A Discourse on the Legislation Prohibiting Cyber Stalking in Nigeria
78 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2022
Date Written: June 3, 2021
It could be argued that the computer is the eighth wonder of the contemporary world. Along with this great wonder, however, comes enablement to perpetuate a gamut of new-age crime different from conventional crimes. Cyberstalking, committed through the use of a computer against the person of another, is an example of these new-age crimes. As cyberstalking is quickly becoming a common phenomenon globally, several countries have responded by legislating against it. Before the enactment of mainline legislation on cybercrime in Nigeria, the legal regime on cyberstalking consisted principally of the Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act. These Acts prohibit cyberstalking indirectly. Nigeria has also enacted the Cybercrime Act 2015 which expressly criminalises cyberstalking. Arguments have been made that the provision of the Cybercrime Act 2015 on cyberstalking violates the right to freedom of expression. This work interrogates the legislation on cyberstalking in Nigeria with a view to ascertaining how effective a response it is to cyberstalking and its impact on the right to freedom of expression of the Nigerian people. Additionally, a comparative analysis of similar legislation prohibiting cyber stalking from other jurisdictions is carried out to determine how efficient our legislation are in battling these crimes. This work finds that the legislation is effective, to an extent, to combat cyberstalking in Nigeria. Again, laws on cyberstalking do not, in itself, infringe on the right to freedom of expression but could be wielded by the government to silence critics. Conclusion is thereafter drawn as well as recommendations made regarding the Nigerian legislation.
Keywords: cyberstalking, cyberbullying, cybercrime, legal framework
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation