16 September 2015
LAGOS, Nigeria – August, 2015 –The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) recently held a seminar in Lagos on the newly enacted Cybercrime Act and the fight against E-Fraud in Nigeria.
NeFF is an initiative established by the CBN to provide a forum for stakeholders to exchange information and devise a collaborative approach to tackling electronic fraud and related losses in Nigeria. In addition, NeFF aims to serve as an official body to represent the financial industry’s position on fraud related issues, and proffer solutions that restore public confidence on card usage and electronic payments.
At the seminar — which was attended by regulators, bank executive, telecoms operators, lawyers, cyber security providers, law enforcement agencies among others, the invited speakers and panelists undertook a thorough analysis of the Cybercrime Act and its role as an effective tool in the efforts to combat cybercrime from all angles.
Speaking about the new Act, Templars Banking & Finance Partner, Chike Obianwu, who served as a facilitator at the seminar, expressed the view that the Act was fairly comprehensive and compared favourably with similar legislation in other jurisdictions, as well as such models as The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Toolkit for Cybercrime Legislation.
He noted with approval that the Act provided the flexibility of empowering the Attorney-General of the Federation to take steps from time to time to make the law conform to international standards, and to proactively maintain cooperation between Nigeria and other countries. He however expressed concern over the delay in setting up all agencies and machinery needed to enforce the Act.
He pointed out further that, unlike most other criminal statutes in Nigeria, the new Act provided not just prosecution and penalties, but also for restitution for victims.
The Cybercrime Prohibition Act was signed into law by the Federal Government, in May 2015. Stakeholders say it provides an effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercriminals in the country. Other provisions of the Act include the manipulation of Automated Teller Machine/Point of Sale Terminals, phishing, spamming, spreading of computer virus and electronic cards’ related fraud, prescribing various prison terms and/or penalties for offenders.