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NCC urges quick enactment of cybercrime bill

04 July 2013, 16:43

Lagos -  The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Eugene Juwah, on Wednesday urged the National Assembly to pass the cyber crime bill into law.

Juwah made the call in Lagos at a workshop for judges on legal issues in the telecommunications sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by the NCC in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

He said that as robust as the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) was, some other laws were still needed to support telecommunications activities in the country.

"In that regard, the commission looks forward to the passing of the cyber crime law to support its effort at increasing cyber security.

"We support a Data Protection Law to secure the database created at the successful conclusion of the SIM card registration exercise.''

Juwah said that the regulatory body was working with the ministries, National Assembly, Presidency and stakeholders to facilitate the process of the passage of the bill.

The NCC chief said that the purpose of the workshop was for the judges to brainstorm and be acquainted with topical issues in the telecoms sector, which had potential legal consequences.

According to him, such topical issues that may have legal consequences include: quality of service, mobile number portability and SIM card registration, among others.

"Even in the realm of criminal justice, your lordships need to be equipped to entertain prosecution of illegal telecoms operators and cyber crime activities.

"Your lordships need to be equipped to entertain prosecution on issues of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure and other forms of violation of the NCA as well as the subsidiary legislation,'' he said.

The Administrator of the NJI, Justice Umaru Eri, said that Nigeria had witnessed a lot of transformation in the telecoms industry in the past couple of years.

He said that the transformation was not without some legal issues emanating from them.

Eri said that with the mobile number portability project, where post-paid customers were required to settle outstanding bills with their previous networks, it became a problem.

According to him, one cannot rule out the possibility that the old service providers may resort to any legal measure, including litigation, to recover any outstanding charge from the porting post-paid subscribers.

"Each sector of human activity comes with its own legal issues and it is the nature of these issues that determine the practice and procedure in the adjudicatory process.''

Eri said that telecoms matters were specialised cases that demanded special procedure for proper adjudication.

 - NAN


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