Wednesday, 22 January 2014

President Jonathan sends Cybercrime Bill to Senate

President Goodluck Jonathan has sent the
Cybercrime Bill 2013 to the Senate to be enacted
into law.
The bill titled, “Cybercrime Bill, 2013” was sent
to Senate President David Mark.
“I hereby introduce for formal consideration and
enactment into law by the Distinguished Senate
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the
Cybercrime Bill, 2013,” Jonathan said.
The President did not give details as to the
content of the Bill and the punishment to be
meted out to those who violate its statutes.
The Federal Government is suspected by
Nigerians of trying to curtail the use of social
media in the country, due to the manner by
which Nigerian citizens use it to protest against
bad leadership, and corruption.
in 2011, Senator Gbenga Kaka (APC, Ogun East)
presented a bill to stop cybercrime. That bill
came under controversy due to a section related
to social media.
Section 13 (3) stipulated seven-year term for
those that give false information on social
media. Due to public outcry, the Senate decided
to expunge that section.
Senator Kaka, while briefing journalists, said,
“Following the public hearing, which was held
after the second reading, the Section 13 (3) of
the provision was taken exception to by the
social media.
“And since the bill is now in the public, I
decided to consult with the Senate Committee
Chairmen on Information and Judiciary, and
after consultation we resolved that Section 13
(3) of the proposed bill could be abused at any
point in time and could be misinterpreted and
as a result, I have their permission to announce
to the world that that section shall be deleted.
“I thank all those who have made contribution
both locally and internationally for the
enrichment they have brought into the bill
“I want to assure you that I don’t have monopoly
of power or knowledge and so we still welcome
more suggestions and debates that can further
enrich the bill so that it will be to the overall
interest of the country.
“The bill is targeted against the misuse of the
internet which in other countries is used for the
development and growth of the various
communities and in our own case, it was an
attempt to curb the activities of internet
scammers who always give us bad name both
locally and internationally.
“Section 13 (3) of the bill states that anyone who
intentionally propagate false information that
could threaten the security of the country or that
is capable of inciting the general public against
the government through electronic message,
shall be guilty of an offence and upon
conviction, shall be sentenced to seven years
imprisonment or N5 million fine or both.”

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