Cybercrime : Punishment For Yahoo Boys In Nigeria – The Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 is Nigeria’s major cybercrime law.
Prior to this, there was no unique legislation dealing with cybercrime hence protecting the privacy of individuals in the country, however there were other laws that were helpful in combating cybercrime, which we will go through in detail.
THE EFCC Act:
Before the passage of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act was the law in place to prosecute people who committed cybercrime in the
country.11 This was due to provisions in the Act that dealt with cybercrime. It stipulates that:
The Commission (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) established under the EFCC Act shall be responsible for the enforcement and proper administration of the Act’s provisions, as well as the investigation of all financial crimes, including advanced fee fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, illegal charge transfers, futures market fraud, fraudulent encashment of negotiable instruments, computer fraud, and computer piracy.
This Act established a broad range of rules covering all sorts of internet-related crime, granting it the authority to combat and prosecute individuals found guilty of committing these crimes. This made a significant contribution to cybersecurity at a period when there was no specific regulation addressing cybercrime.
Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act:
This Act makes it illegal to launder proceeds from illegal funds. It specifies that no individual or corporation may accept a cash payment in excess of $5,000,000 for individuals and $10,000,000 for corporations unless the payment is made through a banking institution. Any such transactions must be disclosed within seven days to the CBN or the EFCC. This aims to prevent cybercriminals from using financial institutions to launder money and fuel illegal operations. When money is laundered for terrorist purposes, the transaction’s bearer’s identity should be made public and reported to the proper authorities. Privacy should be compromised for the benefit of security in this
This Act concerns cybersecurity and how cybercrime is prosecuted, notably in financial organizations. The EFCC is also in charge of enforcing the provisions of this Act.
The Criminal Code Act:
This Act does not specifically address cybercrime because it predates the internet and dates back to colonial Under this statute, every sort of theft, as well as false pretences,
is a criminal offense. Because cybercrime is committed under the pretext of a legal business, those who perpetrate cybercrime under the guise of a legitimate business can be penalized under this Act. It states that any person who obtains anything capable of being stolen, or forces someone to obtain anything that could be stolen or pays for or delivers anything that is said to have been stolen or gotten with trickery or pretences is guilty of a misdemeanour.13
This part of the Criminal Code is specifically for internet fraudsters who use false pretences to swindle people. This is one of many laws that addressed cybercrime before the Cybercrime Act of 2015 made it explicit.
The Penal Code Act:
Despite the fact that it does not explicitly indicate that it deals with cybercrime, this Act is used to prosecute cyber offenders and defend cybersecurity in Nigeria. Sections of the Penal Code, such as Section 362 of the Penal Code, are used to prosecute cyber criminals who engage in counterfeiting and forgery. This Act only applies to the northern area of
1. Section 362 of the Penal Code says that a person who with the intent to be dishonest signs, seals or execute a document with the sole intent to deceive other individuals that they have the capacity to sign such document or without the proper authority alters a document to deceive others into believing that the falsified document s real commits forgery.14
2. Section 320 of the Penal Code also provides that whoever by deceiving a person induces the person who has been misled to give any property to a person in a fraudulent or dishonest manner or intentionally convinces the person deceived to do or omit doing anything that he would not do or avoid doing if he were not so deceived and such act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage to that person in body, mind, reputation, or property is said to cheat15.
This section can be used in areas of deception in cybercrime. The area of inducement as seen in this section is seen most especially in the area of cyber terrorism.
The Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013:
Although this Act was not intended primarily for the purpose of cybersecurity, it can be used in certain cybersecurity situations, particularly those involving cyber terrorism and other terrorist acts committed online. This Act was abolished in 2011 to incorporate regulations for terrorist financing
1. Section 1 (b) of this Act says that any individual or company who, whether inside or outside the country, deals directly or indirectly in any act of terrorism, commits an act preparatory to or in furtherance of an act of terrorism, fails to do what is necessary to prevent terrorism, aids or facilitates the activities of individuals involved in terrorist acts, or is an accessory to any offence under this Act, helps, facilitates, or organizes any act of terrorism once convicted is punishable by death .16
Several authorities in Nigeria, including the EFCC, the Department of State Security, and the Nigerian Police Force, have the authority to pursue these offenses. With the harsh fines imposed here, it is clear that the country has zero tolerance for terrorism and that when it comes to privacy or the battle against cyber terrorism, the fight against cyber terrorism should always take precedence.
The Nigerian Evidence Act 2011:
Before this Act was created, computer generated evidence were inadmissible in the Court of It was unsure under the old act whether or not evidence generated via computer were primary or secondary evidence. The 2011 Evidence Act brought about the admissibility of such evidence.
Although this act came to be, a lot of cybercriminal activities online were still unchecked and this was due to the fact that the different crimes like hacking, Email hacks, pin theft and so on were not identified and given proper penalty in the Act. There were also no designated courts or agencies put in place to prosecute cybercrime. The Cybercrime Act coming into force changed all that and was able to cover a wider range and punishment for cybercrime.
Ngboawaji Daniel Nte
Novena University Ogume