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Published by Femi Erinle
Chapter Five:
Chapter Five:

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Published by: Femi Erinle on Sep 03, 2014
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Since the creation of the fully developed internet, its impact in the society and on people
generally has developed mixed feelings on people, has it seems to have brought more harm
than good. There is no doubt that the internet has greatly helped in improving the way we run
and operate things in the world; making this big world a global village but the negative effect
of the internet if unchecked can outweighs the importance of the internet. The commission of
crimes through the internet contributes to one of its negative aspect. The commission of
crime through the internet also known as cybercrime has shown to be a big menace in the
world with it casing damages up to USD 17 billion in the United States of America.
While in
Nigeria, this menace is said to have cost us over 2 trillion naira alone in 2012
and $200
million annually.

As earlier noted in chapter three, the high rate of cybercrime in Nigeria has been attributed to
the inadequacies of existing laws in tackling cybercrime, as most of the laws are seen as out-
dated or insufficient. Nigeria commits about 7.5% of all the cybercrimes yearly,
and with
over 6 bills brought up before the National Assembly in the past decades and still no single
legislation has been enacted, goes to show the level unseriousnesss of the government in
eradicating this menace. Although, the bills which have been brought over the years are not
even up to standard in tackling cybercrime if eventually they are enacted. This problem is not
totally common to Nigeria alone has most countries do not have a single legislation in the
tackling of cybercrime, although their different law in their own way have been sufficient in
tackling this menace.
The reduction in the rate of cybercrime activities or offences through effective legislative
provisions or enactment will not only help Nigeria and its economy but it will also have an

Crs Report For Congress On The Economic Impact Of Cyber-Attacks, April 2004, Page 10
The report of a study by Paradigm Shift Initiative Nigeria (PIN) ─ a social enterprise committed to connecting
Nigerian youths with ICT opportunities as well as establishing the link between cybercrime and youth
contribution to the economy ─ for University of Toronto-based Cyber Stewards Network Project of the Citizens
Lab Munk School of Global Affairs has established that Nigerian consumers lost a total of N1.246trn to
cybercrime in 2012. Available at: http://www.flairng.com/index.php/technology/item/490-nigeria-lost-over-
n2trn-to-cybercrime-in-2012-%E2%80%94-pin Accessed: (4/7/2013)
S. Adekoye “Cyber Crime Costing Nigerian Economy” Available at:
http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2012/04/cyber-crime-costing-nigeria-economy/ Accessed: (4/7/2013)
http://www.cybercrimeswatch.com/cyber-crime/cyber-crime-statistics.html. Accessed on 9/6/2013

impact in the international scene as cybercrime is trans-border crime, it has no restrictions on
territoriality, this also leads to the need of international cooperation in this area. This has led
to different international treaties on cybercrime examples are; Draft African Union
Convention, ECOWAS Directive of fighting Cybercrime, Council of Europe Cybercrime
Convention, League of Arab States Convention, Commonwealth of Independent States
Agreement, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Agreement. Also the technological
developments associated with cybercrime mean that – while traditional laws can be applied to
some extent – legislation must also grapple with new concepts and objects, such as intangible
„computer data,‟ not traditionally addressed by law.

For Nigeria to be able to tackle cybercrime effectively, we can either update existing Laws to
fight Cybercrime or enact a separate and single legislation criminalising cybercrime.
As regard updating the current legislative laws on existing offences to make it relevant to the
new IT/telecommunications environment, in the fields of criminal protection against theft,
physical damage to property, etc. There should be an amendment of the Criminal Code to
include the creation of IT-specific offences in the fields of criminal protection of IT systems
and electronic data, illegal content, illegal access, illegal interception, data interference and
system interference. Also necessary amendments needs to be taken in the Nigerian
Communication Commission Act to allow the agency to retrieve communications or
computer data from service providers in other to tackle cybercrime but there should be stated
a court procedure to get such data.
As regard creating a single legislation on tackling cybercrime, it should cover criminalisation;
establishing specialized offences for core cybercrime acts, procedural powers, jurisdiction,
and internet service provider responsibility and liability. It should also address investigative
measures, electronic evidence and international cooperation. As regard criminalisation, the
law should criminalise access only with the intent to perpetrate data espionage and retrieval;
invasion of privacy, criminalise illegal access only in cases where the data is subsequently
misused or damaged and should also established a condition of endangering the data accessed
as a requirement for criminal responsibility. For procedural powers, specialised powers are
required and should be stated, such as for the gathering of electronically stored and
communicated computer content, for the identification and localisation of computer devices

and communications, for the quick „freeze‟ of volatile computer data, and for „undercover‟
online investigations
. Such powers are not only required for the investigation of
„cybercrime‟ itself¸ but also for the investigation of any crime generating electronic evidence.
In terms of Harmonisation of any prospective law on cybercrime, due diligence should be
taken to make sure the harmonised law will be compatible to Nigeria‟s criminal law
especially as we have the Criminal Code which applies to the southern part and the Penal
Code which applies to the northern part.

Sieber, U., 2012. Straftaten und Strafverfolgung im Internet. In: Gutachten des Deutschen Juristentags.
Munich: C.H. Beck, pp.14-15.

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