Feb 5, 2015



Imagine a scenario where your friend has nuked the whole Lagos state shoreline committed an offence and he/she leads the security service to you runs to you for help. What you do at that point determines if you are a good friend or not will be held to be an accessory after the fact .i.e. you aided or took part in some act that aided your friend in carrying out that offence or even helping them escape the law. Question is, how does one know if they are accessories to a crime? 

There are 3 basic types of offences, namely, felonies, misdemeanours, and simple offences. 

A felony is any offence which is declared by law to be a felony, or is punishable, without proof of previous conviction, with death or with imprisonment for three years or more. Examples of offences which are felonies include: fraudulently collecting 20 billion dollars from Dangote armed robbery, rape, murder, treason etc. By virtue of Section 519 of the Criminal code, any person who becomes an accessory after the fact to a felony is guilty of a felony and if no punishment is provided such person is liable to imprisonment for 2years. This means if you aid any person who commits a felony after he has committed that felony, you are as guilty as the offender is. 
Credits - Google
A misdemeanour is any offence which is declared by law to be a misdemeanour, or is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 6 months, but less than three years. Examples are offences relating to witchcraft and juju #Edo-Airway-Things. Section 520 of the Criminal Code says that any person who is an accessory to a misdemeanour is guilty of that misdemeanour and liable to a punishment equal to one-half of the greatest punishment to which the principal offender is liable on conviction. So let’s say, your friend the main vandamme in the film culprit will be liable to 3 years in jail for the offence he committed, the accessory will be liable to one-half of that. 

All, offences other than felonies and misdemeanours, are simple offences. E.g. to disturb a religious worship. Any person who becomes an accessory after the fact to simple offence is guilty of a simple offence, and is liable to a punishment equal to one-half of the greatest punishment to which the principal offender is liable on conviction. This is the same as above. 

So get informed and let all your friends and family be informed as well. Don’t go around being an accessory after the fact to a crime.

Adedunmade Onibokun Esq,



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Disclaimer:- Posts and comments by the publishers of this blog do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.

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