Penalties and why you need a lawyer
In Nigeria Section 362 to 364 of the panel code deals with forgery with punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment with option of fine or both.
Section 403 of the Criminal Code provides for three years imprisonment for forgery.
Section 465 of the Criminal Code Act defines forgery thus:
“A person who makes a false document or writing knowing it to be false ,and with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine ,whether in the State or elsewhere ,to the prejudice of any person ,or with intent that any person may, in the belief that it is genuine, be induced to do or refrain from doing any act, whether in the State or elsewhere, is said to forge the document or writing.
The term “make a false document or writing “ includes altering a genuine document or writing in any material part ,either by erasure, obliteration, removal, or otherwise; and making any material addition to the body of a genuine document or writing; and adding to a genuine document or writing any false date, attestation, seal or other material matter.
It is immaterial in what language a forged document or writing is expressed.
It is immaterial that the forger of anything forged may not have intended that any particular person should use or act upon it, or that any particular person should be prejudiced by it, or be induced to do or refrain from doing any act.
It is immaterial that the thing is incomplete or does not purport to be a document ,writing, or seal, which would be binding in law for any particular purpose, if it is so made, and is of such a kind, as to indicate that it was intended to be used or acted upon.
Section 467 provides the Punishment for forgery in general thus “ Any person who forges any document, writing, or seal, is guilty of an offence which, unless otherwise stated ,is a felony, and he is liable ,if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years.
Under the same Section 467, when the thing forged is a public seal, the offender is liable to imprisonment for life. (Section 467(1) (a) and (b).
If the thing forged includes securities, titles, register ,etc. the offender is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
If the thing forged are documents relating to revenue and acts of States, etc. the offender is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
If the thing forged includes Courts seals, records, process, and evidence, the offender is liable for imprisonment for seven years.
Section 468 of the Criminal Code Act which deals criminalizes and punishes the uttering of false documents and counterfeit seals.
Section 468 provides thus:
"Any person who knowingly and fraudulently utters a false document or writing, or a counterfeit seal, is guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment as if he had forged the thing in question.