DOES YOUR POST AND COMMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS CONTRAVENE THE NIGERIA CYBER CRIME ACT?

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. It is disheartening that most of us never care to know what the law says until we fall victim.

Most people would even make updates on Social network without knowing the gravity and would jokingly say, ” i dey my house, come and beat me”.

I have always affirmed that i am not a Barrister or have obtained any certificate in the nitty-gritty of law practices, but anyone who knows the law and can interpret it is a lawyer.

Igbos would say, “Mbosi nine bu maka onye ori, mana ovu mbosi bu maka onye nwi ye”(Everyday is for the thief but, one day is for the owner).
This is for those that normally have it as a fun trying to hack my Facebook Account, but certainly they would not succeed.

What really does the Law of our Land say concerning this?

Below is what Cyberrcrime Act 2015 provides, and things we
should be aware of.

1. The Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015 gives the
President the power to designate certain computer
systems, networks and information infrastructure
vital to the national security of Nigeria or the
economic and social well-being of its citizens, as
constituting Critical National Information
Infrastructure , and to implement procedures,
guidelines, and conduct audits in furtherance of that.

Examples of systems, which could be designated as
such, include transport, communication, banking
etc.

2. The Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015 prescribes the
death penalty for an offence committed against a
system or network that has been designated critical
national infrastructure of Nigeria that results in the
death of an individual (amongst other punishments
for lesser crimes).

3. Under the Cybercrime Act 2015 in Nigeria,
hackers , if found guilty, of unlawfully accessing a
computer system or network, are liable to a fine of
up to N10 million or a term of imprisonment of 5
years (depending on the purpose of the hack). The
same punishment is also meted out to Internet
fraudsters who perpetuate their acts either by
sending electronic messages, or accessing and
using data stored on computer systems.

4. The Cybercrime Act 2015 Makes provision for
identity theft, with the punishment of imprisonment
for a term of not less than 3 years or a fine of not
less than N7 million or to both fine and
imprisonment.

An example of identity fraud would be
the individual who impersonated Chief Bola Tinubu
on Facebook and was apprehended recently by the
police.

5. Specifically creates child pornography offences,
with punishments of imprisonment for a term of 10
years or a fine of not less than N20 million or to both
fine and imprisonment, depending on the nature of
the offence and the act carried out by the accused
persons. Offences include, amongst others:
producing, procuring, distributing, and possession of
child pornography.

6. Outlaws Cyber-stalking and Cyber-bullying and
prescribes punishment ranging from a fine of not
less than N2 million or imprisonment for a term of
not less than 1 year or to both fine and
imprisonment, up to a term of not less than 10 years
or a fine of not less than N25 million or to both fine
and imprisonment; depending on the severity of the
offence.

7. The Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015 prohibits
cybersquatting , which is registering or using an
Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit
from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to
someone else, or to profit by selling to its rightful
owner. Individuals who engage in this are liable on
conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less
than 2 years or a fine of not less than N5 million or
to both fine and imprisonment.

8. Forbids the distribution of racist and xenophobic
material to the public through a computer system or
network (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), it also
prohibits the use of threats of violence and insulting
statements to persons based on race, religion,
colour, descent or national or ethnic origin. Persons
found guilty of this are liable on conviction to
imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years or
to a fine of not less thanN10million or to both fine
and imprisonment.

9. The Cybercrime Act 2015 mandates that service
providers shall keep all traffic data and subscriber
information having due regard to the individual’s
constitutional Right to privacy, and shall take
appropriate measures to safeguard the
confidentiality of the data retained, processed or
retrieved.

10. Allows for the interception of electronic
communication, by way of a court order by a Judge,
where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that
the content of any electronic communication is
reasonably required for the purposes of a criminal
investigation or proceedings.

The above is just a high-level overview of certain
interesting provisions in the newly passed
legislation. The Act itself contains 43 sections, and
is a very important piece of legislation to foster the
development of the nascent ICT sector in Nigeria.

You may wish to obtain a copy of Nigeria
CyberCrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015.

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