Feb 11, 2015


My first experience with unlawful societies was in the University, where I got to hear about and see the activities of cultists our school prefects. Let’s just say, those experiences made me stay away from them. Unlawful societies are not social clubs or organizations as they usually have more sinister motives behind their formation.

The Nigerian Criminal Code Act defines a society to include any combination of ten or more persons whether the society is known by any name or not. Please refer to Section 62 (1) of the Act.  The Act goes further to describe unlawful societies as any society formed for any of the following purposes:

  • Levying war or encouraging or assisting any person to levy war on the Govt or the inhabitants of any part of Nigeria;
  • Killing or injuring or encouraging the killing or injuring of any person, clearly Boko Haram falls into this category;
  • Destroying or injuring or encouraging the destruction or injuring of any property; or
  • Subverting or promoting the subversion of the Govt or of its officials; or
  • Committing to inciting to acts of violence or intimidation; or
  • Interfering with, or resisting, or encouraging interference with or resistance to the administration of the law; or
  • Disturbing or encouraging the disturbance of peace and order in any part of Nigeria; or
  • If declared by an order of the President to be a society dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof.

Thus if your organization or an organization you intend to belong to is involved in any of the activities mentioned above, it’s important to stay away from such an organization. It should be noted that anyone who manages or assists in managing an unlawful society is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for seven years. Also anyone who is a member of an unlawful society or allows its members to meet on its property is also guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.  

Please read and share with others who you know may be members of unlawful societies.

Adedunmade Onibokun