Practice Relating to Rule 59. Improper Use of the Distinctive Emblems of the Geneva Conventions
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states that the “misuse of the Red Cross or any equivalent emblem” is a war crime.
Nigeria’s Geneva Conventions Act (1960) states that “subject to the provisions of this section, it shall not be lawful for any person, without the authority of the Minister of the Federation charged with responsibility for matters relating to defence, to use for any purpose whatsoever” the emblems of the red cross, red crescent and red lion and sun on a white ground, the designations “Red Cross”, “Geneva Cross”, “Red Crescent” and “Red Lion and Sun”, as well as any design or wording so nearly resembling any of those emblems or designations as to be capable of being mistaken for, or, as the case may be, understood as referring to, one of those emblems or designations. It is also prohibited to use, without the authority of the Minister of the Federation charged with responsibility for matters relating to trade, for any purpose whatsoever the heraldic emblem of Switzerland or any other design so nearly resembling that design as to be capable of being mistaken for that heraldic emblem.
Nigeria’s Revised Red Cross Society Act (1990) punishes:
any person who falsely and fraudulently … wears or displays the emblem of the Red Cross on any article of clothing, badge, piece of paper, or in any other way whatsoever, or any insignia coloured in imitation thereof in such a way as to be likely to deceive those to whom it is visible, for the purpose of inducing the belief that he is a member of, or an agent for, the [Nigerian Red Cross] Society.