throws overboard or destroys a part of the goods belonging to that ship.

194. Punishment of piracy

(1) A person who commits an act of piracy commits a first degree felony.

(2) A Person who, with intent to commit or at the time of or immediately before or immediately after committing an act of piracy in respect of a ship, assaults, with intent to murder, a person who is on board, or belonging to, the ship or injures the person or unlawfully does an act by which the life of that person may be endangered, commits a felony and is liable on conviction to suffer death.

195. Hijacking and attack on international communications

(1) A person who hijacks an aircraft commits a first degree felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years.

(2) A person commits a criminal offence under subsection (1), where that person unlawfully interferes with, damages, destroys, seizes or wrongfully exercises control of an aircraft, other than an aircraft used in military, customs or police services, or does any other unlawful act likely to jeopardise the safety of persons or property in, or the good order and discipline on board the aircraft.

(3) A person who attacks or destroys an international communications system, a canal or submarine cable commits a second degree felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than two years. [As amended by Act 458, section 5].

CHAPTER THREE
Offences against the Peace
196. Definition of riot

(1) Five or more persons together in a public or private place commit the criminal offence of a riot where they commence or attempt

(a) to execute a common purpose with violence, and without lawful authority to use that violence for that purpose; or

(b) to execute a common purpose of obstructing or resisting the execution of a legal process or authority; or

(c) to facilitate, by force or by show of force or of numbers, the commission of a criminal offence.

(2) A person shall not be convicted of a riot only because that person in common with the others to the number of five or more, suddenly engage in an unlawful fight, unless five or more of them fight with a common purpose against any other person.

197. Definition of violence

For the purposes of this Chapter, “violence” means

(a) a criminal force or harm to a person, or

(b) a criminal damage to property, or of a threat or an offer of that force, harm, or mischief, or

(c) the carrying or use of deadly, dangerous, or offensive instruments in a manner likely to cause harm to a person, or

(d) a conduct that is likely to cause, in a person, a reasonable fear of criminal force, harm, or mischief to that person or the property of that person.

198. Riot

A person who takes part in a riot commits a misdemeanour.

199. Rioting with weapons

A person who takes part in a riot, who is armed with an offensive instrument, commits a second degree felony.

200. Provocation of riot

A person who does an act with intent to provoke a riot commits a misdemeanour.

201. Definition of unlawful assembly

(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, there is an unlawful assembly when three or more persons assemble with intent to commit an offence, or having assembled with an intent to carry out a common purpose, conduct themselves in a manner likely to cause persons in the neighbourhood reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace, or will by the assembly needlessly and without a reasonable occasion provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace.

(2) It is immaterial that the original assembling was lawful if, having assembled, they conduct themselves with a common purpose in that manner.

202. Unlawful assembly

(1) A person who takes part in an unlawful assembly commits a misdemeanour.

(2) A person who takes part in an unlawful assembly armed with an offensive weapon or missile commits a second degree felony.

202A. Forcible entry

(1) A person who, with violence makes an entry into a building or land, whether or not that person is entitled to the possession of the building or the land, commits a misdemeanour, unless the entry is in pursuance of a warrant or other lawful authority to use that violence.

(2) Section 180 of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) (which provides for the discharge of an accused by a District Court where a bona fide question of title to land is raised) shall not apply to a criminal offence under subsection (1). [As amended by N.L.C.D. 398, section 12].

203. Fighting with weapons

A person commits a misdemeanour who

(a) does an act with intent to provoke any other person to fight, whether in a public place or not, with a deadly or dangerous instrument, and

(b) agrees or offers to agree so to fight.

204. Disturbance of lawful assembly

A person who unlawfully and with violence obstructs the assembly of any persons who are assembled for a lawful purpose, or disturbs that assembly, or with violence disperses or attempts to disperse that assembly, commits a misdemeanour.

205. Assault on public officer

A person commits a misdemeanour who

(a) assaults, obstructs, molests, or resists, or aids or incites any other person to assault, obstruct, molest, or resist a public or peace officer, or a person employed by a public or peace officer, acting or proceeding to act in the execution of a warrant or legal process; or

(b) uses a threatening, abusive or insulting language, or sends a threatening or insulting message, or letter, to a peace officer in respect of the duties of the officer.

206. Carrying offensive weapons

(1) A person who, without lawful authority the proof of which lies on that person, has in a public place an offensive weapon commits a misdemeanour.

(2) A person who, while present at a public meeting or at a public assembly of people or on the occasion of a public procession, has an offensive weapon or missile, without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on that person, commits a misdemeanour.

(3) For the purposes of this section.

(a) “offensive missile” includes a stone or a brick likely to cause harm if thrown;

(b) “offensive weapon” means an article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person or intended by the person having it for that use by that person.

207. Offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace

A person who in a public place or at a public meeting uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or by which a breach of the peace is likely to be occasioned, commits a misdemeanour.

208. Publication of false news

(1) A person who publishes or reproduces a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace knowing or having reason to believe that the statement, rumour or report is false commits a misdemeanour.

(2) It is not a defence to a charge under subsection (1) that the person charged did not know or did not have reason to believe that the statement, rumour or report was false, unless it is proved that, prior to the publication, that person took reasonable measures to verify the accuracy of the statement, rumour or report.

209. Discharging guns in town

(1) A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty five penalty units who in a town without lawful and necessary occasion

(a) discharges a firearm, or

(b) being the occupier of a house, building, or yard, knowingly permits a fire-arm to be discharged from that place. [As amended by the Schedule to the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 1998 (Act 534)].

(2) A person who in a town, without lawful and necessary occasion, throws or sets fire to a firework in a public place or in a house, building or yard, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 534].

CHAPTER FOUR
Offences concerning the Administration of Justice
Perjury and Similar Offences
210. Perjury

(1) A person who commits perjury commits a second degree felony.

(2) A person who commits perjury with intent to cause the conviction of any other person for a criminal offence punishable with death, commits a first degree felony.

211. Definition of perjury

A person commits perjury, if in a written or verbal statement made or verified by that person on oath before a Court, or a public officer, or before the President or before a commission or committee states anything knowing that the statement is false in a material particular, or which that person does not have a reason to believe is true.

212. Special explanation as to perjury

A person may commit perjury by swearing that that person believes a thing which that person does not in fact believe.

213. Fabrication of evidence

A person who fabricates evidence, with intent to defeat, obstruct, or pervert the course of justice in a proceeding, commits a criminal offence and is liable to the same penalties as if that person had committed perjury in that proceeding.

214. Definition of fabrication

A person fabricates evidence if that person causes a circumstance to exist, or makes a false entry in a book, an account, or a record, or makes a document containing a false statement or forges a document, with intent to mislead a public officer, judge or juror acting in a judicial proceeding.

215. Deceit of Court by personation

A person who with intent to defeat, obstruct, or pervert the course of justice, or to defraud or injure a person endeavours to deceive a Court, or a judicial officer by personation, or by a false instrument, document, seal, or signature, commits a misdemeanour.

216. Deceit by paper resembling Court process

A person who knowingly delivers or causes to be delivered to any other person a paper of a character calculated, by reason of the resemblance of that paper to a summons or other process of a Court or tribunal, to deceive commits a misdemeanour.

217. Causing witness to disobey summons

A person who wilfully causes any other person to disobey any summons, process or order lawfully issued or made for the attendance of that other person as a witness in a judicial proceeding, or for the production by that person of a written order or other evidence in a judicial proceeding, commits a misdemeanour.

218. Causing person to refrain from giving evidence

A person who with intent to defeat, obstruct, or pervert the course of justice at the trial of a person for a criminal offence, causes any other person to refrain from giving evidence at the trial, commits a misdemeanour.

219. Disobedience to summons as witness

A person who without reasonable excuse defaults in obeying any summons, process or order lawfully issued or made for the attendance of that person as a witness in a judicial proceeding or for the production by that person of a written or any other evidence in a judicial proceeding, commits a misdemeanour.

Interference with Legal Proceedings
220. Hindrance of inquest

A person who with intent to prevent, obstruct or delay the taking of an inquest on the body or touching the death of a person, or to defeat the ends of justice, buries or conceals or disposes of the body, commits a misdemeanour.

221. Neglect to hold inquest

(1) A person who is under a duty as a police officer, coroner, gaoler, peace officer, or in any other capacity, to give notice or take measures in order to procure the holding of an inquest on the body or touching the death of a person, wilfully and without reasonable excuse fails to perform the duty commits a misdemeanour.

(2) [Omitted by the Statute Law Review Commissioner as, in his view, same is covered by Art. 88(3) of the Constitution].

222. Violence in legal proceedings

A person commits a misdemeanour who uses violence with intent to deter a person

(a) from acting as a judge, arbitrator, umpire, assessor, juror, witness, counsel, agent, prosecutor, or party in a legal proceeding or enquiry, or

(b) from acting in execution of a duty in a judicial or an official capacity, or

(c) from having recourse to a Court or public officer, or on account of that person having so acted or had recourse.

223. Disturbance of Court

A person commits a misdemeanour who with force, threats, or tumult, hinders, interrupts or disturbs the proceedings of a Court, or wilfully and unlawfully, with force, threat or tumult, hinders a person from entering or quitting a Court, or removes or detains that person in the Court.

224. Insulting Court

A person commits a misdemeanour who in the presence of a Court commits a contempt of court by an insulting, opprobrious or menacing acts or words.

225. Exciting prejudice as to legal proceeding

A person commits a misdemeanour who, pending proceedings in a Court, publishes in writing or otherwise anything concerning the proceedings or a party to the proceedings, with intent to excite popular prejudice for or against a party to the proceedings.

Rescue, Escape, Compounding Crime
226. Resisting arrest and rescue

(1) A person commits a misdemeanour who endeavours to resist or prevent the execution of the law,

(a) by resisting lawful arrest or the lawful arrest of any other person, or

(b) by rescuing any other person from lawful custody, or

(c) by escaping personally or permitting to be rescued by any other person from lawful custody, or

(d) by rescuing goods or things from a public officer or peace officer or any other person having the possession, custody, or care of the goods or other things under or by virtue of a lawful warrant or process.

(2) Where a person in lawful custody under a sentence of imprisonment escapes, the time during which that person is at large shall not be taken into account in computing the term of the original sentence.

227. Breaches of prison discipline

[Repealed by the Prisons Service Decree, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 46), section 53].

228. Smuggling things into prisons

[Repealed by N.R.C.D. 46, section 53].

229. Interference with prisoners outside prisons

[Repealed by N.R.C.D. 46, section 53].

230. Prison officer leaving prisoner when outside prison

[Repealed by N.R.C.D. 46, section 53].

230A. Aiding escape

A prison officer who directly or indirectly aids, encourages, induces or facilitates the escape of a person in lawful custody commits a second degree felony. [Inserted by N.R.C.D. 398, section 15].

231. Oppression by prison officer

[Repealed by N.R.C.D. 46, section 53].

232. Preventing the death penalty

A person who endeavours by force to prevent the execution of a person sentenced to death commits a second degree felony.

233. Advertising reward for the return of stolen property

A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units who

(a) publicly offers a reward for the return of property which has been stolen, and the offer makes use of words purporting that questions will not be asked, or that the person producing the property will not be seized, or

(b) publicly offers to return to a person who may have bought or advanced money by way of loan on a stolen or lost property the money so paid or advanced or any other sum of money or reward for the return of the property, or

(c) prints or publishes that offer. [As amended by Act 554, section 12].

234. Compounding crime

A person who, without leave of a Court, compounds a criminal offence commits a misdemeanour.

235. Definition of compounding

A person compounds a criminal offence if that person offers or agrees to forbear from prosecuting or giving evidence against a person on a criminal charge, in consideration of money, or of a valuable thing, or of a personal advantage or an advantage to any other person.

CHAPTER FIVE
Offences relating to Public Officers and to Public Elections
236. Refusal to serve in public office

A person who, without lawful excuse, refuses to serve in a public office in which that person is bound to serve, and for the refusal to serve in which a penalty or punishment is not provided by an enactment, commits a misdemeanour.

237. Falsely pretending to be public officer or juror

A person who pretends to be or acts as a public officer, juror, or to be a messenger of or to hold an authority from the President, or a Minister or a Court, and who is not lawfully authorised to act in that capacity, or not holding that authority, and in or under colour of the assumed character does or attempts to do, or procures or attempts to procure, any other person to do or abstain from doing an act commits a misdemeanour, unless that person shows

(a) that the pretence or the act was under a mistake of law or of fact; or

(b) in the case of a person acting as a public officer, that the pretence or the act was in good faith for the public benefit.

238. Proof of falsity of pretence

On a trial for a criminal offence under section 237,

(a) a statement purporting to be signed by a person in the name of the President, Minister or Court, declaring that the accused was not at a stated time or period a messenger of or did not hold an office or authority under the President, Minister or Court, and

(b) a statement purporting to be signed by the Chairman of the Civil Service Council declaring that the accused was not a civil servant, and

(c) a statement purporting to be signed in the name of a local or any other statutory authority, declaring that the accused was not an officer of that authority, is, without further proof, prima facie evidence of the matters so declared.

239. Corruption of and by public officer or juror

(1) A public officer or juror who commits corruption, or wilful oppression, or extortion, in respect of the duties of office, commits a misdemeanour.

(2) A person who corrupts any other person in respect of a duty as a public officer or juror commits a misdemeanour.

240. Explanation as to corruption by public officers

A public officer, juror, or voter commits corruption in respect of the duties of office or the vote, if the public officer, juror or voter directly or indirectly, agrees or offers to permit the conduct of that person as a public officer, juror, or voter to be influenced by the gift, promise or prospect of a valuable consideration to be received by that person, or by any other person, from any other person.

241. Explanation as to corruption of public officer

A person commits the criminal offence of corrupting a public officer, juror, or voter in respect of the duties of office or in respect of the vote, if that person endeavours, directly or indirectly, to influence the conduct of the public officer, juror or voter in respect of the duties of office or in respect of the vote, by the gift, promise or prospect of a valuable consideration to be received by the public officer, juror, or voter, or by any other person, from any other person.

242. Special explanation as to corruption of and by public officer

It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240 or 241, that the person respecting whose conduct the endeavour, agreement or offer is made is not yet at the time of the making of the endeavour, agreement or offer, a public officer, juror, or voter, if the endeavour, agreement, or offer, a public officer, juror, or voter, if the endeavour, agreement, or offer is made in the expectation that that person will or may become or act as a public officer, a juror, or a voter.

243. Corrupt agreement for lawful consideration

It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240, 241 or 242, whether the act to be done by a person in consideration or in pursuance of the gift, promise, prospect, agreement or offer is criminal or wrongful otherwise than by reason of the provisions of any of those sections.

244. Acceptance of bribe by public officer, after doing act

Where, after a person has done an act as a public officer, juror, or voter that person secretly accepts, or agrees or offers secretly to accept for personal gain or for any other person, a valuable consideration on account of the act, that person shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have acted corruptly, within the meaning of this Chapter, in respect of that act before the doing of the act.

245. Promise of bribe to public officer, after act done

Where, after a public officer, juror, or voter has done an act as an officer, a juror or voter, any other person secretly agrees or offers to give or to procure for that person or any other person a valuable consideration on account of that act, the person so agreeing or offering shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have corrupted, before the doing of the act, that public officer, juror, or voter, in respect of that act.

246. Explanation as to oppression

A public officer or juror commits the criminal offence of wilful oppression in respect of the duties of office if that officer wilfully commits an excess or abuse of authority, to the injury of the public or of any other person.

247. Explanation as to extortion

A public officer commits extortion who, under colour of office, demands or obtains from a person, whether for public purposes or for personal gain, or for any other person money or valuable consideration which the public officer knows is not lawfully authorised or at a time at which the public officer knows is not lawfully authorised to demand or to obtain that money or valuable consideration.

248. False declaration for office or voting

A person who, in order to obtain or be qualified to act in a public office or to vote at a public election makes, signs, publishes or uses a declaration, statement or an oath, required by law or a certificate or testimonial regarding conduct or services, or as to any other matter which is material for obtaining that office, or for the qualification to act in that office or to vote at the election, commits a misdemeanour if that person knows that the declaration, statement, oath, certificate or testimonial is false in a material particular.

249. False certificate by public officer

A public officer commits a misdemeanour who, being bound or authorised as a public officer to attest or certify, by writing or otherwise, a document or matter, or that an event has or has not happened, and

(a) attests or certifies the document or matter knowing it to be false in a material particular, or

(b) attests that the event has happened or has not happened, without knowing or having reason to believe that it has happened or has not happened, according to the attestation or certificate.

250. Destruction of document by public officer

A public officer who intentionally and unlawfully destroys, injures, falsifies or conceals a document which is in the possession, custody, or control of the public officer or to which the public officer has access by virtue of office, commits a misdemeanour.

251. Deceiving a public officer

A person commits a misdemeanour who, with intent to defeat, obstruct, or prevent the course of justice, or the due execution of the law, or evade the requirements of the law, or to defraud or injure a person, or to obtain or assist in or facilitate the obtaining of any passport, instrument, concession, appointment, permission or any other privilege or advantage, endeavours to deceive or to overreach a public officer acting in the execution of a public office or duty,

(a) by personation, or by a false instrument, document, seal, signature, or

(b) by a false statement, declaration or assurance, whether written or verbal or by a written or verbal statement, declaration or assurance which the person making the statement, declaration or assurance did not have good reason to believe to be true.

252. Accepting or giving bribe to influence public officer or juror

(1) A person who accepts, or agrees or offers to accept, a valuable consideration, under pretence or colour of having unduly influenced, or of agreeing or being able so to influence, any other person in respect of functions as a public officer or juror, commits a misdemeanour.

(2) A person who gives, or agrees or offers to give, to a public officer a valuable consideration for the grant to that person or to any other person of a benefit or an advantage, or for the exercise of influence in favour of that person or any other person commits a misdemeanour.

253. Corrupt promise by judicial officer or juror

A person who, otherwise than in the due execution of duties as a judicial officer or juror, makes or offers to make an agreement with any other person as to the judgment or verdict which that person will or will not give as a judicial officer or juror in a pending or future proceeding, commits a misdemeanour.

254. Corrupt selection of juror

A person who, with a purpose of procuring an undue advantage or disadvantage to a party to a judicial proceeding, procures for that person, or for any other person to be summoned, empaneled or sworn as a juror in the proceeding, or endeavours to prevent any other person from being summoned, impanelled or sworn as a juror in that proceeding, commits a misdemeanour.

255. Prevention of election by force

A person who attempts to prevent, obstruct or disturb a public election by a kind of force, violence, or threat or by an act which is a criminal offence punishable under this Act, commits a misdemeanour.

256. Corruption, intimidation, and personation in respect of election

A person who acts in a manner that amounts to corruption, intimidation or personation in respect of a public election, commits a misdemeanour, and shall not, during seven years from the date of the conviction, vote at a public election and shall not hold a public office in respect of which the election was held, or a public office of the same nature.

257. Definition of intimidation

A person does an act of intimidation at a public election if that person endeavours to influence the conduct of a voter in respect of the election by a threat of an evil consequence to be caused to the voter or to any other person, on account of the conduct as a voter.

258. Falsification of return at election

A person who, as a public officer charged with the counting of votes or the making of a return at a public election, wilfully falsifies the account of the votes or makes a false return commits a second degree felony.

259. Explanation as to an election

A person shall not be relieved from liability to punishment under this Chapter by reason of an irregularity or informality in the proceedings at, or preliminary or subsequent to, an election.

260. Withholding of public money by public officer

Where a public officer who is bound in that capacity to pay or account for money or valuable things, or to produce or give up documents or any other things, fails as in duty bound to pay or account for, or to produce or give up, to any other officer or person lawfully demanding the same, commits a misdemeanour.

261. Definition of valuable consideration

In this Chapter, “valuable consideration” includes money, money’s worth or valuable thing, and an office or a dignity, and a forbearance to demand money, or money’s worth, or a valuable thing, and a private advantage of any kind.

CHAPTER SIX
Bigamy and Similar Offences
262. Bigamy

A person who commits bigamy commits a misdemeanour.

263. Definition of and special provision as to bigamy

(1) A person commits bigamy who, knowing that a marriage subsists between that person and another person, goes through the ceremony of marriage, whether in Ghana or elsewhere, with any other person.

(2) A person shall not be convicted of bigamy or of an offence under section 264

(a) if at the time of the subsequent marriage the former wife or the former husband has been continually absent from that person for seven years, and has not been heard of by that person as being alive within that time, and

(b) if before the subsequent marriage that person informs the other party to the marriage of the facts of the case so far as they are known to that person.

(3) On proof by the accused person of the continued absence and information, the prosecutor has the onus to prove that the former wife or husband has been so heard of.

264. Marriage to a person previously married

A person who, being unmarried, goes through the ceremony of marriage, whether in Ghana or elsewhere, with another person whom that person knows to be married to another person commits a misdemeanour, whether the other party to the ceremony does or does not have the guilty knowledge as to be convicted of bigamy.

265. Marriages under customary law

(1) A person shall not be convicted of bigamy or of an offence under section 264, if the marriage in respect of which the act was committed, and the former marriage, were both contracts under customary law.

(2) A person may be convicted of bigamy or of an offence under section 264 if, having contracted a monogamous marriage that person marries or purports to marry any other person under customary law, or if, being married to a person by customary law, goes through a monogamous ceremony of marriage with any other person.

266. Fictitious marriage

A person who, whether in Ghana or elsewhere, goes through the ceremony of marriage, or a ceremony which that person represents to be a ceremony of marriage knowing that the marriage is void and that the other person believes it to be valid, commits a misdemeanour.

267. Personation in marriage

A person who personates any other person in marriage, or marries under a false name or description, with intent to deceive the other party to the marriage, commits a misdemeanour.

268. Unlawfully performing marriage ceremony

A person who is not duly qualified so to do who performs or witnesses as a marriage officer the ceremony of marriage, or knowing that any of the matters required by law for the validity of a marriage has not happened or been performed, so that the marriage is void or unlawful, commits a misdemeanour.

269. Making false declaration for marriage

A person who in a declaration, certification, licence, document, or statement required by law to be made or issued for the purpose of a marriage, declares, enters, certifies or states a material matter which that person knows to be false, commits a misdemeanour.

270. False pretence of impediment to marriage

A person who endeavours to prevent a marriage by pretence

(a) that the consent of that person is required by law, or

(b) that a person whose consent is so required does not consent, or

(c) that there is a legal impediment to performing the marriage, commits a misdemeanour, if that person does so knowing that the pretence is false or without having reason to believe that it is true.

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