The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has expressed concern over the continued absence of a law to protect Nigerians in the cyber space.
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, said its attention has been drawn to media reports where stakeholders in Nigeria Defence, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies were worried with the emerging threat of cyber-crimes in the country.
It said the situation has worsened with the ongoing policy of cashless society driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“With many businesses going online and Nigerians being encouraged by the government to embrace mobile phone, e-payment and internet banking, our great party is worried about the safety of the users of these services and the truth that our great nation is not prepared for the threats and vulnerabilities of the information age,” the statement added.
Cyber crime is defined as offences that are committed using modern telecommunication networks such as internet and mobile phones.
The ANPP spokesman expressed regret that the crime was taking its toll on the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
“Such crimes threaten our nation’s security and financial health. In fact, Nigerians have not fully recovered from the shock of the recent discovery that Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) pension details were released online, which was later seen to be a manifestation of internet hackers’ job; or the gruesome murder of Cynthia Osukogu, who was killed by friends she met through the social media. It is also a fact that the escapades of the so-called yahoo boys gave Nigeria a bad reputation in the global community.
Eneukwu recalled that in 2004, the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group (NCWG) was constituted to draft the first bill on Nigerian Cybercrime Act in order to facilitate the enactment of a cyber-law for the nation.
He lamented that up till now the law has not been enacted.
“It is a manifest truth that where there is no law to serve as a deterrent to potential criminals, the society is at a risk of witnessing the mushrooming of diverse offenders. Surely, such a law is needed to provide an atmosphere for fair punishment as well as discourage intending cybercriminals from carrying on with their plans, as the now common availability of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs), like Blackberry, Smart phones and I-pads, has made such crimes easy to perpetrate.
“The ANPP therefore calls on the Federal Government to update the nation’s IT security framework to align with the global emerging ICT trend and its evolving security threats.
“We also call on the National Assembly to hasten the harmonisation of the Nigerian Cybercrime bills, in order to safeguard the nation’s banking sector, security and social interface. We believe that no matter the resources and personnel voted to the war against cyber-crime in Nigeria, without a well-structured enabling legislation, the fight will end up as mere words, at worst, and as another white elephant venture as best,” he said.