Sometimes we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. A typical cybercafé in Nigeria is one of such wrong places. And one of such wrong times is when the Nigerian Police is raiding the area or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officers are ahead of you. Either way, you won’t forget the encounter easily.
- The drafters of the new Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015 are aware of such encounters. This is why before any cybercafés can now operate in Nigeria, it must:
- register a business name with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC);
- register as a business concern with Computer Professionals Registration Council; and
- maintain a register of users by keeping a sign-in register
- The cybercafé owner must make the register of users available to law-enforcement personnel whenever they request for it.
- It is a criminal offence for anybody to carry out electronic fraud in a cybercafé. If found guilty, he or she will be sentenced to a 3-year jail term or one million naira fine or both.
- There have also been situations where cybercafé owners are aware of the fraudulent activities of users but still allow these users access to their computers. In such situations, the Cybercrime Act smells connivance between the owner and the user(s). If found guilty, the cybercafé owner would be liable to N2,000,000 fine or a 3-year jail term.
- The burden of proving that the owner connived with the user(s) is on the prosecutor. This consistent with the burden of proof in the Evidence Act 2011. That section provides that it is the person who alleges that has the burden of proof.
This post was written by Senator Ihenyen. Senator is a lawyer with Assizes Law firm and an associate at The Write House- Legal Writing Consultants & Trainers.