CRIMINAL OFFENCES ACT, 1960 (ACT 29) SS 271-319

271. Wilful neglect of duty to fill up or transmit certificate of marriage

A person who, being under a duty to fill up the certificate of a marriage performed by that person, or the counterfoil of it, or to transmit the certificate to the Registrar of Marriages, wilfully fails to perform that duty, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

272. Mode of proving marriage or divorce

(1) Where, for the purposes of this Chapter, it is requisite to prove a former marriage of a person, it is requisite and sufficient to prove a marriage irrespective of the place of celebration of the marriage, which would be admitted by the Court as a valid marriage for the purposes of a civil proceeding, or for the purposes of the administration or distribution of the effects of a person on the death of that person.

(2) Where a person accused of bigamy puts up a defence on the grounds of a divorce from a former wife or husband, that divorce, and no other shall be deemed sufficient as would be admitted by the Court as a valid divorce from the bond of marriage.

CHAPTER SEVEN
Offences against Public Morals
Brothels, Prostitution
273. Allowing persons under age to be in brothels

A person who, having the custody, charge or care of a child under the age of sixteen years, allows that child to reside in or frequent a brothel commits a misdemeanour. [Substituted by N.L.C.D 398, section 16, and subsequently amended by Act 554, section 13].

274. Persons trading in prostitution

(1) A person commits a misdemeanour who

(a) knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution, or

(b) is proved to have, for the purposes of gain, exercised control, direction or influence over the movements of a prostitute in a manner as to aid, abet or compel the prostitution with any other person or generally.

(2) The Chairman of a Regional Tribunal or a Justice who is satisfied by evidence upon oath

(a) that there is a reason to suspect that any premises or part of that premises is used for the purposes of prostitution, and

(b) that a person residing in or frequenting the premises is living wholly or in part on the earnings of a prostitute, may issue a warrant authorising a police officer to enter and search the premises and to arrest that person.

(3) Where a person is proved to live with, or to be habitually in the company of, a prostitute or is proved to have exercised control, direction or influence over the movement of a prostitute, and in a manner which shows that person as aiding, abetting or compelling the prostitution with any other person or generally, that person, for the purposes of this Chapter, is knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution unless the Court is satisfied to the contrary. [Substituted by N.L.C.D. 398, section 16].

275. Soliciting or importuning for immoral purposes

A person commits a misdemeanour who in a public place or in sight of a public place persistently solicits or importunes

(a) to obtain clients for a prostitute, or

(b) for any other immoral purposes. [Substituted by N.L.C.D. 398, section 16].

276. Soliciting or importuning by prostitutes

(1) A person who persistently solicits or importunes in a public place or in sight of a public place for the purpose of prostitution commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units and for a second or subsequent offence shall be dealt with as for a misdemeanour. [Substituted by N.L.C.D. 398, section 16].

(2) A person shall not be arrested for a criminal offence under subsection (1) without the consent of a superior police officer, but this shall not prevent the arrest, or the issue of a warrant for the arrest, of a person in respect of an offence or the remanding in custody or on bail of a person charged with an offence although the consent has not been obtained. [As amended by Act 554. NB: the Statute Law Review Commissioner substituted the word “arrested” for the word “tried” in view of Art. 88(4) of the Constitution].

277. Keeping a brothel

A person commits a misdemeanour who

(a) keeps or manages or assists in the management of a brothel; or

(b) being a tenant, lessee or occupier or person in charge of premises, knowingly permits the premises or a part of the premises to be used as a brothel or for the purposes of habitual prostitution; or

(c) being the lessor or landlord of any premises or the agent of the lessor or landlord, lets the premises or a part of the premises, with the knowledge that the premises or that part is to be used as a brother, or is wilfully a party to the continued use of the premises or a part of the premises as a brothel. [Substituted by N.L.C.D. 398, section 16].

278. Gross indecency

A person who publicly and wilfully does a grossly indecent act commits a misdemeanour.

278 A. Immoral or indecent customs or practices, bereaved spouses

A person who compels a bereaved spouse or a relative of that spouse to undergo a custom or practice that is immoral or grossly indecent in nature commits a misdemeanour. [Inserted by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Law, 1984 (P.N.D.C.L. 90)].

279. Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter,

brothel” means any premises or room or set of rooms in any premises kept for purposes of prostitution;

prostitution” includes the offering by a person of that person’s body commonly for acts of lewdness for payment although there is no act or offer of an act or ordinary sexual connection. [As amended by Act 554, section 15].

Obscenity
280. Publication or sale of obscene material

A person who publishes or offers for sale an obscene book, writing or representation, commits a misdemeanour.

Illustrations
    1. A publishes a book for the use of physicians or surgeons, or for persons seeking medical or surgical information. Whatever may be the subject with which the book deals, if they are treated with as much decency as the subject admits, A has not committed a criminal offence.
    1. B publishes extracts from the book mentioned in the last illustration, arranged or printed in a manner that gives unnecessary prominence to indecent matters. If the Court or jury is of the opinion that the publication is calculated unnecessarily and improperly to excite passion, or to corrupt morals, B ought to be convicted.
281. Further offences relating to obscenity

(1) A person commits a misdemeanour who

(a) for the purposes of or by way of trade, or for the purposes of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces, or has in his possession one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph films, or any other obscene objects; or

(b) for any of the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a), imports, conveys, or exports, or causes to be imported, conveyed, or exported, any of those obscene matters or things, or puts any of them into circulation; or

(c) carries on or takes part in a business, whether public or private, concerned with any of those obscene matters or things, or deals in any of those matters or things, or distributes any of them or exhibits any of them publicly, or makes a business of lending any of them; or

(d) advertises or makes known with a view to assist in that punishable circulation or traffic that a person is engaged in any of those punishable acts, or advertises or makes known how or from whom any of those obscene matters or things can be procured either directly or indirectly.

(2) The Chairman of a Regional Tribunal or a Justice may, on application made for the purposes by or on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, order the destruction of any of the obscene matters or things mentioned in subsection (1) which, the Chairman or Justice, is satisfied has or have been or is or are being made, deposited or used for any of the purposes referred to in subsection (1).

282. Indecent inscriptions

A person who affixes to, or inscribes on, a place or thing so as to be visible from a public place, or affixes to, or inscribes on, a public urinal, or delivers to a person in a public place, or exhibits to public view from a building, a picture or printed or written matter of an indecent or obscene nature, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units. [As amended by N.L.C.D. 398, section 17 and further amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

283. Getting others to do the acts punishable under section 282

A person who gives or delivers to any other person a picture or printed or written matter mentioned in

section 282 with the intent that it be affixed, inscribed, delivered or exhibited as mentioned in that section commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

284. Advertisements as to venereal disease declared indecent

(1) An advertisement relating to venereal disease, nervous debility, or any other complaint or infirmity arising from or relating to sexual intercourse, and an advertisement claiming aphrodisiac properties for a preparation is, for the purposes of this Act, of an indecent or obscene nature.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an advertisement relating to venereal disease published by or with the authority of the Minister responsible for Health.

CHAPTER EIGHT
Public Nuisance
Hindering Burials
285. Hindering burial of dead body

A person who unlawfully hinders the burial of the dead body of a person, or without lawful authority disinters, dissects or harms the dead body of a person, or being under a duty to cause the dead body of a person to be buried, fails to perform that duty commits a misdemeanour.

Unwholesome Food
286. Selling unwholesome food

A person who sells, or prepares or offers for sale, as being fit for consumption as food or drink, a thing which that person knows or has reason to believe that it is in a condition of putrefaction, adulteration, or other cause, as to be likely to be noxious to health, commits a misdemeanour.

Noxious Trade
287. Carrying on of noxious trade, interference with public rights

A person who, without lawful authority or excuse, the proof of which lies on that person,

(a) carries on a noxious, an offensive, or a noisy business at a place, or causes or permits a noxious or an offensive matter to be collected or continue at a place, or so keeps animals at a place, as to impair or endanger the health of the public inhabiting or using the neighbourhood of that place, or as to cause material damage to the lands, crops, cattle, or goods, of the public, or as to cause material interruption to the public in their lawful business or occupations, or as to materially affect the value of their property, or

(b) so makes, keeps or uses an explosive matter, or a collection of water, or any other dangerous or destructive thing, or a building, an excavation, open pit, or any other structure, work or place, or so keeps an animal or permits to be at large, as to cause danger or harm or damage to the persons or property of the public, or a well, spring, or reservoir, so as to deprive the public of the benefit of it, or

(c) corrupts or fouls the water of a public well, tank, spring reservoir, or place used or intended for supplying water to the public or for fish culture, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units and for a continuance or repetition of that criminal offence, commits a misdemeanour. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

288. Explanation as to carrying on of noxious trade

As regards the nuisance of carrying on a noxious, offensive, or noisy business, at a place, or of causing or permitting noxious or offensive matter to be collected or continue at a place, or of keeping animals at a place as mentioned in this Chapter,

(a) “business” includes not only a trade, manufacture, work, business, or an occupation carried on for gain, but also a continued or frequent repetition of an act or series of acts of any kind; and

(b) it is necessary, in order that a person may be punishable in respect of that nuisance, that the prejudice or danger caused by it should extend to persons inhabiting or occupying, under separate tenancies, not less than three houses or other tenements.

289. Explanation as to obstruction of public way

(1) A person shall not be convicted, within the meaning of this Chapter, of obstructing the public use of a public way or work by reason only of that person being a party to a meeting or an assembly assembled in, or on or near a public way or work, unless the purposes of the assembly are or include the obstruction of the public by force or threats or show of force.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), “obstruction” of the public use of a public way or work includes the making or using of a fetish or charm for the purposes of preventing a person from using that way or work.

Drunken, Riotous and Disorderly Conduct
290. Habitual drunkenness

A person who, having been thrice convicted under an enactment for having been drunk and behaving violently or indecently or in a disorderly manner is, within one year from the first conviction, found drunk in a public place, commits a misdemeanour.

291. Drunk or disorderly

(1) A person who is drunk, riotous, quarrelsome or disorderly in a place licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors, or kept for public refreshment, resort or entertainment, and fails to leave that place on being requested to do so by the owner, manager, occupier or the agent or servant of that owner, manager or agent or by a police officer, commits a misdemeanour.

(2) A police officer shall on the demand of the owner, manager, occupier, agent or servant assist in expelling the drunken, riotous, quarrelsome or disorderly person from that place. [As amended by N.L.C.D. 398, section 18].

292. Penalty for harbouring thieves

(1) A person commits a misdemeanour who occupies or keeps a lodging-house, public-house, or any other house or place where intoxicating liquors are sold, or a place of public entertainment or public resort, and

(a) knowingly lodges or knowingly harbours thieves or reputed thieves, or prostitutes or knowingly permits or knowingly suffers them to meet or assemble in it, or

(b) knowingly permits or allows drunkenness or any other disorderly conduct in it, or

(c) knowingly allows the deposit of property in it having reasonable cause for believing it to be stolen.

(2) A licence for the sale of an intoxicating liquor, or for keeping a place of public entertainment or public resort, which has been granted to the occupier or keeper of those premises or place, may be forfeited by the Court on the occupier’s keeper’s first conviction of a criminal offence under subsection (1).

(3) On a second conviction for that criminal offence the licence shall be forfeited, and that person is disqualified for a period of two years from receiving that licence.

(4) Where two convictions under this section have taken place within a period of three years in respect of the same premises, whether the persons convicted were or were not the same, the Court shall direct that for a period not exceeding one year from the date of the last of those convictions that type of licence shall not be granted to a person in respect of those premises.

(5) A licence granted in contravention of this section is void.

(6) The holder of a licence who is brought before a Court in pursuance of this section, shall produce the licence for examination; and, if the licence is forfeited, the holder shall deliver it up.

(7) A holder who wilfully neglects to produce the licence as required under subsection (6) is, in addition to any other penalty, liable to a fine not exceeding ten penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

Drumming and Firing Guns
293. Using houses, in town for drumming

(1) An occupier of a house, building, yard, or any other place situate in a town, who without a licence in writing from a district assembly permits persons to assemble and beat or play or dance in it to a drum, gong, tom-tom, or any other similar instrument of music, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(2) A police officer may enter that house, building, yard, or other place where those persons have assembled, and warn them to depart and may seize and carry away the drums, gongs, tom-toms or other instruments, which shall be forfeited.

(3) A person who, after being warned, does not depart forthwith, except the persons actually dwelling in the house or building, commits a criminal offence and may be arrested, without warrant, by a police officer or person acting in aid of the police officer and that person is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

294. Drumming near Court during sitting

A person who during the sitting of a Court, and after being warned by a police officer or an officer of the Court to desist, beats or plays a drum, gong, tom-tom, or any other instrument, or makes a loud noise of any kind within a radius of three hundred yards from the place where the sitting is held, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

295. Drumming with intent to challenge or insult

A person who beats a drum with intent to challenge or provoke any other person to commit a breach of the peace, or with intent to insult or annoy any other person, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

Nuisances and Obstructions
296. Throwing rubbish in street

A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding ten penalty units who [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554]

(a) in a town place, causes or permits to be placed, a carrion, filth, dirt, refuse, or rubbish, or any other offensive or otherwise unwholesome matter, on a street, yard, an enclosure, or open space, except at a place set apart by the local authority or the health officer for that purpose; or

(b) in a town does an act which constitutes a nuisance in a public place or an open space, or in a space which is an appurtenance of or adjoins a dwelling-house; or

(c) wilfully defaces a lawful public notice, or removes the notice from a place where it is lawfully affixed; or

(d) without the consent of the owner or occupier of it affixes or attempts to affix a placard, paper, or thing on a building, wall, fence, pillar, or post, or writes on, soils, or marks the building, wall, fence, pillar or post; or

(e) [Repealed by the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation Decree, 1975 (N.R.C.D. 311, section 97)].

(f) unlawfully releases cattle lawfully impounded, or pulls down, damages, or destroys the pound where cattle are lawfully impounded; or

(g) in a town wilfully or wantonly, and after being warned to desist, makes a loud or an unseemly noise in a manner that causes or is liable to cause annoyance or disturbance of a person; or [As amended by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Decree, 1969 (N.L.C.D. 298), section 51].

(h) in a town, without a licence in writing from the Minister or a local authority beats or plays a drum, gong, tom-tom, or any other similar instrument of music between eight o’clock at night and six in the morning; or

(i) in a town throws or discharges a stone or any other missile in or into a public place; or

(j) is drunk and is disorderly or behaves violently or indecently in a prison or Court or public place; or

(k) behaves irreverently or indecently in a church, chapel, mosque, or any other place appropriated for religious worship; or

(l) disturbs or molests a minister of religion while celebrating a religious rite or office in a public place, or a person assisting or attending at the celebration of that rite or office; or

(m) behaves irreverently or indecently or insultingly at or near a funeral or in a near a public burial ground during the burial of a body; or

(n) wantonly extinguishes the light of, or destroys or damages, a street lamp; or

(o) wilfully obstructs or impedes or delays a person employed in the working of a telegraph or in the delivery of a telegram, in the execution of that duty; or

(p) by obstructing a public way, wilfully prevents or hinders the free passage of any other person or of a vehicle; or

(q) without the consent of the local authority or the Ghana Highway Authority, places or leaves a thing in a public way to the obstruction, danger or annoyance of users of that public way; or [As amended by the Ghana Highway Authority Decree, 1974 (N.L.C.D. 298, section 51)].

(r) being the occupier of a land or building situate in a town, does not clear and keep free from dirt, underbush, underwood, weeds, high grass, rubbish, rags, broken bottles, refuse, and an offensive matter, filling up the holes with stones, gravels or other like materials, the streets or roads, at the front-back, and sides of it, with the drains, gutters, and channels on it; and, if the building is unoccupied, the owner shall for this purpose be deemed the occupier; but where there are two lots of land contiguous to a street, road, drain, gutter, or channel, and facing each other, the occupier of each lot is responsible for keeping clean only the half of the street or road, and the drain, gutter, or channel nearest to the occupier’s lot; or

(s) in a town wilfully or negligently causes or permits a vehicle, or a thing carried by the vehicle, or cattle, to damage a drain, ditch, or trench, at the side of a street, or a bridge, or a part of it respectively; or

(t) in a town, without the written consent of the local authority or the Ghana Highway Authority, wilfully displaces or takes up or damages the pavement, stones, or material of a public way, or attempts to change or obstruct an outer course; or [As amended by N.L.C.D. 298, section 51)].

(u) assembles with other persons in a public place, or in an open space near a public place, for an idle, a vicious, or a disorderly purpose, or otherwise than in the regular performance, or in pursuance, of a lawful calling or object, to the annoyance or obstruction of a passenger or person frequenting the public place, or of a person living in the neighbourhood of the public place or open space and does not move away when required by a constable; or

(v) suffers to be at large or unmuzzled, a ferocious dog of which that person is the owner or has the charge, or sets on or urges a dog to attack or put in fear any other person or cattle; or

(w) after public notice given by a person having authority in that behalf directing dogs or other animals to be confined on account of suspicion of rabies, suffers a dog or an animal specified in the notice to be at large during the time mentioned in that notice; or

(x) being called upon by an officer of a local authority, or of the Ghana Highway Authority or a constable, to give aid of extinguishing or staying the progress of a fire, refuses or neglects to give that aid of which that person is capable; or

(y) wilfully and indecently exposes the body of that person in a public place or in the public’s view, or exposes the body of that person in a place with intent to insult any other person; or [As amended by Act 554, section 16].

(z) in a town for which there is a public slaughter-house appointed by or under an enactment, slaughters cattle or dresses the carcass for human consumption, within the limits of which the slaughter-house is appointed, except in that slaughter-house, unless by the licence of the district assembly.

297. Rubbish in front of premises

(1) Where a criminal offence punishable under paragraph (a) of section 296 is committed and the offender has not been identified or discovered, the fact of a carrion or a substance mentioned in that subsection being found in front of any premises is prima facie evidence of its having been placed there by the occupier of the premises.

(2) A person found committing a criminal offence punishable under paragraphs (a) to (o), of section 296 may be taken into custody without warrant by a peace officer, or a health officer, or by the owner or occupier of the property on which or with respect to which the criminal offence is committed, or by the servant or any other person authorised by the owner or occupier, and may be detained until delivered into the custody of a constable, who shall take that person, as soon as conveniently may be, before the Chairman of a Tribunal or a Justice.

(3) A prosecution for a criminal offence under section 296 shall be commenced within one year from the time when the criminal offence was committed.

(4) A dog in respect of which a criminal offence punishable under paragraph (u) or (v) of section 296 has been committed may be destroyed by order of the Court.

298. Disturbing the peace in a public place

A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding ten penalty units who in a public place, or in a place within sight or hearing of persons who are in that place

(a) disturbs the peace by fighting or quarrelling with any other person, or by making a loud or an unseemly noise, or

(b) abets an unlawful fight, or uses or applies to any other person who is in that public place or within sight or hearing of it, a violent or abusive term of reproach, or

(c) sings a profane, an indecent, or obscene song, or

(d) exposes defamatory or insulting writing or object, or with the intention of annoying or irritating any other person, sings a scurrilous or an abusive song or words, whether a particular person is addressed or not, or does an act which is riotous, indecent, disorderly, insulting behaviour, to the obstruction or annoyance of a passenger or person in the public place. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

CHAPTER NINE
Offences Relating to Animals
299. Taking and using cattle, without consent of owner

A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units who intentionally and unlawfully catches, takes or drives, or attempts to catch, take or drive, cattle from or out of a pasture, an enclosure, a stable or any other place,

(a) for the purpose of riding the animal, or of using it in the carrying of a load or burden or in the drawing of a cart or carriage, or

(b) for the purpose of sorting it loose or of driving it about, or

(c) for any other unlawful and mischievous purpose, without the consent of the owner or of the person entrusted with the charge of the animal, and without having a probable claim or pretence of title. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

300. Stray cattle

(1) Where in a town, cattle are found at large in a public place without a person in charge of the cattle, a peace officer or health officer may seize and impound the cattle in a common pound, and may detain them until the owner pays to the Accountant-General’s Department a sum of money equivalent to the expenses of keeping them at rates not exceeding one penalty unit a day for each head of swine, sheep, or goats and two penalty units a day for each head of other cattle. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(2) Where the expenses are not paid within four days after impounding, the pound keeper, or any other person appointed by the health officer for the purpose, may sell the cattle, after giving six days’ notice of the sale or of the notice having been left at the dwelling-house of the owner if known.

(3) Where the owner is not known, the notice shall be conspicuously posted in a usual place for the posting of public notices in the town where the cattle were seized.

(4) The proceeds of the sale, after deducting the expenses, shall be paid to the Accountant-General, and be paid to the owner of the cattle on demand made not later than twelve months after the sale.

(5) The owner and a person required to be in charge of cattle which are found at large in a public place without a person in charge of the cattle commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units.96(96)

(6) This section so far as regards sheep and goats applies only to the towns of Aburi, Accra, Agona Swedru, Akim-Oda, Axim, Bekwai, Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Cape Coast, Christianborg, Dunkwa, Elmina, Ho, Hohoe, Keta, Kibi, Koforidua, Kumasi, Mampong-Ashanti, Nsawam, Obuasi, Saltpond, Sekondi-Takoradi, Sunyani, Tamale, Tarkwa, Tema, Wa, Winneba and Yendi, and to any other town directed by the Minister by executive instrument.

301. Using horse, with farcy or glanders in public way

(1) A person who in a public place, rides, drives, or otherwise makes use of a horse, mule, or an ass affected with farcy or glanders knowing it to be so affected, and the owner of the horse, mule, or ass, who permits it to be at large in a public place commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units.97(97)

(2) The horse, mule, or ass may be destroyed and the carcass disposed of by order of the Chairman of a Regional Tribunal or a Justice.

302. Destruction of dog or other animal suspected to be rabid

(1) A police officer may destroy a dog, or any other animal at large, which the officer has reasonable cause to suspect is in a rabid state, or which has been bitten by a dog or any other animal which the officer has reasonable cause to suspect is in a rabid state, or may seize and detain the animal and hand it over to a health officer.

(2) The owner or person in charge of a dog or any other animal who knowingly suffers it to be at large in a rabid state, or if the dog or the other animal is confined, does not destroy it, or cause it to be destroyed, after it has shown evident and distinct symptoms of being in a rabid state, or of having been bitten by a dog or any other animal in a rabid state, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units.98(98)

303. Cruelty to animals

(1) A person commits the criminal offence of cruelty and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units, who99(99)

(a) cruelly beats, kicks, ill-treats, over-loads, tortures, infuriates, or terrifies an animal, or causes or procures, or being the owner, permits an animal to be so used; or

(b) by wantonly or unreasonably doing or omitting to do an act, or causing or procuring the commission or omission of an act, causes unnecessary suffering, or being the owner, permits unnecessary suffering, to be caused to an animal; or

(c) conveys or carries, or being the owner, permits to be conveyed or carried an animal in a manner or position that would cause the animal unnecessary suffering; or

(d) drives an animal in harness, or when drawing a vehicle, which is in a condition that would cause the animal unnecessary suffering, or being the owner, permits the animal to be so driven; or

(e) subjects, or causes or procures, or being the owner, permits to be subjected, an animal to an operation which is performed without due care or humanity.

(2) An owner commits the criminal offence of permitting cruelty if the owner fails to exercise reasonable care and supervision in respect of the protection of the animal from an act of cruelty indicated in subsection (1).

(3) This section does not apply

(a) to the commission or omission of an act in the course of the destruction, or the preparation for destruction, of an animal as food for human consumption, unless the destruction or the preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary suffering; or

(b) to the coursing or hunting of a captive animal unless the animal is liberated in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition; but a captive animal shall not, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be coursed or hunted before it is liberated for the purpose of being coursed or hunted, or after it has been recaptured, or if it is under control.

304. Prosecution of medical practitioners and veterinary surgeons

In accordance with clause (3) of article 88 of the Constitution, a prosecution shall not be instituted under section 303 without the consent of the Attorney-General against

(a) a registered medical practitioner or a duly qualified veterinary surgeon or a person acting under the direction of that medical practitioner or veterinary surgeon in respect of the commission or omission of an act in the course of an operation, experiment, or a test performed on an animal for the purposes for scientific research or medical or veterinary treatment; or

(b) a veterinary authority, as defined in the Diseases of Animals Act, 1961 (Act 83) or a person acting under the direction of that authority in respect of the commission or omission of an act in the course of the seizure, detention, or destruction of an animal purporting to be effected for the purposes of the Disease of Animals Act, 1961 (Act 83).

305. Destruction of animal

(1) Where the owner of an animal is convicted of the criminal offence of cruelty under section 303, the Court may, considering that it would be cruel to keep the animal alive, order the destruction of the animal, and assign the animal to a suitable person for that purpose.

(2) The reasonable expenses incurred in destroying the animal may be ordered by the Court to be paid by the owner, and is recoverable in like manner as a fine.

306. Court may deprive ownership

(1) Where the owner of an animal is convicted of cruelty or of permitting cruelty to an animal, the Court may, in addition to any other punishment, deprive the owner of the ownership of the animal, and may make any other order as to the disposal of the animal.

(2) An order shall not be made under subsection (1), unless it is shown by evidence as to a previous connection, or as to the character of the owner, or otherwise, that the animal, if left with the owner, is likely to be exposed to further cruelty.

307. Taking charge of animal

(1) Where a person in charge of an animal has committed, or is reasonably suspected of having committed, a criminal offence under section 303 or against a by-law made by a local authority with respect to the control, management and treatment of animals, a police officer, or a person or class of persons authorised in that behalf by the Minister, may take charge of the animal for the purpose of the examination of the animal.

(2) Where there is a criminal proceeding as a result of subsection (1), the animal shall be deposited in a place of a safe custody until the termination of the proceeding or until the Court directs the animal to be delivered to the person in charge of the animal or to the owner.

(3) In the event of a conviction in respect of the animal, the Court may order that the cost of the examination and detention, including the cost of veterinary treatment, shall be paid by the owner, and the cost may be recovered as a fine.

308. Destruction of stray dogs

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a police officer, health officer or a person authorised by the Minister may seize a stray dog found at large and to bring it before a Magistrate, who may direct that the dog be returned to its owner, if the owner can be found or if the owner cannot be found, that it be destroyed and assign it to a suitable person for that purpose, or may make any other appropriate order.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), subsection (1) applies to

(a) the towns of Accra, Cape Coast, Sekondi-Takoradi and Kumasi;

(b) the towns and places to which the Towns Act applies;

(c) any other towns, places, districts and areas that the Minister may by executive instrument, direct.

(3) The Minister may, by executive instrument, direct that subsection (1) shall apply throughout the Republic.

309. Destruction of aged or neglected animals

(1) A veterinary officer, or a person or a member of a class of persons authorised by the Minister may seize an animal which, in the opinion of the veterinary officer or that person or that member is suffering, or is likely immediately to suffer sickness or neglect by reason of old age.

(2) On the seizure being made, the veterinary officer, or other person shall forthwith furnish a Magistrate with a written report on the matter, embodying in the report the recommendations of the veterinary officer or of that person.

(3) The Magistrate may direct that the owner of the animal, if the owner can be found, be given notice to show cause why the animal should not be destroyed.

(4) Where the owner fails to show sufficient cause why the animal should not be destroyed, or where the owner cannot be found, the Magistrate may direct that the animal be destroyed, and accordingly may assign it to a suitable person, or may make any other appropriate order.

310. Interpretation

In this Chapter

“animal” means a domestic or captive animal;

“captive animal” means an animal, which is not a domestic animal, of any kind or species, including a bird, fish, or reptile, which is in captivity, or confinement, or which is maimed, pinioned or subjected to an appliance or a contrivance for the purpose of hindering or preventing its escape from captivity or confinement;

“domestic animal” means an animal which is tamed or which has been or is being sufficiently tamed to serve a purpose for the use of a person.

CHAPTER TEN
Miscellaneous Offences
Taking Liquor on Ship
311. Taking liquor on board State ship

(1) A person commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding five penalty units,

(a) who brings on board a ship of the Republic a spirituous or fermented liquor without the previous consent of the officer commanding the ship, or

(b) who approaches or hovers about the ship for the purposes of bringing the liquor on board without that consent, or of giving or selling the liquor to an officer, a seaman, or marine in the service of the Republic without that con-sent, or of assisting the officer, seaman or marine to be improperly absent from the ship. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(2) An officer in the service of the Republic, or a warrant or petty officer of the Navy, or non-commissioned officer of Marines may, with or without seamen or persons under the officer’s command, search a ship or boat hovering about or approaching, or which may have hovered about or approached, a ship of the Republic and may seize the liquor found on her, which shall be forfeited to the Republic.

(3) An officer or a warrant or petty or non-commissioned officer, or a constable, may without warrant arrest and detain a person found committing a criminal offence under this section, and take that person before a Magistrate or a Justice to be dealt with according to law.

Letters, Telegrams
312. Letter written for illiterate person

(1) A person who writes a letter or petition at the request or in the name of an illiterate person shall write on the letter or petition that person’s name and address.

(2) The writing of the name and address on the letter or petition implies a statement

(a) that the letter or petition was written on the instructions of the illiterate person, and

(b) that the letter or petition conveys neither more nor less than the meaning intended by the illiterate, and

(c) if it is or purports to be signed or executed by that person that it was read over and explained to the illiterate person who fully understood its contents before it was signed or executed, and

(d) that the mark or signature is that of the illiterate person.

(3) Where the name and address of the writer is not written on the letter or petition, or if the statement implied is in a material particular untrue, the writer commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding twenty-five penalty units. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(4) For the purposes of this section, “name” means the full, true, and proper country name where a person has a country name; otherwise a person’s true and proper surname and the Christian name.

313. Sending false telegram

A person who commits either of the following acts, with intent to aggrieve or annoy any other person, is liable to a fine not exceeding fifteen penalty units, that is to say,

(a) knowingly sends a false telegram to any other person, or

(b) signs the name of any other person to a petition, prospectus, or testimonial, knowing that there is no authority for so doing.

313 A. Issue of false cheque

(1) A person who

(a) without reasonable excuse, the proof of which lies on that person, issues a cheque drawn on a bank with which that person does not have an account, or

(b) issues a cheque in respect of an account with a bank when that person does not have a reasonable ground, the proof of which lies on that person, to believe that there are funds or adequate funds in the account to pay the amount specified on the cheque within the normal course of banking business, or

(c) with intent to defraud stops or countermands a cheque previously issued by that person, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment; not exceeding twelve months or to both the fine and the imprisonment, and in the case of a subsequent criminal offence to a fine not exceeding one thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(2) A person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence by virtue of subsection (1) (b) in respect of a cheque which is presented for payment later than three months after the date specified on the cheque for payment.

(3) Where a person is convicted of a criminal offence by virtue of subsection (1) (c), the Court may, if satisfied that there are adequate funds in the account of that person in respect of which the cheque in question was issued to meet the amount specified on the cheque, order the bank in question to honour the cheque, and a bank complying with the order is not liable to a claim in respect of that act.

(4) In this section,

(a) the words “cheque” and “issue” have the meaning respectively assigned to them in sections 72 and 97 of the Bills of Exchange Act, 1961 (Act 55);

(b) a reference to the issue of a cheque includes a reference to the issue of a cheque to the Republic. [Inserted by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Decree, 1973 (N.R.C.D. 160)].

Slave Dealing
314. Slave dealing

(1) A person commits a second degree felony who

(a) deals or trades in, buys, sells, barters, transfers, or takes a slave; or

(b) deals or trades in, buys, sells, barters, transfers, or takes another person in order that the other person may be held or treated as a slave; or

(c) places or receives a person in servitude as a pledge or security for debt, whether then due and owing or to be incurred or contingent, whether under the name of a pawn or by any other name by which the other person may be called; or

(d) conveys a person, or induces a person to come, to the Republic to be dealt with as a slave or traded in, bought, sold, bartered as a slave, or become a slave, or be placed in servitude as a pledge or security for a debt; or

(e) conveys or sends a person, or induces a person to go out of the Republic to be dealt with as a slave or traded in, bought, sold, bartered, transferred as slave or become a slave, or be placed in servitude as a pledge or security for a debt; or

(f) enters into a contract or an agreement with or without consideration for doing any of the acts or accomplishing any of the purposes mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e); or

(g) by any species of coercion or restraint otherwise than in accordance with the Labour Act, compels or attempts to compel the service of a person.

(2) This section does not apply to a coercion that may lawfully be exercised by virtue of a contract of service between free persons, or by virtue of the rights of parents and other rights, which are not contrary to law, arising out of the family relations customarily used and observed in the Republic.

314 A. Prohibition of customary servitude

(1) A person who

(a) sends to, or receives at a place, any other person, or

(b) participates in or is concerned in a ritual or customary activity in respect of any other person, with the purpose of subjecting the other person to a form of ritual or customary servitude, or a form of forced labour related to a customary ritual, commits a criminal offence and is liable to a term of imprisonment not less than three years.

(2) In this section, “concerned in” means

(a) to send to, take to, consent to the taking to or receive at a place, a person for the performance of the customary ritual; or

(b) to enter into an agreement whether written or oral to subject to any of the parties to the agreement or any other person to the performance of the customary ritual; or

(c) to be present at an activity connected with or related to the performance of the customary ritual. [Inserted by Act 554, section 17].

Trial by Ordeal
315. Trial by ordeal

(1) The trial by the ordeal of sasswood, eserepbean, or any other poison, boiling oil, fire, immersion in water, or exposure to the attacks of crocodiles or any other wild animals, or by an ordeal which is likely to result in the death of, or bodily injury to, a party to the proceeding is unlawful.

(2) A person who directs or controls or presides at a trial by ordeal which is unlawful commits a second degree felony.

316. Present at, or making poison for, trial by ordeal

A person commits a misdemeanour who

(a) is present at or takes part in a trial by ordeal which is unlawful, or

(b) makes, sells or assists or takes part in making or selling, or has in possession for sale or use, a poison or thing which is intended to be used for the purpose of a trial by ordeal which is unlawful.

Unlawful Exportation of Cocoa
317. Smuggling and other evasion

(1) A person who

(a) imports or is concerned in importing prohibited or restricted goods, contrary to the prohibition or restriction, whether the goods are unloaded or not, or

(b) unloads or is concerned in unloading prohibited goods or restricted goods imported contrary to the prohibition or restriction, or

(c) exports or is concerned in exporting prohibited or restricted goods, contrary to the prohibition or restriction, or

(d) with intent to defraud the Republic of a duty, knowingly harbours, keeps or conceals or knowingly permits or suffers or causes or procures to be harboured, kept or concealed prohibited, restricted, uncustomed or excisable goods, or

(e) with intent to defraud the Republic of a duty, knowingly acquires possession of or is knowingly concerned in carrying, removing, depositing or concealing prohibited, restricted, uncustomed or excisable goods, or

(f) is knowingly concerned in a fraudulent evasion or attempt at evasion of any customs or excise duties, or

(g) exports or attempts to export cocoa contrary to the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (P.N.D.C.L. 330) (which relates to the exportation of restricted or prohibited goods), or

(h) exports or attempts to export uncustomed cocoa contrary to an order made under the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (P.N.D.C.L. 330), or

(i) without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on that person, sells, receives or deseals sealed cocoa knowing it to belong to the Ghana Cocoa Board or to any of its licensed buying agents or any other person, or

(j) with intent to defraud the Ghana Cocoa Board or any of its licensed buying agents or any other person makes a false declaration about cocoa, commits a misdemeanour and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not exceeding ten years, or to a fine not less than two hundred and fifty penalty units and not exceeding five thousand penalty units or to both the fine and to the imprisonment, and the goods in respect of which the criminal offence has been committed shall be forfeited. [As amended by the Schedule to Act 554].

(2) A person who commits an act referred to in subsection (1) is, whether or not that person is prosecuted under that subsection, liable to a civil penalty under the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Act, 1993, (P.N.D.C.L. 330) and the civil penalty may be enforced and recovered although a prosecution has not been brought under subsection (1). [NB: P.N.D.C.L. 330 has since been repealed by, and replaced with, the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891)].

(3) The civil penalty shall not be exacted where a fine imposed under subsection (1) equals or exceeds treble the value of the goods in respect of which the criminal offence was committed.

(4) In this section, “prohibited or restricted goods” means goods the importation or exportation of which is prohibited or restricted by law. [Amended by N.L.C.D. 398, section 20, and further amended by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 1971 (Act 364) ].

317 A. Smuggling of gold, diamond

(1) Although there is a law to the contrary, a person who

(a) without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on that person, exports or attempts to export gold or diamond, or

(b) conceals or carries away from the Republic gold or diamond with intent to evade an enactment relating to the export of gold or diamond, commits a criminal offence and is liable on conviction to a sentence of death, and the gold or diamond, in respect of which the criminal offence was committed shall be forfeited to the Republic.

(2) The President may, by legislative instrument, apply subsection (1) to any other minerals specified in the instrument.

(3) For the purposes of this section

diamond” means a rough and uncut diamond of Ghanaian origin; “gold” includes gold bullion, retorted gold, gold ore, gold amalgam, gold alloy, precipitates containing gold, slag, concentrates, tailings and residues, and gold dust but not the articles manufactured of gold and in reasonable quantities the proof of which lies on the person alleging reasonableness. [Inserted by the Criminal Code (Amendment) (No. 2) Decree, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 53)].

PART FIVE
Consequential
318. Repeals

(1) Each of the following enactments shall cease to apply in Ghana:

United Kingdom Statutes

28 Hen. 8, c. 15 .................................................... (Piracy, 1536).
23 Chas. 2, c. 11................................................... (Piracy, 1670).
11 Will. 3, c. 7........................................................ (Piracy, 1698).
4 Geo. 1, c. 11....................................................... (Piracy, 1717).
8 Geo. 1, c. 24....................................................... (Piracy, 1721).
18 Geo. 2, c. 30..................................................... (Piracy, 1744).
7 Will. 4 & 1 Vic., c. 88.......................................... (Piracy, 1837).
1 & 2 Geo. 5, c. 28................................................ (Official Secrets Act, 1911).
10 & 11 Geo. 5, c. 75............................................ (Official Secrets Act, 1920).

(2) Each of the following enactments is hereby repealed:

Statutes of Ghana

Cap. 9 ................................................ The Criminal Code.
Cap. 39 ...................................... The Peace Preservation
Ordinance.
Cap. 42 ............................................ Section 11 of the
Unlicensed Guides
(Prohibition) Ordinance.
Cap. 62...................................... The Official Secrets (Northern
Region) Ordinance.
Cap. 74 ..................................... Sections 6 and 7 of the
Undesirable Advertisements
Ordinance.
Cap. 107 ...................................... Reaffirmation of the Abolition of Slavery Ordinance.
Cap. 108 ..................................... Slaves’ Emancipation
Ordinance.
Cap. 109 ........................................ Slave Dealing Ordinance.
No. 33 of 1956 .................................. The Criminal Code
(Amendment) Ordinance,
1956.
No. 23 (Ord.) of 1957 ......................... The Criminal Code
(Amendment) Ordinance,
1957.
No. 37 of 1959 ............................. The Criminal Code
(Amendment) Act, 1959.
No. 64 of 1959 ................................ The Sedition Act, 1959.
No. 73 of 1959 ......................... The Treason Act, 1959.
No. 78 of 1959 ...................................... Section 47 of the National
Assembly Act, 1959.
Act 5 ................................................... The Criminal Code
(Amendment) Act, 1960.

(3) An instrument made under an enactment hereby repealed shall continue in force notwithstanding the repeal and shall be deemed to have been made under the corresponding provision of this Act.

(4) Despite any other enactment, a person shall not, after the commencement of this Act, be charged with a criminal offence under an enactment hereby repealed or declared as not being in force in the Republic, but a person who has been so charged before the commencement of this Act, may be proceeded against as though the enactment had not been repealed or declared as not being in force.

319. Commencement and operation

(1) This Act shall come into force on the first day of February, 1961.

(2) Subject to clause (5) of article 19 of the Constitution, this Act applies to acts committed before its commencement in like manner as they apply to acts committed after its commencement.

(3) It is a defence for a person charged with a criminal offence under this Act in respect of an act committed before its commencement to show that at the time when the act was committed it did not constitute a criminal offence.

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