Cyber crime and its legal implication
No doubt, cyber crimes popularly known as ‘Yahoo’ or internet fraud are now rampart among Nigeria youths. And this menace now appear to have eaten deep into our society. The Hope Classics speak with lawyers on the upsurge and the social effects.
Mr Ibukun Fasanmi, an Akure based legal practitioner
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act and Advanced Fee Fraud Act adequately provide for such offences and the prosecution of offenders caught in the act of crime of fraud, either internet or otherwise.
It is truism that men of the EFCC have been doing a fantastic job in this regard. The commission, through its zonal offices across the country, daily parades arrested internet fraudsters and equally see to the prosecution. (Follow Officialefcc on social media…twitter.)
The question of conventional police arrest of alleged internet fraudsters cannot be as efficient as that of the trained officers of the EFCC.
Police does same, but limited to specialized units within the Police Force like SAFU (Special Anti Fraud Unit)or IGSQ(IG Special Squad). For any conventional police officer to succeed in this regard without the technological knowhow would be mere wishful thinking except the offender was caught in the very act of crime ‘impari delicto’.
The expertise and facilities required for the detection of internet crimes are not available to conventional policemen.
It is trite that once a convincing case of crime is not established against a person, the consequential effect is the immediate release of such person.
Internet fraud is a crime well captured by Advanced Fee Fraud Act, which when a person is found guilty of, is punishable without an option of fine.
Special units of the Nigerian Police Force, mentioned it and the EFCC are doing a fantastic job. Other securities agencies and members of the public ought to compliment their efforts by reporting suspicious acts and transaction promptly.
Mr Yemi Adetoyinbo, an Akure based legal practitioner
There are rampant incidences of Yahoo stuff guys causing rip offs to the citizenry in our country, the States and the urban centers dwellers, especially against the rich, elites and numerous unsuspecting victims.
In areas of Cyber Crime Acts, which thrives at the Cyber Cafes, business centers, through online Internet cable wire line, social media, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter handles, e.g You Tubes, and majorly internet thefts through the use of Laptops Apps, to deceive, intersect and rip off unsuspecting clients who do not know the perpetrators have no expertise, incapable of rendering expected services, under deceitful methods siffon the funds of their victims.
Similarly, they also tap other people’s information as a means of claiming originality of intellectual properties, as if they are rightful owners, for undue financial advantage, plagiarism, Copyrighting, duplicity, intellectual thefts.
There are plethoras of cases involving Yahoo guys and rip offs of alarming proportions involving students in academic institutions, Police after effecting arrests, were often accused of just collecting settlement bribes and are released and let off the hooks. Some of these guys ride exotic cars and display unprecedented wealth with undue financial advantage in the society. These are serious crimes, carrying serious sanctions, and punishments, clearly provided for under various legislations and extant laws pursuant to relevant sections of the Criminal Procedure, Criminal Procedural Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Ondo State, 2016,Copyrights Laws, Copyright Act Laws on intellectual Property 1968.
Newly enacted Cyber Crimes Act, EFCC Act, ICPC Act, and other anti Miscellaneous offences Legislations are equally applicable.
In the United States of America, there was the advent of booth leggars who often hide stolen intellectual properties on the high seas of Mississippi and other Cyber Crimes thefts to avoid arrests or being caught. They hide their looted items under their often hefty, huge booths, using dark shades or sunglasses. Cultists, ritualists are now part of organized ways of deceiving unsuspecting members of the public, often being ripped off under Advanced fee fraud and 419, OBT, Obtaining under false pretences, by 419ners,who are associated.
Yahoo guys jobbers, nobles of joblessness now among the rich in our societies, who should all be made to face the full wrath of the law. Even pick pocketers, scammers and fraudsters who also sell fake news to survive, also tap other people’s information as usual, who operate in beer parlours and hotels, should be totally exposed and rooted out in our societies.
Mr Olatunde Aladedutire, an Akure based legal practitioner
On the issue of cyber crimes in Nigeria popularly called Yahoo yahoo or internet fraudster. We had several provisions in laws like the Criminal Code, Advance fee fraud Act and even EFCC Act that could be used to deal with the crime.
But the Government went ahead to promulgate the Cybercrime (Prohibition,prevention e.t.c) Act 2015 to deal with the matter headlong.
But like I noted above, the problem has always been with the enforcement of our laws
More often than not, these crimes are committed against foreigners and Law enforcement agencies without giving consideration to the damage being done to the image of the country.
Regrettably, security men collect their share and release them to look for the next victim.
It is even alleged that some of them on regular basis do remittance to some officers to stay free from arrest.
Another excuse law enforcement agencies give is the absence of complainants. We have seen cases where foreigners that were swindled came into the country in pursuit of Justice and got same.
They had their funds recovered although not everything and the culprits were brought to book.
But a careful perusal of the Cybercrime Act 2015 particularly Part III thereof that deals with offenses and penalties, shows that such crimes can be effectively prosecuted if the WILL is available.
I think we need to all rise up and begin to speak with one voice against this crime that has done so much harm and damage to the image of the country, and equally call upon or even compel law enforcement agencies to do the needful.
Leave a Reply