online fraud perpetrators in Nigeria.
The decision of the Senate on cyber crimes bill, sponsored by Senator Adegbenga Kaka, was sequel to the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights.
The bill, tagged: "A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Prohibition, Prevention, Detection, Response,
Investigation and Prosecution of Cybercrimes and for Other Related Matters 2014", among other objectives, seeks to punish the interception of data, system interference and misuse of devices.
It backs punishment of all kinds of computer-related fraud, computer-related forgery, offences relating to pornography, cyber-stalking and cyber-squatting, just as it seeks to promote cyber security, protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and
computer programmes, intellectual property and privacy rights.
The bill also states that anyone who commits fraud using a computer system or network with the intention of obtaining computer data, securing access to any programme, commercial or industrial secrets or classified information will upon conviction be sentenced to seven years jail term or a fine of N7 million or both.
Furthermore, anyone found guilty of possessing a manipulative device, unauthorised automatic teller machine card, damaging a computer with the intention to defraud, trafficking in any password to defraud customers or financial institutions will be sentenced to seven years imprisonment or a N7
Similarly, any person or organisation who intentionally traffics in any password or similar information through a computer unlawfully with
the intention to defraud public and private interests within or outside Nigeria will be liable upon conviction to a fine of N7 million or three years imprisonment.
The bill spells out a three-year jail term or N2 million fine for anyone who knows that a crime has been committed in his premises or cybercafe and fails to report to relevant authorities within seven
While it provides for compulsory registration of all cybercafes as business concerns with Computer
Professionals' Registration Council in addition to business name registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission, it also spells out three years jail term or a fine of N1 million for anyone who perpetrates electronic fraud through a cybercafe.
In the situation where the fraud is found to have been perpetrated in connivance with the owner(s) of the cybercafe, such owners shall be liable to a fine of N2 million or three years jail term.
A stiffer punishment of 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine awaits anyone who commits any offences in relation to critical national information infrastructure and 15 years imprisonment for any person who commits such a crime resulting in bodily harm and life
imprisonment for such crime if it results in death of another person.
In his remarks after the passage of the bill, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who
presided, explained that enacting anti-cyber crime law became important because there was no
computer at the time penal and criminal code came into force.
He said: "With the passage of this bill today and appropriate application of its prescribed laws
against cyber crimes and other related matters, Nigeria will henceforth be seen as a country seriously stamping out cyber crimes, which to us here at the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly, is a major milestone in our lawmaking enterprise.