Abuja - The Senate on Thursday passed a law criminalising electronic and cyber related crimes in the country.
In his remark, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session, expressed delight for the support the report attracted at plenary.
He said the legislation would undoubtedly checkmate all electronic related frauds that had placed the country in bad light.
"The senate has, by this development, criminalised all intended actions made through the computers and other electronic apparatus to commit fraud and to forcefully hack or destroy data,’’ he said.
Presenting the Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Cyber Crime Bill 2014, Umaru Dahiru (PDP-Sokoto) said the joint committee had consulted widely before arriving at the report.
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"The Electronic Fraud Crime In All Electronic Transactions and for Other Related Matters Bill 2014’’ was sponsored by Adegbenga Kaka (PDP-Ogun).
Dahiru said the bill was read for the first time on November 16, 2011, adding that the Senate considered its general principles and application on February 28, 2013 after extensive deliberations.
According to him, the bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the implementation and evaluation of response and preventive measures in the fight against cybercrime in line with international best practices.
Dahiru also said it provided for a legal framework for the prohibition and punishment of electronic fraud and cybercrime while promoting e-government services and transactions between public and private bodies.
He further said that it criminalised certain acts and omissions in line with the regional and international best practices, adding that the document provided procedural guideline for the investigation of such offences.
Dahiru said the legislation defined the liability of service providers to ensure that the national interest was not compromised.
The new law seeks to secure computer materials against unauthorised access or modification.
It is also aimed at preventing unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences.
The legislation now stands against unauthorised access to computer or misuse of electronic devices.
In a related development, the Senate received committee report on Dr John Madugu, to represent Benue, Nasarawa and Pleatau states at the Civil Service Commission.
The Annual Report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on Account of the Federation of Nigeria was also laid before the senate.
Similarly, the 2013 Annual Report of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was also received at plenary.
Also, the Report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on Chartered Institute of Certified Secretaries and Reporters Bill 2014 was presented.
However, the Report of the Committee on Sports and Social Development on Nigerian Football Association Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2014, and three others were deferred to the relevant committee.