Nigeria: Access computer ‘unlawfully’ and gain 5 years in jail

Nigeria: Access computer ‘unlawfully’ and gain 5 years in jail

Nigeria: Access computer ‘unlawfully’ and gain 5 years in jail

0

A five-year jail term awaits offenders that gain “authorised access” into a computer or network for fraudulent purposes, according to the Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015 reviewed by Technology Times.

The Nigeria Cybercrimes Act, signed into law on May 15, 2015 equally stipulates that, any crime or injury on critical national information infrastructure, sales of pre-registered SIM cards, unlawful access to computer systems, Cyber-Terrorism, among others, would be punishable under the law.

The Cybercrime Act that broadly seeks to make it a criminal office to use computers, the Internet and other technology tools for criminal purposes also makes offenders risk a fine of N5 million or five years in prison or both as the case may be if found guilty of some of these offences.

The Nigeria Cybercrime Act 2015  is also the first statutory instrument in the country that criminalises online actions, prescribing punishment and creating legal procedures for investigation, protection and enforcement.

Nigeria: Access computer ‘unlawfully’ and gain 5 years in jail
Digital Generation: A Cross section of tech-savvy youth seen at the Lagos Social Media Week 2016

[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]The Nigeria Cybercrime Act 2015 is also the first statutory instrument in the country that criminalises online actions, prescribing punishment and creating legal procedures for investigation, protection and enforcement.[/quote]By way of definition, the Nigerian law views unauthorised access as when someone gains access to a website, program, server, service or other system using someone else’s account or other means. This has over the years posed a security concern on the global Internet space across the world including Nigeria.

According to the subsection (1) of section 6 of the Cybercrime Act 2015, “Any person, who without authorization, intentionally accesses in whole or in part, a computer system or network for fraudulent purposes and obtain data that are vital to national security, commits an offense and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than 5 years or to a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 or to both fine and imprisonment.”

The Cybecrime Act also provides that anyone found guilty of possessing a manipulative device, unauthorized Automated 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 million fine.

Nigeria: Access computer ‘unlawfully’ and gain 5 years in jail
Technology Times photo file shows a mobile phone user

[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]By way of definition, the Nigerian law views unauthorised access as when someone gains access to a website, program, server, service or other system using someone else’s account or other means. This has over the years posed a security concern on the global Internet space across the world including Nigeria.[/quote]By the same token, 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 would be liable upon conviction to a fine of N7 million or three years imprisonment.

The Nigerian Cybercrime Act also provides for compulsory registration of all cybercafes as business concerns with Computer Professionals Registration Council and the Corporate Affairs Commission, while also specifying three years jail term or a fine of N1 million for anyone convicted for electronic fraud through a cyber cafe.

The law also stipulates a three-year jail term or N2 million fine for anyone who knew that a crime had been committed in his premises or cybercafe and failed to report to relevant authorities within seven days.

The Nigerian Cybercrime Act also provides a legal framework for the prohibition and punishment of electronic fraud and cybercrime whilst promoting e-government services, electronic communications and transactions between public and private bodies as well as institutions and individuals.

 

AdvertisingNigeria: Access computer ‘unlawfully’ and gain 5 years in jail
Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Journalist at Technology Times Media Phone No: 08074016066 e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng