THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NIGERIA's CYBERCRIME PROHIBITION ACT 2015

The "Cybercrimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2015" has a significant impact on cyber law in Nigeria. This Act creates a comprehensive legal, regulatory, and institutional framework in Nigeria to prohibit, prevent, detect, prosecute, and punish cybercrime.

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6/13/2022 3 min read

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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW CYBERCRIME PROHIBITION ACT 2015

The "Cybercrimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2015" has a significant impact on cyber law in Nigeria. This Act creates a comprehensive legal, regulatory, and institutional framework in Nigeria to prohibit, prevent, detect, prosecute, and punish cybercrime.

The Act also encourages cybersecurity and protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property, and privacy rights, as well as the protection of important national information infrastructure.

The Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act 2015 was enacted into law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in March, 2015.

The objectives of this Act are to:

  • Provide an Effective and Unified Legal, Regulatory and Institutional Framework for the Prohibition, Prevention, Detection, Prosecution and Punishment of Cybercrimes in Nigeria;

  • Ensure the Protection of Critical National Information Infrastructure; and

  • Promote Cybersecurity and the Protection of Computer Systems and Networks, Electronic Communications, Data and Computer Programs, Intellectual Property and Privacy Rights.

There are thirty two (32) offenses and penalties in the Cybercrime Act 2015 which include:

  • Offences against critical national information infrastructure

  • Hacking Computer Systems and Data Alteration

  • Unauthorized Access of Protected Systems

  • Illegal Registration of Cybercafé or Usage of Unregistered Cybercafé

  • System Interference

  • Interception of electronic messages, email, electronic money transfers

  • Tampering with critical infrastructure

  • Willful misdirection of electronic messages

  • Unlawful interceptions

  • Computer related forgery

  • Computer related fraud

  • Theft of Electronic Devices

  • Unauthorised modification of computer systems, network data and system interference

  • Publishing False Digital Signature and Certificates

  • Cyber terrorism · Exceptions to financial institutions posting and authorised options

  • Fraudulent issuance of e­-instructions

  • Tampering with Computer Source Documents

  • Identity theft and impersonation · Child pornography and related offences

  • Cyberstalking · Cybersquatting

  • Racist and xenophobic offences

  • Attempt, conspiracy, aiding and abetting

  • Importation and fabrication of e-­tools

  • Breach of Confidentiality and Privacy

  • Manipulation of ATM/POS Terminals

  • Okay Phishing, spamming, spreading of computer virus

  • Electronic cards related fraud

  • Use of fraudulent device or attached e­-mails and websites

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NIGERIA’s CYBERCRIME ACT 2015:

1. Any person convicted of child pornography convictions will be receive 10 years in prison and/ or a N20 million fine, depending on the nature of the offence. Child pornography includes producing, procuring, distributing, and possession such images.

2. Anyone convicted of identity theft will receive result in 3 years’ imprisonment and/ or a N7 million fine.

3. The Act also outlaws cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. Anyone convicted of these could receive a N2 million minimum fine and/or at least 1 year in prison. More severe offences could attract a penalty as high as a N25 million minimum fine and/or up to 10 years’ imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence.

4. If hackers are found guilty of unlawfully accessing a computer system or network, they could be fined up to N10 million, imprisoned for 5 years, or both, depending on the purpose of the hack. The same applies to Internet fraudsters who commit cybercrimes by sending electronic messages, or accessing and using data on computer systems.

5. The president may decide that certain systems, networks and information infrastructure are vital to Nigeria’s national security or its citizens’ economic and social well-being. Therefore, the president may term them Critical National Information Infrastructure, and may implement procedures and guidelines for their use, and may conduct audits to make sure they are functioning as they’re supposed to. For example, the transportation, communications, banking sectors are critical national infrastructure.

6. A conviction for any offence committed against any part of Nigeria’s critical national infrastructure that results in someone’s death attracts the death penalty (and there are other punishments for lesser crimes).

7. The Act prohibits cybersquatting and anyone convicted of this faces at least 2 years’ imprisonment, and/or a minimum N5 million fine.

8. The distribution of racially or ethnically prejudicial or violent material through a computer system or network is prohibited. Convictions attract at least 5 year’s imprisonment and/or a minimum N10million fine.

9. Internet service providers (ISPs) are required to keep records of users’ Internet traffic and their subscriber data, and must safeguard this information so that the users’ constitutional right to privacy is respected.

10. The Act allows electronic communication to be intercepted, but only with a court order based on reasonable grounds to suspect that the information is required for a criminal investigation or proceedings.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080