10 July 2018
The Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 (the “Act”) was enacted to provide a unified legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of cybercrimes in Nigeria. The Act is a legislative response to the increasing rate of fraudulent activities in the cyberspace for which there had never been any specific statutory or regulatory regime in the country. The Act also reflects a positive legislative effort to ensure the protection of information which is vital to national security, by providing for the designation of computer systems or networks containing such information, as constituting Critical National Information Infrastructure. The Act also aims at protecting intellectual property and privacy rights in addition to the foregoing objectives.
The Act is a well-articulated effort to discourage some behavioural activities within the cyberspace by an outright legislative proscription. For example, behavioural patterns such as cyberstalking, cybersquatting, computer-related fraud and forgery, cyber terrorism and the likes, are prohibited and violations attract a wide range of sanctions, including monetary fines and terms of imprisonment under the Act.