EFCC, NBA Back Anti-cyber Crime Bill

12 Feb 2013

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Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde

Onwuka Nzeshiin Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) yesterday endorsed the proposed amendment to the Criminal and Penal Codes Act, 2004 to curb cyber crime in the country.

Stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector  have also expressed optimism about  the  bill which  seeks  to provide for offences and penalties relating specifically  to cyber crimes  and general computer misuse.

The endorsements came  at the public hearing  organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Justice on the proposed legislation.

In a memorandum presented at the hearing, the NBA observed  that cyber crime required a regime of strict penalties to discourage criminals from taking undue advantage of modern ICT.

The NBA recommended that the option of fine should be increased to N20 million  or  20 year jail term for anyone  convicted of cyber crime.

Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, commended  the authors  of the bill for drafting such a legislation at a time cyber crime was  relatively  a new phenomenon in many developing countries.

Lamorde, however, tasked the drafters of the bill to review some of its provisions and use of language to avoid ambiguity in the final law.

Sponsor of the bill, Hon.  Aisha Ahmed (PDP/Adamawa), said she undertook to draft the proposed law because  the absence of cyber crime laws in  Nigeria  have left a vacuum that has been exploited by criminals.

According to Ahmed, the absenceof a cyber crime legislation has left  sensitive economic  and security information at the mercy of internet hackers and cyber crime syndicates.

In his opening remarks, Chairman House  Committee on Justice, Hon. Ali Ahmad (PDP Kwara), said  the bill when passed into law, would curb the  activities of website  hackers and internet fraudsters, commonly  known as the “yahoo boys” in Nigeria.

Other institutions such as the Nigeria  Law Reform Commission, Cyber Security Africa, Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as well as the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) also threw their weights behind the bill.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, EFCC, NBA, Anti-cyber Crime Bill

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