A call for speedy passage of Cybercrime Bill 2014

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ABUJA – MARCH 3, 2015: Paradigm Nigeria Initiative (PIN) has urged urgent action on the Cybercrime Bill before the expiration of the tenure of this legislature. While commending the House of Reps for the successful Second Reading of the Bill, PIN in a statement urged the National Assembly to deliver cybercrime law that does not limit citizens’ internet freedom.

It could be recalled that February 24th2015, the House of Reps passed the bill after House Leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola (Ogbomosho North, South/Orire), moved the motion for the 2ndreading. The motion, seconded by Hon. Abdul-Wahab Isa (Ilorin East/South) was unanimously passed after a few minutes debate. The bill was then referred to the joint committee on Justice and Communication Technology for further action.

PIN’s Chief Operating Officer, Tope Ogundipe, said: “With the passage, despite coming seemingly late in the day, the House owe it a duty to proceed expeditiously to deliver a cybercrime bill which must be firm, but fair and one that will curb cybercrime without limiting the citizens’ internet freedom.”

As a compliment to the wider advocacy for the passage of the bill, PIN said it is currently undertaking a series of Internet Policy training across Nigeria. The organisation is also creating awareness about cybercrime among Nigerians and how they can partner government and other agencies to curb the menace, with the aim of evolving firm but fairs laws that curb cybercrime without limiting the citizens’ internet freedom.

The Senate last October passed the Cybercrime Bill. Expectations are high that the House will use the window between now and the rescheduled elections to consult with stakeholders and come up with a more acceptable version.

Since 2010, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has worked with stakeholders including Microsoft, World Bank Civil Society Program, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the National Assembly among others on policy advocacy concerning Internet Freedom and Cybercrime Legislation.

More recently, PIN joined forces with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to mobilize stakeholders’ interest for the passage of the Cybercrime Bill 2014 and support campaign to shore up conversion on the issues during the on-going political debate. To this end, the
organisation organized roundtable discussions, press conferences, advocacy visits to political parties, the media and the national assembly, and also produced and shared various informational materials.

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