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    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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FYI, dear Nigerian internet users… What the proposed Cyber Crime bill has to say

Nigeria-Internet-Users (1)Now they have finished with the anti-gay bill, our legislators have moved on to the next ‘most important’ matter on their docket. The proposed Cyber-Crime bill. And like the former, this bill borders on the ridiculous as well. For insulting someone online, you can get a 5year jail term. Like, for real? I don’t understand why this government is not focusing on important things. They are now trying to clip the wings of news sites, blogs, readers/commenters and users of social media? Freedom of speech be damned.

Here’s the report according to Punch:

For using profane language on other people or pelting them with insults or abusive words on social networking sites, Internet users in Nigeria risk a jail term that ranges between 12 months and five years.

Section 18 sub-section 1 of the Cyber-Crime Bill 2013, which is pending before the House of Representatives, expressly states that anybody who “insults publicly, through a computer system or network” commits an offence and will be liable on conviction to imprisonment “for a term of not less than five years or to a fine of not less than N10m or to both fine and imprisonment.”

Also, the bill prescribes a jail term of five years for anyone who circulates or makes any racist and xenophobic material available online.

Cyber-criminals, who hide under the anonymity of the Internet to bully, harass other users of online platforms also risk jail terms when the law comes into full force.

Section 15 of the bill, which deals with issues of cyber-stalking, prescribes a jail term of 12 months for anyone found guilty of posting messages deemed “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene” or messages aimed at “causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety” to another online user.

Besides, anyone who bullies, threatens or harasses another person, through “information and communication technologies” or posts messages online that contains “threats to kidnap or injure” another person will be jailed five years or pay a fine of N15m or both.

According to the bill, Internet service providers will be required to keep all traffic data and subscriber information for the purpose of prosecuting those suspected of committing cyber-crimes.

The service providers are expected to provide necessary assistance towards the identification, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, failure of which makes them liable to fines and or jail terms.

Part V, Section four of the bill prescribes the Office of the National Security Adviser as the co-coordinating body for all security and enforcement agencies when the bill becomes law.

One of the high points of the law is the prescription of death sentence for anyone who commits an offence against what it calls “critical national information infrastructure” which results in death.

It’s a beautiful day to be a Nigerian, don’t you think?

Leave a comment


  1. anyibaba

     /  February 1, 2014

    Well this is the end of SART

  2. Yemie

     /  February 1, 2014

    Way to go lawmakers, y’all are doing a helluva job! Insults not allowed abi? No qualms. Sarcasm nko? I no see where dem state that one expressly or implicitly, so therefore; no yawa. Na to carry go be dat. Psst!

    • anyibaba

       /  February 1, 2014

      Yemie you’re on thin ice here, easy before you get jailed

      • Yemie

         /  February 1, 2014

        Oh Schmucks Anyi! Thanks for the heads up and I’m guessing this is the part where I go get me some duct tapes to keep my lips sealed for sure. Hmmph!

  3. keane

     /  February 1, 2014

    Offence against critical national information infrastructure…..cn sb put that in layman’s english…???

  4. keane

     /  February 1, 2014

    So no more “tweet fights”
    ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡) (˘̩̩̩.˘̩̩̩ƪ) (۳º̩̩́_º̩̩̀)۳

  5. Morphine

     /  February 2, 2014

    Well, pipu like me cant get into trouble, am holier than thou even on the internet.


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