Chapter 2: Introduction to Law & Cybercrime by Dr Felix E. Eboibi

Chapter 2: Introduction to Law & Cybercrime by Dr Felix E. Eboibi


The said chapter is divided into eight sections. Section I takes a critical look at the definitional controversies in respect to cybercrime and/or crimes committed through the use of technology from the perspective of both academic commentators and legislations or statutes. It then ascribed a workable definition of the concept of cybercrime. The section thereafter traces the historical antecedent of the prevalence and menace of cybercrime in Nigeria and how the Nigerian government arrived at a legal framework.  Section II questions the rationale and the veracity or otherwise of the assertion “Nigeria is the hub of cybercrime and cybercrime perpetrators” by domestic and international commentators. In response, this section posits two models i.e the Myopic or Constitutional Law Model and the Comprehensive Law Model and concludes by articulating the true position of Nigeria in terms of the enforcement of cybercrime through the EFCC as opposed to Nigeria being a hub of cybercrime and cybercrime perpetrators. Section III discusses the impact of computer on cybercrime perpetration and prosecution. It argues that while there is yet to be any judicial pronouncement pursuant to section 58 of the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015 as to the concept of computer, the dilemma that is likely to plague most judicial actors in the determination of what constitutes computers is that at a first glance, the legislative interpretation of computer in section 58 of the Act, may be seen to be broad but in actual sense it does not precisely and sufficiently provide the desired certainty of devices that fall within that group to avoid ambiguity in the course of prosecuting cybercriminals brought before the court. Section IV examines the meaning of cybercrime law or law and cybercrime and generally examines mandatory regulations regulating cybercitizens in Nigeria, premised on legal reasoning in an attempt to fill the gap in the literature of the absence and/or unexhaustive applicable laws to try cybercriminals. Without delineations, it takes a look at primary and secondary legislations and applicable case laws that contain judicial precedent.  Section V discusses the controversy posed by section 2 of the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015.  The section argues that the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015 enacted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the National Assembly draws its validity from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(As Amended). It outlines the basis for arriving at the conclusion and thereafter contends that the provisions of the Act as it were are applicable throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It takes a comparative posture of what is obtainable in other jurisdictions in similar footing. Thereafter, the section examines the incompetency of the Nigerian State Houses of Assembly to enact a Cybercrime Law for the States. Section VI examines cybercrime offences and penalties under the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015. It discusses the offences in three categories; Acts against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data or systems; computer-related acts for personal or financial gain or harm and computer content-related acts. Section VII explores cybercrime institutions and governance and possible reasons for the proliferation of cybercrime; the various strategies and ways of identifying cybercrime perpetrators. Section VIII determines whether or not the Nigerian Evidence Act 2011 has developed sufficiently to provide for the question of admissibility and use of electronic evidence in cybercrime prosecution. It further examines the attendant inherent challenges posed by electronic evidence in cybercrime prosecution in Nigeria and possible solutions are made for an efficient cybercrime prosecution.

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13th September 2018 by Dr Felix E. Eboibi

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