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Chapter 4: Cybercrime Perspectives to Electronic Commerce and Signature: Is the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015 Apposite? by Dr Ogwezzy Michael


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This chapter notes that one important application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is in the area of e-commerce requiring the use of electronic signatures. Until recently, e-commerce uptake in many countries was hampered by various factors. The main barriers to e-commerce include inadequate ICT and electricity infrastructure, undeveloped financial markets, low purchasing power, and low levels of ICT literacy and of awareness of e-commerce among consumers and enterprises, together with weak legal and regulatory frameworks. With the emergence of new technologies, new e-commerce platforms and payment solutions became common and assessable and some of the initial barriers were gradually overcome. As a result of the seamless business transactions offered by these ICT platforms, cybercrimes, online fraud and data breaches became a growing concern for both consumers and enterprises, thereby requiring adequate legal and policy responses at national and international levels to curtail the criminal activities emerging there from. In 2015, Nigeria enacted the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, to address multifarious challenges created by the use of electronic devices in doing business in Nigeria which subsequently requires electronic signature to authenticate such transactions. The chapter undertakes a study of the relevance of section 17 of the Act which requires the use of electronic signature in e-commerce transactions in Nigeria. It takes a critical look at how e-payment systems and e-commerce have influenced cybercrime in Nigeria, together with the models of financial payments and evidential issues in e-commerce transactions in Nigeria. It analyses the Nigerian Evidence Act 2011 as the source of Nigerian law on electronic signature prior to the enactment of the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act and also conceivable merits and demerits arising from the use of e-signature as a means of e-commerce transaction.


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

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