From recent happenings in Nigeria, it is very obvious that there are some crimes that many Nigerians are ignorant of, one of which is cyberstalking.

Many people have landed in trouble, simply because, they do not understand what the law says about cyberstalking.

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Cyberstalking: Five Must-Know Laws For Every Nigerian

Before we look into these laws, it is important that we have a clear understanding of what cyberstalking is.

Cyberstalking is the act of using internet and technology to harass or stalk individuals online.

What Is Cyberstalking

Indeed, this act could lead to criminal charges in Nigeria.

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Similar to cyberbullying and conventional stalking, this type of online harassment manifests through mediums like emails, text messages, and social media posts.

Cyberstalking occurs in a deliberate and systematic manner.

It has significant danger to the individuals being targeted, many of which Nigerians seem not to know.

Nigeria Police Vs Cynthia Morgan

Before we go further, lets take a look at a recent case of cyberstalking which prompted the need for this article.

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This case involves the Nigerian police and popular singer, Cynthia Morgan.

The singer was arrested for alleged cyberstalking and harassment of the crown prince of Benin, Ezelekhae Ewuare.

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A petition filed by Prince Ewuare’s lawyers made rounds online.

In it, it was alleged that the singer had been trying to contact the prince against his wishes.

Cyberstalking Law

We perfectly understand if what you just read does not appear like a crime to you.

Similarly, we do not blame you if you did not even know that it is a crime.

Having said that, lets see what the Nigerian law says about cyberstalking.

The cybercrime laws enacted in 2015 in Nigeria include five specific regulations aimed at combating cyberstalking.

Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act 2015 criminalises cyberstalking as it relates to the following acts:

Offensive Message

“Knowingly or Intentionally sending a message that is offensive or obscene or menacing character or causing any such message or matter to be so sent.

Such offender shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than ₦7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

False Message

“Knowingly or Intentionally sending a message that one knows to be false for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another or causing such a message to be sent.

Such offender shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than ₦7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Bully

“Knowingly or intentionally transmitting or causing the transmission of any communication through a computer system or network to bully, threaten or harass another person where such communication places another person in fear of death, violence or bodily harm or to another person [5].

Such an offender will be liable to imprisonment for a term of 10 years and/or a minimum fine of ₦25,000,000.00.”

Threats

“Knowingly or intentionally transmitting or causing the transmission of any communication through a computer system or network containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to harm the person of another, any demand or request for a ransom for the release of any kidnapped person, to extort from any person, firm, association or corporation, any money or other thing of value[7].

Also Read: Cybercrime: Court Remands Doctor In Custody

Such offender will be liable to imprisonment for a term of 10 years and/or a minimum fine of ₦25,000,000.00.”

Property Threat

“Knowingly or intentionally transmitting or causing the transmission of any communication through a computer system or network containing any threat to harm the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value.

Such offender shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of 5 years and/or a minimum fine of ₦15,000,000.00.”

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