HOW TO CURB UNCONSENTED POSTING OF PRIVATE CONTENT ON INTERNET
These provisions of the Criminal code Act, specifically from S.373 to S.376 provides for punishment of 1-2 years unconsented publication of defamatory matter with the intent to extort the victim carry a punishment of up to 7 years. This is also provided in provision of S.23 of Cyber Crime Act of 2015.
With the rampant production of leaked private content on social media without the consent of the victim need a stiff penalty. The negative impact of leaked private content which are basically sex tapes and nudes are always huge on the victim’s life and most times, the victim end up not recovering from the societal disengagement.
S.373 of the Criminal Code Act Provides:
Defamatory matter is matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by any injury to his reputation.
S. 374 of the Criminal Code Act further provides;
(1) For the purposes of this Code, the publication of defamatory matter is?
(b) ….the exhibiting of it in public, or causing it to be read or seen, or showing or delivering it, or causing it to be shown or delivered, with intent that it may be read or seen by the person defamed or by any other person.
Furthermore, S. 375 of the Criminal Code Act provides;
Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, any person who publishes any defamatory matter, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year; and any person who publishes any defamatory matter knowing it to be false, is liable to imprisonment for two years.
Finally, S. 376 of the Act provides;
Any person who publishes, or threatens to publish, or offers to abstain from publishing, or offers to prevent the publication of defamatory matter, with intent to extort money or other property, or with intent to induce any person to give, confer, procure, or attempt to procure, to, upon, or for, any person, any property or benefit of any kind, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
The provision of the criminal code act was reemphasized in the cybercrime act of 2015
S.23 (2) Cybercrime Act of 2015 states;
Any person who knowingly makes or sends other pornographic images to another computer by way of unsolicited distribution shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be sentenced to One year imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira or both.
Also, S. 24 Of the Cybercrime Act further provides;
Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that –
(a) is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent; or
(b)…commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7, 000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
On this note, there is a a need for more encompassing laws on these issues with more stiffer punishments and also proper sensitization to be put in place in society to curb the act of social disengagement to victims of this cyber bulling. Also, but individuals should not be ignorant of the fact that acts like this is not just a civil wrong but also a crime and the criminal risks a jail term of 1-7 years. Victim should be aware of this or better still contact a legal practitioner within his/her jurisdiction to avoid this ill act that may eventually lead to blackmailing.
WRITTEN BY: CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM
TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080