Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) are unanimously supporting the ongoing amendments for the Nigerian Criminal and Penal Codes Act of 2004 to extend to cybercrimes.
The two bodies made their support known at a public hearing organised by the Committee on Justice of the Nigerian House of Representatives on the proposed constitutional amendment.
HumanIPO reported in November the Nigerian cybercrime bill was passed for a second reading and support for the legislation is now gathering momentum.
According to the memorandum of the NBA, the association said the constitution should make cyber crimes a criminal act that attracts strict penalties.
The NBA specifically suggests the fine should be increased to N20 million (US$127,000) or a 20-year jail term for any convicted cybercriminal.
Speaking on behalf of the EFCC, the commission’s Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde said the House of Representatives is taking a timely decision. According to him, unlike in developed countries, cybercrimes are still relatively new in developing nations.
He however advised the house to consider reviewing some provisions of the amendment and language usage that could cause ambiguity in the final version that would be signed into law by the President.
Aisha Ahmed, a sponsor of the bill, said she decided to embark on drafting the amendment as a result of the vacuum created by the non-availability of cybercrime laws in Nigeria. This she said has been extensively exploited by cybercriminals.