House Endorses Anti-cyber Crime Bill

28 Nov 2012

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House of Representatives

By Onwuka Nzeshi

The House of Representatives on Tuesady passed for second reading a bill seeking to provide for  penalties for persons involved in  cyber-crimes.

The bill seeks to punish individuals who may indulge in the misuse of their computers  and other such devices leading to crimes.
Sponsor of the bill, Hon.  Aisha Modibbo (Adamawa/PDP), said the bill had become imperative given  the recent incident in which a young lady,  Cynthia Osokogu,  was lured  to Lagos, raped, robbed and killed  by some  “friends” she made  on the internet.

The absence of a  cyber-crime law, Modibbo said, meant that such incidents would continue to happen and offenders may continue to go unpunished.

She said cyber-criminals usually worked as  organised  groups, adding that such syndicates required to be tackled with a well articulated and enforceable legislation.

According to the lawmaker,  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has made 288 arrests relating to cyber-crime  but 234 of the cases were still pending in court  due mainly  to the  absence of an enabling  legislation to prosecute the cases.
In his contribution to the debate,  Minority Leader of the House, Hon.  Femi Gbajabiamila,  said cyber-crime had  become a menace to society and  needed  to be tackled with all seriousness.

The bill was unanimously passed for second reading and  referred  to the House  Committee on Justice for further legislative action.
Attempts were made during the sixth National Assembly to pass a cyber-crime law.

Before now,  about six private member bills were  introduced at both chambers  of the National Assembly seeking to  provide a legal framework to combat  cyber-crime and other related offences.

These include  the Computer Security and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Bill 2005; Cyber Security and Data Protection Agency Bill 2008; Electronic Fraud Prohibition Bill 2008; Nigeria Computer Security and Protection Agency Bill 2009; Computer Misuse Bill 2009 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act (Amendment) Bill 2010.

The Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, is currently the only law in Nigeria that deals with internet crime issues.
The Act only covers the regulation of internet service providers and cybercafés, but does not deal specifically  with the broad spectrum of  cyber-crimes.

Tags: Nigeria, Featured, Politics, Adamawa State, PDP, EFCC

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