CROSS RIVER – INTERPRETATION LAW

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CROSS RIVER STATE LAWS

CHAPTER I6

INTERPRETATION LAW

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Commencement, distance and time

SECTION

  1. Time of commencement.
  2. Measurement of distance.
  3. Computation of time.
  4. Reference to time.

Repeal, re-enactment and amending legislation

  1. Repealed Laws not revived by repeal of repealing Law.
  2. Repeal and substitution.
  3. Reference to the re-enacted provisions.
  4. Reference in Laws to provisions of Acts.
  5. Construction of amending Law.
  6. Effect of repealing Law.
  7. Construction of Laws to be subject to the Constitution.
  8. Use of defined terms in subsidiary legislation.
  9. Use of expression “the Law”.
  10. Exercise of statutory powers between enactment and commencement of Law.
  11. Effect of repeal on subsidiary legislation.
  12. Inconsistent laws.
  13. Power to make orders, regulations, rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law.
  14. Subsidiary legislation may provide for fees and charges for reduction, waiver, or refund.
  15. General provisions with respect to power given to any authority to make orders, regulations, rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law.
  16. Subsidiary legislation may provide for fees and charges and in certain cases for reduction, waiver, or refund thereof.
  17. Act for which payment is required need not be performed till payment to be made.
  18. Extent of power to issue proclamation.
  19. Orders or regulations made by Governor to override others.
  20. Coming into force of proclamation.
  21. State Gazette and publication by Government Printer prima facie evidence.

Powers and Appointments

  1. Powers to be exercised and duties to be performed from time to time.
  2. Powers may be performed by acting officers.
  3. Power to appoint to include power to suspend or dismiss.
  4. Construction of enabling words.

SECTION

  1. Appointment of officers by name or office.
  2. Official designation to include officer executing duties.
  3. Power to provide for execution of duties of public officer during temporary absence or inability.
  4. Public officers to exercise functions within State, province or area for which office held.
  5. Power of a Commissioner to delegate certain functions.

Citation of Laws

  1. Mode of citing Laws.
  2. Construction of reference to written Laws.
  3. Collective titles.

Miscellaneous

  1. Gender and number.
  2. Laws deemed to be public Laws.
  3. Schedules.
  4. Subdivisions of laws to be recognised.
  5. Forms.
  6. Reprint of Laws.
  7. Meaning of any reference to the number of a line.
  8. Reference in marginal notes to other legislation.
  9. Meaning of “or”, “other” and “otherwise”.
  10. Meaning of service by post.
  11. Signification of order of Governor, Executive Council or Commissioner.
  12. Evidence of signature of fiat or consent of Governor or public officer.
  13. Power of majority and person presiding.
  14. Public officers.
  15. Ex officio proceedings not to abate on death.

Penal provisions

  1. Imposition of penalty not a bar to civil action.
  2. Provisions as to offences under two or more laws.
  3. Penalties prescribed to be deemed maximum penalties.
  4. Indication of penalties.
  5. Meaning of imprisonment.
  6. Carrying out of certain orders.
  7. Application of fees, fines and forfeitures.

The State

  1. Saving of rights of the State.
  2. Law binding on the State.
  3. Definitions.
  4. Application.
  5. Short title.

 

CHAPTER I6

INTERPRETATION LAW

GENERAL PROVISIONS

(9th November, 1939)

[Commencement]

Commencement, distance and time

  1. Time of commencement

Where any Law, or any part of a Law, or any notice, order, regulation, rule of court, warrant, scheme, letters patent, or other instrument having the effect of law made, granted or issued under a power conferred by any Law or by any competent authority, is expressed to come into operation on a particular day, the same shall be construed as coming into operation immediately on the expiration of the next day preceding such day.

  1. Measurement of distance

In the measurement of any distance for the purposes of any Law, that distance shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be measured in a straight line of a horizontal plane.

  1. Computation of time

In computing time for the purposes of any Law, unless the contrary intention appears—

(a)     a period reckoned by days from the happening of an event or the doing of any act or thing shall be deemed to be exclusive of the day in which the event happens or the act or thing is done;

(b)     if the last day of the period is Sunday or a public holiday (which days are in this section referred to as excluded days), the period shall include the next following day not being an excluded day;

(c)     when any act or proceeding is directed or allowed to be done or taken on a certain day, then, if that day happens to be an excluded day, the act or proceeding shall be considered as done or taken in due time if it is done or taken on the day next afterwards not being an excluded day;

(d)     when an act or proceeding is directed or allowed to be done or taken within any time not exceeding six days, excluded days shall not be reckoned in the computation of the time.

  1. Reference to time

(1)     Whenever any expression of time occurs in any Law, Government or public notice or other instrument having the effect of law, deed or legal document, the time referred to shall, unless the contrary intention appear, be held to be standard time.

(2)     “Standard time” means standard time as used in Nigeria, namely, sixty minutes in advance of Greenwich Mean Time. Repeal, re-enactment and amending legislation

  1. Repealed Laws not revived by repeal of repealing Law

Where any Law repealing in whole or in part any former Law is itself repealed, such last repeal shall not revive the Law or provisions before repealed, unless words be added reviving such Laws or provisions.

  1. Repeal and substitution

Where any Law repeals wholly or in part any former Law and substitutes other provision therefore, the repealed Law shall remain in force until the substituted provision comes into operation.

  1. Reference to the re-enacted provisions

Where any Law repeals and re-enacts with or without modifications any provision of a former Law, references in any other Law to the provisions so repealed shall, unless the contrary intention appear, be construed as references to the provisions so re-enacted.

  1. Reference in Laws to provisions of Acts

Where in any Law reference is made to any provision of an Act and that provision is subsequently repealed and re-enacted without substantial modification, such reference shall, if the context so requires and unless the contrary intention appears, be construed as a reference to the provisions so re-enacted.

  1. Construction of amending Law

When any Law amends or adds to any Law, the amending Law shall, so far as is consistent with the tenor thereof, and unless the contrary intention appear, be construed as one with the amended Law; and the amended Law may, in the amending Law, be referred to as the principal Law.

  1. Effect of repealing Law

The repeal of any Law or any part thereof shall not, unless the contrary intention appear—

(a)     revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal takes effect; or

(b)     affect the previous operation of any Law so repealed or anything duly done or suffered under any enactment so repealed; or

(c)     affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed; or

(d)     affect any penalty, forfeiture, or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against any Law so repealed; or

(e)     affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid; and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed, as if the repealing Law had not been passed.

(f)      When the penalty, forfeiture or punishment imposed by the repealing Law is heavier than that imposed by the repealed Law, the provision by which the lighter penalty, forfeiture or punishment is imposed shall, unless such repealing Law otherwise provides, be applied if the court decides to inflict any punishment.

  1. Construction of Laws to be subject to the Constitution

Every Law enacted by the State Legislature shall be read and construed subject to the Constitution so as not to exceed the legislative power of that legislature, to the intent that where any provision of any such Law would, but for this section, have been construed as being in excess of that power, such Law, shall nevertheless be construed as valid to the extent to which it provisions are not in excess of that power.

  1. Use of defined terms in subsidiary legislation

When terms defined in a Law are used in any order, regulation, rule of court, proclamation or other instrument having the effect of law under such Law, such terms shall have the meanings assigned to them by the Law, unless they are otherwise defined in the order, regulation, rule of court, proclamation or other instrument or are inconsistent with the subject or context.

  1. Use of expression “the Law”

Any reference in any order, proclamation, regulation, rule of court or other instrument having the effect of law to the expression “the Law” shall be read and construed as a reference to the Law conferring the power to make or issue such order, proclamation, regulation, rule or other instrument.

  1. Exercise of statutory powers between enactment and commencement of Law

When any Law is not to come into operation immediately on the passing thereof, and confers power to make any appointment, to make, grant or issue any instrument, to give notice or make orders, regulations or rules of court, to prescribe forms, or to do any other thing for the purpose of the Law, that power may, unless the contrary intention appear, be exercised at any time after the Law has been assented to by the Governor, so far as may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of bringing the Law into operation at the date of commencement thereof: Provided that orders, instruments, regulations or rules of court so made shall not take effect till the commencement of the Law.

  1. Effect of repeal on subsidiary legislation

When a Law or part of a Law is repealed, all orders, regulations, rules of court, proclamations, other instruments having the effect of law and notices issued or made in virtue thereof shall remain in force, so far as they are not inconsistent with the repealing Law and, unless the contrary intention appear, until they shall have been repealed or have been replaced by orders, regulations, rules of court, proclamations, other instruments or notices, as the case may be, issued or made under the provisions of the said repealing Law.

  1. Inconsistent Laws

Where any Law prevails over any other Law in the circumstances described in section

4        (5)     of the Constitution of the Federation the provisions of sections 5, 10 and 17 of this Law shall apply in relation to—

(a)     any Law prevailed over;

(b)     anything duly done or suffered, or any right, privilege, obligation or liability accrued or incurred, or any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred;

(c)     any orders, regulations, rules of court, proclamations and notices issued or made by or under the Law or the part of a Law which becomes void in accordance with the provisions of the aforementioned sections, as though the Law or the part of a Law which becomes void were a repealed Law, and the Law or part of a Law which prevails were a repealing Law.

  1. Power to make orders, regulations, rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law

(1)     Where an Act or Law confers power on any authority to make orders, regulations, rules of court or other instruments having the effect of law, the following provisions shall have effect with reference to the making and operation of such order, regulation or rules of court—

(a)     any order, regulation, rule of court or other instrument may be at any time amended, varied, rescinded, or revoked by the same authority and in the same manner by and in which it was made;

(b)     there may be annexed to the breach of any order, regulation or other instrument such penalty not exceeding one thousand naira, or such imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, as the order or regulation making authority may think fit;

(c)     there may be annexed to any rule of court such penalty not exceeding five hundred naira or imprisonment not exceeding three months as the rulemaking authority may think fit on any person who fails to take any action required by rule of court or who disobeys any rule of court;

(d)     no order, regulation or rule of court shall be inconsistent with the provisions of any Law in force in the State.

(2)     Where such authority has been replaced wholly or partially by another authority the power conferred upon the original authority may be exercised by the replacing authority concerning all matters or things within its jurisdiction as if it were the original authority.

(3)     Where a Law conferring power to make a particular form of subsidiary legislation is repealed or amended so that while a subsidiary legislative power over similar subject is provided the form thereof is changed, any subsidiary legislation made and in force under the repealed or amended Law shall, in so far as it concerns any matter or thing within the jurisdiction of the authority constituted under the repealing or amending Law be deemed to have been made by that authority and shall continue in force until other provisions are made by virtue of the repealing or amending Law.

(4)     All orders, regulations, rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law made under any Law shall be published in the State Gazette.

(5)     All orders, regulations, rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law shall have the force of law upon the publication thereof, in accordance with the provisions of this section or from the date named therein.

(6)     Where any Law prescribed the manner in which any by-law, rule, or order or notice made or given by any Local Government shall be published, any such by-law, rule, order or notice shall come into operation on publication in the prescribed manner unless otherwise provided therein.

(7)     Notwithstanding subsections (4) and (5) where a rule, by-law or order is made by any authority or any rule of court is made by any authority under a Law the Commissioner may by Order published in the State Gazette prescribe the manner in which such rule, by-law, order or rule of court shall be published and any rule, by-law, order or rule of court shall come into operation on publication in the prescribed manner, unless it is otherwise provided therein.

(8)     A copy of any such rule, by-law or order, as mentioned in subsection (7), certified by an administrative officer as made and published in the prescribed manner shall be admitted in evidence in any court without further proof thereof.

(9)     The breach of any order, regulation or rule of court may be presented in a summary manner.

(10)   The provisions of this section shall not apply where a contrary intention appears in a Law conferring the power to make the order, regulation or rule of court.

  1. Subsidiary legislation may provide for fees and charges for reduction, waiver, or refund

(1)     Where any Law confers power on any authority to make orders, regulations, rules of court or other instruments having the force of law and to make provision therein in respect of fees or charges, such authority may provide in the orders, regulations or rules of court—

(a)     specified fees or charges;

(b)     maximum or minimum fees or charges;

(c)     maximum and minimum fees or charges;

(d)     for the purposes of fees or charges either generally or under specified conditions; and

(e)     for the reduction, the waiver or the refund in whole or in part of any such fees or charges either upon the happening of certain events or in the discretion of any person.

(2)     Where any reduction, the waiver or the refund in whole or in part of any fee or charge is provided, such reduction, waiver or refund may be made to apply either generally or specifically—

(a)     in respect of certain matters or classes of matters;

(b)     in respect of certain documents or classes of documents;

(c)     where any event happens or ceases to happen;

(d)     in respect of certain persons or classes of persons; and

(e)     in respect of any combination of such matters, persons, documents or events, and may be made to apply subject to such conditions as may be set out in the orders, regulations, rules of court or other instruments or in the discretion of any specified person.

(3)     The reduction, waiver or refund mentioned in subsection (2) may be made to apply subject to such conditions as may be set out in the orders, regulations rules of court or the discretion of any specified person.

  1. General provisions with respect to power given to any authority to make orders, regulations, rules of court, and other instruments having the effect of law

(1)     Where an Act or Law confers power on any authority to make orders, regulations, rules of court or other instruments having the effect of law, the following provisions shall have effect with reference to the making and operation of such orders, regulations or rules of court—

(a)     any order, regulation, rule of court or other instrument may be at any time amended, varied, rescinded or revoked by the same authority and in the same manner by and in which it was made;

(b)     where such authority has been replaced wholly or partially by another authority the power conferred herein upon the original authority may be exercised by the replacing authority concerning all matters or things within its jurisdiction as if it were the original authority;

(c)     there may be annexed to the breach of any order, regulation or other instrument such penalty not exceeding one hundred naira, or such imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, as the order or regulation making authority may think fit;

(d)     there may be annexed to any rule of court such penalty not exceeding fifty naira or imprisonment not exceeding three months as the rule-making authority may think fit on any person who fails to take any action required by a rule of court or who disobeys any rule of court;

(e)     no order, regulation or rule of court shall be inconsistent with the provisions of any Law in force in the State.

(2)     Where a Law conferring powers to make a particular form of subsidiary legislation is repealed or amended so that while a subsidiary legislative power over similar subjects is provided the form thereof is changed, any subsidiary legislation made and in force under the repealed or amended Law shall, in so far as it concerns any matters or things within the jurisdiction of the authority constituted under the repealing or amending Law be deemed to have been made by that authority and shall continue in force until other provision shall be made by virtue of the repealing or amending Law.

(3)     All orders, regulations, rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law made under any Law shall be published in the State Gazette.

(4)     All orders, regulations, rules of court and other instrument having the effect of law shall have the force of law upon the publication thereof, in accordance with the provisions of this section or from the date named therein.

(5)     Notwithstanding subsections (3) and (4) where a rule, by-law or order is made by any authority or any rule of court is made by any authority under a Law the Commissioner by Order published in the State Gazette may prescribe the manner in which such rule, by-law, order or rule of court shall be published and any such rule, by-law, order or rule of court shall come into operation on publication in the prescribed manner, unless it is otherwise provided therein.

(6)     A copy of any such rule, by-law or order, as in subsection (5) mentioned, certified by an administrative officer as made and published in the prescribed manner shall be admitted in evidence in any court without further proof thereof.

(7)     The breach of any order, regulation or rule of court may be prosecuted in a summary manner.

(8)     The provisions of this section shall not apply where a contrary intention appears in the Law conferring the power to make the order, regulation or rule of court.

  1. Subsidiary legislation may provide for fees and charges and in certain cases for reduction, waiver, or refund thereof

(1)     Where any Law confers power on any authority to make orders, regulations, rules of court or other instruments having the force of law and to make provision therein in respect of fees or charges, such authority may provide in the orders, regulations or rules of court—

(a)     specified fees or charges;

(b)     maximum or minimum fees or charges;

(c)     maximum and minimum fees or charges;

(d)     for the payment of fees or charges either generally or under specified conditions;

(e)     and for the reduction, the waiver or the refund in whole or in part of any such fees or charges either upon the happening of certain events or in the discretion of any person.

(2)     Where any reduction, waiver or refund in whole or in part of any fee or charge is provided, such reduction, waiver or refund may be made to apply either generally or specifically—

(a)     in respect of certain matters or classes of matters;

(b)     in respect of certain documents or classes of documents;

(c)     where any event happens or ceases to happen;

(d)     in respect of certain persons or classes of persons; and

(e)     in respect of any combination of such matters, persons, documents or events, and may be made to apply subject to such conditions as may be set out in the order, regulations, rules of court or other instruments or in the discretion of any specified person.

  1. Act for which payment is required need not be performed till payment be made

(1)     Where any person, public officer, public department or local government is required to do anything for which a fee is to be paid or a charge made under any Law, order, regulation or rule of court, such person, officer, responsible officer of the public department or local government may decline to do that thing till the fee is paid or payment be made and, where the precise amount of the payment to be made cannot be ascertained until the thing is done, till there be paid such an amount as may be estimated to be the correct amount by the person, officer, responsible officer of the department or local government required to do that thing.

(2)     Where a thing has been done for which an estimated amount shall have been paid such amount shall be adjusted to the correct amount either by means of a further payment or by a refund of the amount overpaid.

  1. Extent of power to issue proclamation

When power is given to the Governor to issue a proclamation or notification, it shall include the power of amending, revoking or suspending the said proclamation or notification, and of declaring the date of its coming into force and also of substituting another therefor.

  1. Orders or regulations made by the Governor to override others

Subject to any express provision in any Law where power is given to the Governor to make orders, regulations or other instruments having the effect of law, any such orders, regulations or instruments when made by him shall take precedence over any orders, regulations or instruments made by any other authority in which is also vested by any Law (in force in the State) subsidiary legislative powers in respect of the same matters, and where any orders or regulations conflict the orders, regulations or instruments made by the Governor shall prevail.

  1. Coming into force of proclamation

Proclamations, notifications and other instruments having the effect of law of the Governor shall come into operation on the date of their publications in the State Gazette unless otherwise specified.

  1. State Gazette and publication by Government Printer prima facie evidence

The production of a copy of the Gazette containing an order, regulation, rule of court, proclamation, Government or legal notice or other instrument having the effect of law, or of any copy of any order, regulation, rule of court, proclamation, Government or legal notice, or other instrument purporting to be printed by the Government Printer, shall be prima facie evidence, in all courts and for all purposes whatsoever, of the due making and tenor of such order, regulation, rule of court, proclamation, Government or legal notice, or other instrument. Powers and Appointments

  1. Powers to be exercised and duties to be performed from time to time

When any Law confers any power or imposes any duty, then, unless a contrary intention appears, the power may be exercised or the duty shall be performed from time to time as occasion arises.

  1. Powers may be performed by acting officers

Where any Law confers a power or imposes a duty on the holder of any office, as such, then, unless the contrary intention appears, the power may be exercised and the duty shall be performed by the holder for the time being of the office or by a person appointed to act for him.

  1. Power to appoint to include power to suspend or dismiss

Where by or under any Law a power to make any appointment is conferred, then, unless the contrary intention appears, the authority having power to make the appointment shall also have power to remove, suspend, dismiss, reappoint or reinstate any person appointed by it in exercise of the power.

  1. Construction of enabling words

Where in any Law power is given to any person to do or enforce the doing of any act or thing all such powers shall be understood to be also given as are reasonably necessary to enable the person to do or enforce the doing of the act or thing.

  1. Appointment of officers by name or office

Where by a Law the Governor or any public officer or body is empowered to appoint or name a person to have and exercise any powers or perform any duties, the Governor or such public officer or body may either appoint a person by name, or direct the person for the time being holding the office designated by the Governor or such public officer or body to have and exercise such powers and perform such duties; and thereupon, or from the date specified by the Governor or the public officer or body, the person appointed by name or the person holding the office aforesaid shall have and may exercise such powers or perform such duties accordingly.

  1. Official designation to include officer executing duties

When reference is made in any Law, Government or legal notice, letters patent, warrant, or process of any kind made or issued by the governor or any body or person having authority under any Law to make or to issue the same, to any public officer by the term designating his office, such officer shall include the officer for the time being executing the duties of such office or any portion of such duties.

  1. Power to provide for execution of duties of public officer during temporary absence or inability

Where by any Law any powers are conferred or any duties are imposed upon a public officer, the Civil Service Commission may direct that, if during any period owing to absence or inability to act from illness or any other cause such public officer shall be unable to exercise the powers or perform the duties of his office in any place under his jurisdiction or control, such powers shall be had and may be exercised and such duties shall be performed in such place by the person named or the public officer holding the office designated by the Civil Service Commission; and thereupon such person or public officer, during any period aforesaid, shall have and may exercise the powers and shall perform the duties aforesaid, subject to such conditions, exceptions and qualifications as the Public Service Commission may direct.

  1. Public officers to exercise functions within State province or area for which office held

(1)     Where by a Law any functions are conferred upon, or any direction, approval, confirmation or consent is to be, or may be, given by the holder of a public office in the State, province or other area of Cross River State of Nigeria, any reference to the holder of such office shall be deemed to be a reference to every holder of the office in and for the State province or area, as the case may be, in which the Law is in force, and every holder of such an office shall exercise the functions and may give the direction, approval; or confirmation or consent in and for the State, province or area in which he holds the office.

(2)     For the purposes of this section, functions include powers and duties.

  1. Power of a Commissioner to delegate certain functions

(1)     Subject to this section, where a written law empowers a Commissioner of Cross River State of Nigeria to exercise a power or perform a duty, that commissioner may depute—

(a)     a person by name; or

(b)     the person for the time being holding the office designated by him, to exercise that power or perform that duty on behalf of the Commissioner, subject to such conditions, exemptions and qualifications as the Commissioner may prescribe and on that event, or from a date specified by the Commissioner, the person so deputed shall have and exercise that power and perform that duty, subject as aforesaid.

(2)     Nothing in subsection (1) authorises a Commissioner to depute a person to make regulations under the power on that behalf conferred upon him by a written law.

(3)     A delegation made under subsection (1) is revocable at will and no delegation prevents the exercise of a power by the Commissioner.

Citation of Laws

  1. Mode of citing Laws

When any Law is referred to, it shall be sufficient for all purposes to cite such Law either by the short title (if any), by which it is made citable, or by the year in which it was made and its number among the Laws of that year, or in the case of a revised edition of the Laws issued under any Law providing for the issue of a revised edition, by its short title or its chapter number; and the reference may in all cases be made according to the copies of Laws printed by the Government Printer.

  1. Construction of references to written Laws

In any Law a description or citation of a portion of any Act or Law shall, unless the contrary intention appear, be construed as including the word, section, or other part mentioned or referred to as forming the beginning and as forming the end of the portion comprised in the description or citation.

  1. Collective titles

If it is provided that any Law may, as to the whole or any part thereof, cited with any group of Laws, that group shall be construed as including that Law or part, and, if the collective title of the group states the first and last year of the group, the year in which the Law is passed shall be substituted for the last year of the group, and so on as often as a subsequent Law or part is added to the group.

Miscellaneous

  1. Gender and number

In any Law—

(a)     words importing the masculine gender shall include females; and

(b)     words in the singular shall include the plural, and words in the plural shall include the singular.

  1. Laws deemed to be Public Laws

Every Law shall be deemed to be public Law and every such Law shall be judicially taken notice of as such unless the contrary be expressly provided by such Law.

  1. Schedules

Every Schedule to any Law shall, together with any note thereto, be construed and have effect as part of the Law.

  1. Subdivisions of Laws to be recognised

When a Law is divided into parts, chapters, titles, or other sub-divisions, the fact and particulars of such division shall, with or without express mention thereof in the Law, be taken notice of in all courts and for all purposes whatsoever.

  1. Forms

Whenever forms are prescribed in any Law slight deviations therefrom, not affecting the substance or calculated to mislead, shall not invalidate them.

  1. Reprint of Laws

When a Law is amended the Government Printer may, with the authority of the Commissioner for Justice, print copies of the Law with all the necessary actions, omissions, substitutions and amendments effected by the amending Law or Laws and such copies shall be deemed to be authentic copies of the Law so amended.

  1. Meaning of any reference to the number of a line

A reference in any Law to the number of a line of any section of any Act or Law shall mean such line in the latest official printed copy of such Act or Law at the time of the passing of the Law containing such reference.

  1. Reference in marginal notes to other legislation

(1)     Where any Law, or section, subsection or paragraph of any Law is taken verbatim or is substantially identical with any Act or enactment of a State, a reference, in such abbreviated form as may be thought fit to such Act or enactment or any section, subsection or paragraph thereof may be added to the marginal note of the section, subsection or paragraph of the Law.

(2)     Any such reference shall not be taken to have any legislative effect whatever and shall not be deemed in any way to vary, limit or extend the interpretation of any Law.

  1. Meaning of “or”, “other” and “otherwise”

Where the words “or”, “other” and “otherwise” are used, they shall, unless a contrary intention appear, be construed disjunctively and not as implying similarity, unless the word

“similar” or some other word of like meaning is added.

  1. Meaning of service by post

Where any Law authorises or requires any document to be served by post, whether the expression “serve”, “give” or “send” or any other expression is used, then, unless the contrary intention appear, the service shall be deemed to be effected by properly addressing, preparing, and posting a letter containing the document, and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.

  1. Signification of order of Governor, Executive Council or Commissioner

Where power is given to the Governor or the Executive Council or to a Commissioner to make an order, regulation, declaration or appointment or to give an authorisation, exemption, notice, direction, approval, permission or consent, it is sufficient, unless it is otherwise expressed—

(a)     in the case of the Governor, for the exercise of the power to be signified under the hand of either the Secretary to the Executive Council or the Commissioner charged with responsibility for the matter in question; or

(b)     in the case of the Executive Council, for the exercise of the power to be signified under the hand of the secretary thereto; or

(c)     in the case of a Commissioner, for the exercise of the power to be signified under the hand of either the Commissioner or the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.

  1. Evidence of signature of fiat or consent of the Governor or public officer

Whenever the fiat or consent of the Governor or of any public officer is necessary before any prosecution or action is commenced, any document purporting to bear the fiat or consent of the Governor or of the public officer concerned shall be received as prima facie evidence in any proceeding without proof being given that the signature to such fiat or consent is that of the Governor or the public officer concerned.

  1. Power of majority and person presiding

Save as may be otherwise expressly provided by any written law—

(a)     whenever any act or thing is by any written law required to be done, or any decision taken, by a body of persons consisting of not less than three such act or thing may be done, or such decision taken, in the name of that body by a majority of those persons;

(b)     whenever such body is assembled the chairman or other member presiding shall, in all matters in which a decision is taken by vote by whatever name such vote may be called, have a casting as well as a deliberative vote.

  1. Public officers

A reference in any Law to any public officer by the usual or common title of his office shall, if there be such an office customarily in the State and unless the contrary intention appears, be read and construed as referring to the person for the time being holding or carrying out the duties of that office in the State.

  1. Ex officio proceedings not to abate on death

Any civil or criminal proceedings taken by or against any person in virtue of his office shall not be discontinued or abated by his death, resignation, or absence or removal from office, but may be carried on by or against, as the case may be, the person appointed to perform the duties of the office.

Penal provisions

  1. Imposition of penalty not a bar to civil action

The imposition of a penalty by any Law, in the absence of express provision to the contrary, shall not relieve any person from liability to answer for special damages to a person injured.

  1. Provisions as to offences under two or more laws

Where any act or omission constitutes an offence under two or more Laws or under a Law and under an Act, the offender shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be liable to be prosecuted and liable to be punished twice for the same office.

  1. Penalties prescribed to be deemed maximum penalties

Whenever in any Law penalty is prescribed for an offence against such Law, the same shall indicate that such offence shall be punishable, upon conviction, by a penalty not exceeding (except as may be otherwise provided in the Law) the penalty prescribed.

  1. Indication of penalties

Whenever in any Law penalties are set out at the foot of any section, the same shall indicate that any contravention of the section, whether by act or omission, shall be an offence against the Law punishable upon conviction by a penalty not exceeding (except as may be otherwise provided in the Law) the penalty provided.

  1. Meaning of imprisonment

Whenever any court is empowered to award to any convicted prisoner any sentence of imprisonment, such sentence shall be deemed to be a sentence of imprisonment with or without hard labour at the discretion of the court awarding the same and if the form of imprisonment is not specified such imprisonment shall be with hard labour.

  1. Carrying out of certain orders

Where in any Law power is given to any authority to impose any fine or make any order or give any direction whatever and it is stated that such fine, order or direction shall be imposed, be recoverable or in any manner have effect as if the same were a fine, order or direction, imposed, made or given by a court or by a judicial or other officer, any such court or judicial or other officer having jurisdiction in the place where such fine, order or direction was imposed, made or given, or where the person who was ordered to pay the fine or who is required to obey the order or direction resides or may happen to be, may take the necessary steps to enforce the payment of the fine or the carrying out of the order or direction, as the case may be, in all respects as if the fine, order or direction had in fact been imposed, made or given by such court or judicial or other officer.

  1. Application of fees, fines and forfeitures

(1)     Where under any Law any person is required to pay any charge or fee for any act or thing done, or document issued, or signature or seal affixed to any document, by any public officer or department, or where any person is adjudged by any court, or other authority duly authorised by law, to pay or forfeit any sum of money, such charge or fee and such sum of money shall be paid into the Treasury, unless the contrary is otherwise provided; and if any such charge or fee, or if any commission on money received or taken possession of, realised, or otherwise dealt with, is required to be paid to any public officer or department, such officer or department receiving the same shall pay it into or account for the same in due course to the Treasury.

(2)     Where under any Law anything or any animal is adjudged by any court, or other authority duly authorised by law, to be forfeited, it shall, unless the contrary is otherwise provided, or unless it is expressed by law to be forfeited to any person, be forfeited to the state, and the net proceeds thereof, if it is ordered by competent authority to be sold, shall be paid into the Treasury, unless the contrary is otherwise provided.

(3)     Nothing in this section shall affect any provision in any Law whereby any shares of fines or forfeitures, or of proceeds of forfeitures, are expressed to be recoverable by any person, or may be granted by any authority to any person. The State

  1. Saving of rights of the State

No Law shall in any manner whatsoever affect the rights of the State, unless it is therein expressly stated, or unless it appears by necessary implication, that the State is bound thereby.

  1. Law binding on the State

This Law shall be binding on the State.

  1. Definitions

(1)     Definitions—

“Accountant-General” means the chief accounting officer of the receipts and payments of the Government;

“act” used with reference to an offence or civil wrong includes a series of acts, and words which refer to acts done extend to illegal omissions;

“Act” or “Act of Parliament” means an enactment of the Federal Legislature or any other enactment which has effect as such;

“Chapter”, “Part”, “section” and “Schedule” denote respectively a Chapter Part, and section of, and Schedule to, the Law in which the word occurs, and subsection denotes a subsection of the section in which the word occurs;

“Chief” means a person who is for the time being recognised as a chief under a law in force in Cross River State of Nigeria;

“commencement”, used with reference to a law means the time at which the Law comes into operation;

“Commonwealth” means Nigeria, a member of the Commonwealth and a dependency of such a member; “Concurrent Legislative List” means the list in Part 2 of the Schedule to the Constitution of the Federation;

“Commissioner”, when no particular Commissioner is specified in the context, means the Commissioner charged with responsibility for the matter to which the context relates or, if no Commissioner is so charged, the Governor;

“Constitution” means the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or any subsequent Constitution of the Federation for the time being in force;

“consul” or “consular officer” includes Consul-General, Consul, Vice-Consul, Consular Agent and any person for the time authorised to discharge the duties of a Consul-General, Consul or Vice-Consul;

“Court of Appeal” means the Court of Appeal established by the Constitution;

“crew” in relation to a ship or other vessel includes masters, mates, pilots, engineers, stokers, deckhands, and all persons engaged in the navigation or service of the ship or other vessel;

“Crown Agents” means the persons for the time being acting as Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations;

“customary court” means a customary court established or deemed to have been established under any Law authorising the establishment of customary courts;

“daily penalty”, “weekly penalty” and “monthly penalty” mean a penalty for each day, week or month respectively on which an offence is continued after conviction therefor;

“definitions” when followed by terms defined means that those terms shall have the meanings assigned to them unless there is anything in the subject or context repugnant to such meaning;

“dependency” when used in relation to a member of a Commonwealth, means a colony, territory, protectorate, protected state, mandated or trust territory of that member; “Exclusive Legislative List” means the List in Part 1 of the schedule to the Constitution of the Federation;

“Federation” means the Federal Republic of Nigeria established by the Constitution;

“financial year” means a period of twelve months beginning on the first day of April in a year or such other date as the Legislature of Cross River State of Nigeria may prescribe;

“first-class Chief” means a chief who is for the time being recognised as a first-class Chief under a law in force in Cross river State of Nigeria;

“Gazette” and “State Gazette” mean the Cross River State of Nigeria Gazette;

“Government” means the Government of Cross River State of Nigeria;

“Government notice” means any announcement not of a legislative character by a commissioner in Cross River State of Nigeria Gazette;

“Governor” includes the Officer Administering the Government and, to the extent to which a Deputy for the Government is authorised to act, that Deputy;

“Governor in council” means the Executive Council of Cross River State of Nigeria;

“High Court” means the High Court established by the Constitution of Nigeria;

“immovable property” or “lands” includes land and everything attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth, and all chattels real, but not minerals;

“inland waters” includes all rivers, creeks and lagoons inside the river bars of Nigeria;

“judge” includes any person appointed to exercise the powers of a judge;

“Law” means an enactment of a State Legislature or any other enactment which has effect as such, and any order, regulation, rule of court, proclamation or other instrument having the effect of law made under the authority of any such Law and the expression “the Law” when used in any such order, regulation, rule, rule of court, proclamation or other instrument means the Law under which such order, regulation, rule, rule of court, proclamation or other instrument, as the case may be, was made;

“Law Officers” mean the persons for the time being holding the offices respectively of Attorney-General and Solicitor-General;

“legal notice” means a notice published in the Cross River State of Nigeria Gazette under this title or published in such the manner as may be prescribed by law;

“legal practitioner” means a person admitted and enrolled to practice as a barrister and solicitor in the supreme court;

“legislature”, or “colonial legislature”, when used with reference to a part of the Commonwealth, means the authority, other than the Parliament of the United Kingdom or Her Majesty in Council, competent to make laws for that part;

“Local Government” means a Local Government established under the Local Government Law, and in relation to any particular matter “the Local Government” means the Local Government having authority in relation to that matter;

[Cap. L16.]

“Local Government area” means the area of authority of a Local Government;

“Local Government Secretary” or “Secretary to the Local Government” means the Secretary appointed to discharge the functions set out in section 24 of the Local Government Law in relation to a Local Government established under the said Law;

“magistrate” means a person appointed to be a magistrate under any law creating the office of magistrate in Cross River State;

“magistrate’s court” includes the court of a magistrate established by the Law o a State;

“master” used with reference to a ship means any person (except a pilot or harbour master) having for the time being control or charge of the ship;

“Member of the Commonwealth”, means Nigeria or a country to which the Constitution of the Federal Republic applies;

“military forces” includes all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians, Nigerian, non-Nigerian and all Nigerian rank and file belonging to and borne on the strength of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy or the Nigerian Air Force;

“monogamous marriage” means a marriage which is recognised by the law of the place where it is contracted as a voluntary union of one man and one woman to th exclusion of al others during the continuance of the marriage;

“month” means calendar month;

“Nigeria” means the Federation together with all the inland and territorial water thereof;

“Nigerian” means a citizen of Nigeria;

“non-Nigerian” means a person other than a citizen of Nigeria;

“Notice” or “State Notice” means any announcement not of a legislative character by a Commissioner in the Cross River State of Nigeria Gazette;

“oath”, “swear” and “affidavit” includes any application to the affirmation or declaration of any person by law allowed to make an affirmation or declaration in lieu of a oath;

“Parliament” means the National Assembly of the Federal Republic;

“person” includes any company or association or body of persons corporate  unincorporated;

“police officer” means any member of a police force, and “superior police officer” means any police officer of or above the rank of assistant superintendent;

“prescribed” means prescribed by or under the Law in which the word occurs;

“President” means the President of the Federal Republic;

“public holiday” means any day which, under the provisions of any written law for the time being in force in the state, is to be observed as a public holiday;

“public notice” or “State public notice” means a notice published in the Gazette under this title or published in such other manner as may be prescribed by law;

“public service”, when used in relation to the State, means the service of the State in a civil capacity in respect of the Government;

“qualified medical practitioner” means a person registered in Nigeria as a medical practitioner under the law for the time being relating to the registration of medical practitioners;

“regulations” includes rules and by-laws;

“rules of court” means, when used in relation to any court, rules made by the authority having for the time being power to make rules and orders regulating the practice and procedure of such court, together with the forms necessary thereto;

“sale” and “sell” include exchange, barter and offering or exposing for sale;

“seaman” includes every person (except masters, pilots, and apprentices duly indentured and registered) employed or engaged in any capacity on board any ship;

“ship” includes every description of vessel used in navigation not exclusively propelled by oars or paddles;

“sign” with reference to a person who is unable to write his name includes mark;

“a State” means a State of the Federation;

“the State” means Cross River State;

“the State legislature” means the authority in and for the State having power to make laws for the peace, order and good Government of the State;

“statutory declaration” if made—

(a)     in the state means a declaration made under the Statutory Declarations Law or Act;

(b)     in the Commonwealth beyond Nigeria, means a declaration made before a justice of the peace, notary public, or other person having authority therein under the law for the time being in force to take or receive a declaration;

  • in any other place, means a declaration made before a consul or before any person having authority under any Law for the time being in force to take or receive a declaration;

“Supreme Court” means the Court established by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

“traditional ruler”, or “traditional paramount ruler” means a person who is for th time being recognised as a traditional ruler under a law in force in the State;

“Treasury” means the Treasury of the State;

“United Kingdom” means in relation to anything done before the date of the Constitution of the Irish Free State, Great Britain and Ireland, and in relation to anything done or to be done after that date, Great Britain and Northern Ireland;

“vessel” includes floating craft of every description;

“will” includes a codicil;

“written law” includes all Laws, Acts and all orders, proclamations and letters patent and all regulations and rules of court and other instruments having the effect of law made by any person or body having authority under any statutory or other enactment to make the same in and for Nigeria or any part thereof;

“writing” any expression referring to writing includes printing, lithography, photography, typewriting and other modes of representing or reproducing words or figures in a visible form;

“year” means a year reckoned according to the Gregorian calendar.

(2)     Where a Law states the meaning to be given to any term or word used therein, such term or word shall have that meaning unless the context otherwise requires.

  1. Application

This Law shall apply to this Law and to all Laws in force at the date of this Law and to all Laws hereafter enacted.

  1. Short title

This Law may be cited as the Interpretation Law.

CHAPTER I6

INTERPRETATION LAW

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

No Subsidiary Legislation

 

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