By Celestine Okafor Asst Politics Editor, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday forwarded Cybercrime Bill to the Senate to be enacted into law to so as to eradicate internet fraud in the country.
Jonathan in the bill titled, “Cybercrime Bill, 2013”, which was routed through the Senate President, David Mark, urged to the members of the upper legislative chamber to consider its enactment into law.
“I hereby introduce for formal consideration and enactment into law by the Distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Cybercrime Bill, 2013.”
The President however, did not give details in the letter properties of the proposed bill and the punishments that would be meted out to those found culpable.
It would be recalled that Adegbenga Kaka, representing Ogun East Senatorial District, had presented a bill seeking to regulate the electronic transfer of funds, and how to stop the misuse of the internet, which in other countries is used for development.
and growth of the various communities.
The bill introduced July 28, 2011, was targeted at curbing the activities of internet scammers, who always give the country bad name, both locally and internationally.
However, as a result of the criticisms that trailed the bill, especially, Section 13 (3) by the social media, which stipulated seven-year term for those that give information, but later discovered to be false, the senate decided to expunge the controversial aspect.
The section stipulated that those that intentionally give false information that could threaten the security of the country or capable of inciting the public against government through electronic message to be sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Senator Kaka, while briefing journalists, said, “Following the public hearing, which was held after the second reading, the Section 13 (3) of the provision was taken exception to by the social media.
“And since the bill is now in the public, I decided to consult with the Senate Committee Chairmen on Information and Judiciary, and after consultation we resolved that Section 13 (3) of the proposed bill could be abused at any point in time and could be misinterpreted and as a result, I have their permission to announce to the world that that section shall be deleted.
“I thank all those who have made contribution both locally and internationally for the enrichment they have brought into the bill
“I want to assure you that I don’t have monopoly of power or knowledge and so we still welcome more suggestions and debates that can further enrich the bill so that it will be to the overall interest of the country.
“The bill is targeted against the misuse of the internet which in other countries is used for the development and growth of the various communities and in our own case, it was an attempt to curb the activities of internet scammers who always give us bad name both locally and internationally.
“Section 13 (3) of the bill states that anyone who intentionally propagate false information that could threaten the security of the country or that is capable of inciting the general public against the government through electronic message, shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to seven years imprisonment or N5 million fine or both.”