The rate of cybercrime has gone up considerably in the last 10 years since the inception of the internet and digital age.in Nigeria, the national security adviser (NSA) estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to the country’s GDP is 0.08% which represents N 127 billion. There are various kinds of acts which would constitute an offence in the newly promulgated cybercrime Act 2015 such as: unlawful access to computers, unlawful interceptions of communications, unauthorized modification of data, misuse of data, system interference, intercepting electronic messages, emails, e-money transfer, tampering with critical infrastructure, computer related fraud, computer-related forgery, among others, as offenses that are punishable under the Act. Theft of electronic devices, electronic signature, child pornography and related offences, racism and xenophobic offences are also punishable under the Act. It also provided for cyber-stalking, cybersquatting and cyber-terrorism as offences; there are actually many valid reasons for the need of cybercrime laws in Nigeria. The study takes a subjective look at the attributes of cybercrime laws and certain challenges the cybercrime act and laws face such as: what constitutes a cyber-crime, who do you call when a cybercrime occurs, who enforces this act-the police or a special force, and how prepared are these officials?. It also takes a subjective look at certain controversial provisions of the cybercrime act of 2015 which are: cybercrime act and the registration of cybercafés,mandatory winding up and forfeiture of assets, lawful interception of communication, cyber security fund, cancellation of international passports.
During the course of this research, reference and credit would be given to each author that his or her work is used in this research to add to existing
This research work would raise certain contentious issues with the provisions of the cyber-crime act 2015, the enforcement mechanisms, officers, and how competent these officers are in combatting cyber-crime in Nigeria. It would also look at the scope, the significance, and research methodology used.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Humans over the past years and decades have evolved from one stage to another stage in life, always coming up with different and better ways in carrying out their activities or daily life which they refer to as development. This can be traced back to the Stone Age down to the renaissance-the industrial revolution or the Iron Age. Humanityhas passed through three (3) major stages of evolution which are; the hunter-gatherer, agricultural, and technological stage.
Human developments or improvements in information and communication technology (ICT) has led to the information being represented into electronic or digital format which has led to the rapid demand of free, open and global access to information by its users.
However, this shift from the ancient or traditional means of information communication has now provided a platform for criminal activities on the internetcoupled with the fact that laptops, computers, and internet connectivity is becoming more affordable to the populace. Ever since the inception of the internet and Nigeria’s participation in this global phenomenon, there has been a rapid increase in the amount of crimes being committed on the internet through the use of various platforms such as Social media, emails, dating websites, online stores, Mobile Banking, Trade and service websites, and social engineering. The society over the past years have become more increasingly dependent on new information technology to carry out businesses through online services such as; Jumia, Konga, Wakanow, E-bay, Amazon and Alibaba, manage industrial activities, engage in personal communication through social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Pinetrest, Badoo, Tinder, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others. These technologies and information allow for enormous gain and efficiency, productivity and other benefits they create a vulnerability to those who wish to take an advantage of the system and new situations.
Cyber-crime is now prevalentin the Nigerian society, of which the most common is fraud. this is as a result of the high rate of unemployment and other social factors which keep the youths among the Nigerian population Idle coupled with the ‘Get Rich Quick syndrome’. This makes the youth explore their skills in the cyber world and how they can benefit from it and not be caught knowing that there are no proper enforcement mechanisms put in place in Nigeria.
The cyber-crime Act, 2015 is yet the most recent form of legislation combatting cyber-crimes in Nigeria and this study aims to analyze the key provisions of this Act, the contentious provisions, as well as to provide possible solutions and recommendations to combatting these cyber-crime issues in Nigeria. The study would also bring to light the various kinds of cyber-crime perpetrators, their mechanisms, and tools.
- STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
This research work will trace the history and uprising of cybercrimes such as ATM Fraud, piracy, hacking, email Scams etc. its effect on the Nigerian economy, its effect on Nigeria’s reputation in the global international system, the harsh effect of the cyber-crime act 2015 on cyber cafes operating in Nigeria, the cyber security fund; its use and management. The study takes a subjective look at the attributes of cybercrime laws and certain challenges the cybercrime act and laws face such as: what constitutes a cyber-crime, who do you call when a cybercrime occurs, who enforces this act-the police or a special force, and how prepared are these officials?
The principal purpose of this study is to evaluate the cybercrime law in Nigeria with the main focus being the recently enacted Cyber-crime Act 2015 for the regulation of cybercrime activities in Nigeria. The study takes a subjective look at the attributes of cybercrime laws and certain challenges the cybercrime act and laws face such as: what constitutes a cyber-crime, who do you call when a cybercrime occurs, who enforces this act-the police or a special force, and how prepared are these officials?. Further analysis will amongst other things:
- Discuss the Nature and Types of Cybercrime;
- Assess the controversial provisions of the cybercrime Act 2015;
- Examine and analyze key provisions of the Cybercrime Act 2015;
- Suggest and recommend effective ways and methods on how cyber-crimes can be tackled in Nigeria.
- SCOPE OF STUDY
This research work will focus on the present and future problems of cybercrime. The scope of this study or work includes but is not limited to; an overview of the cyber-crimes in Nigeria, the recently enacted cybercrime act 2015. An attempt would be made to analyze the cyber-crime Act 2015 and the international perspective and cooperation relating to the cyber-crime act 2015.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized. This is because this study would be of benefit to every internet user or subscriber; those who constantly carry out business, educational, Cyber cafés and financial transaction activities on the internet. The study is aimed at analyzing the recently enacted legislation on cyber-crime laws along with its shortcomings and challenges in combatting cyber-crime activities in Nigeria. The government, law and policy makers would also find this study very useful and handy as they attempt to come up with feasible and effective solutions to this rising issue of cyber-crime in Nigeria. Similarly, this work would further support law enforcement agencies with their aim to stopping cyber-crimes by giving suggestions and recommendations on ways in which they can enforce and equip themselves to be ready to combat cyber-crimes in Nigeria. This study would also help Law researchers and even those in related discipline in their future research.
- RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
During the course of this research, the doctrinal research method would be relied on for this research work. The research will combine both primary and secondary sources of materials. The relevant statutes and case laws would be consulted to assist in this research work.
The nature of this study also demands that much reliance will be placed on online materials, textbooks, journals, and articles written in this area.
Iroegbu, ‘Nigeria Loses over N127 bn annually through cybercrimes’ This Day Live (Lagos 2016) <http://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2016/04/19/nigeria-loses-over-n127bn-annually-through-cybercrime/> accessed 04 January 2017
 Laurence Evans, ecotoa.com, ‘Civilization: Modern Cultures,’ (2008), <http://www.ecotao.com/holism/hu_mod.htm> accessed 04 January 2017
 Martins, MartinsLibrary.blogspot.com, ‘General introduction to cyber-Crime effects in Nigerian sector,’ (N.D) <http://martinslibrary.blogspot.com.ng/2013/08/general-introduction-to-cyber-crime.html>accessed 04 January 2017
 Nigerian Cybercrime (Prohibition and prevention) Act 2015
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