#ENDSARS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CYBERCRIMES IN NIGERIA - Welcome to Lumenar's blog

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

#ENDSARS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CYBERCRIMES IN NIGERIA

Chinecherem Ogodimma Ubaka
INTRODUCTION
Our world have become interconnected. The social media, E-commerce, webinars, E-service delivery facitilates the interconnection of the entire world. The Digital revolution is one that the present generation have welcomed with a joyful noise. This is because the digital world have become a powerful tool for expression, innovative ideas and digital revolution. Nevertheless, the digital world comes with it's many dark sides as well. A dark side is the emergence and growth of Cybercrimes.

DESCRIPTION OF CYBERCRIMES 
Cybercrimes is a sad reality and it is one of the many plagues of the digital economy. Indeed, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes(UNODC) have described cyber-crime to mean INTERNET -RELATED CRIMES. Internet-related crimes are :
1. Offences against confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems.
2. Computer-generated offences.
3. Offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights.

CYBERCRIMES IN NIGERIA
The principal legislation governing Cybercrimes in Nigeria is the  Nigerian Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015. The Act seeks to provide a legal framework for the post and punishment of electronic fraud and Cybercrimes.

Sec 5-36 creates cyber crimes and offences. They include, system phishing, identity theft, system interference, electronic fraud etc.

A notable provision of the Act is the "Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII)". This include computer systems and/or networks, whether physical and virtual and/or the computer programs, computer data and/or traffic data vital to this country that the incapacity or destruction of or interference with such system and assets would have a delibitating impact on security, national or economic security, national public health and safety or any combination of this matters.

The forgoing indicates that interference with computer systems in key government agencies like the Armed Forces, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),  the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Federal and State hospitals amongst others amounts to tampering with the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII).

Sec 5 of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 provides that any person who commits an offence against any critical national information infrastructure is liable to an imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years without an option of fine. 

It is noteworthy that where the offence leads to grievious bodily harm, the person is liable to 15 years imprisonment. In the event of death, the person is liable to life imprisonment.

SCOPE OF THE NIGERIAN CYBERCRIMES ACT
The Nigerian Cybercrimes Prohibition and Prevention Act is enforceable where 
1. The offence is committed in Nigeria
2. The offence is committed in a shipyard and/or aircraft registered in Nigeria
3. The offender is a citizen of Nigeria
4. If the offender is resident outside Nigeria  but the victim is a Nigerian or resident in Nigeria.
5. The alleged offender is in Nigeria and not extradited to any country.

JURISDICTION
The Federal High Court (FHC) has the jurisdiction to hear cases on cyber crimes in Nigeria. 

CONCLUSION
Thus, while we protest the menance of police brutality and seek to pressure the government into doing so, let us stay away from cybercrimes. Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

#EndSARS
#EndSARSimmediately
#EndBadGovernance
#EndPoliceBrutality

- image by dreamstime.com

Keywords: CYBERCRIMES, #Endsars, Electronic fraud.

Chinecherem Ubaka is a Legal Practitioner based in Lagos. She can be contacted via lumenaogo@gmail.com

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