A Critical Examination of Cybercrime Investigation Agency under the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015

A Critical Examination of Cybercrime Investigation Agency under the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015

This paper examines the agency for cybercrime investigation in Nigeria with emphasis on the provisions of the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015 (Act). Indeed, there has been an increase in electronic transactions in Nigeria. Consequently, there are several instances where cybercriminals have taken advantage of these platforms to perpetrate crimes. These crimes are committed on internet platforms using electronic devices and technological facilities, sometimes of a very high and advanced nature, which the initial legal frameworks and usual investigating agencies for criminal offences in Nigeria did not envisage. Thus, making it difficult for law enforcement officers who are not technologically acquainted to reach accurate investigative conclusions. To this regard, the Act was subsequently created and provided for several cybercrime offences. However, it unexpectedly failed to address the issue of a specific agency for investigation. It instead made a provision that arguably allows all law enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrime offences. The result of the absence of a specific and proper investigation agency would arguably enable cybercriminals to have a field day since they cannot be easily prosecuted. This is due to the fact that the plethora of agencies currently investigating cybercrime offences may interfere with the investigative processes of one another and may lead to unnecessary distraction, duplication, double jeopardy, and waste of resources. In view of the foregoing, this paper addresses the failure of the Act to provide for a specific agency for investigating cybercrimes in Nigeria and the legal implications of such a lacuna. It determines the nature of a cybercrime investigating agency that is equipped to investigate cybercrime offences while drawing lessons from what is obtainable in other jurisdictions. It concludes with a recommendation, amongst others, that there should be an amendment of the current Act to provide for a particular agency for cybercrime investigation, and the personnel of the recommended agency should have adequate knowledge of computer forensics for data extraction.Download here


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2nd July 2020 by Dr Felix E. Eboibi

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First Digital & Techno-Law Forensics Co. Ltd. (in collaboration with Computer Forensics Institute, Nigeria (CFIN)

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