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Ministry Empowers Judges on Cybercrime Legislation

The Ministry of Justice has restated its commitment towards ensuring cybersecurity for Nigerians.

As part of its move to demonstrate this, the ministry together with Crime West African Response on Cybersecurity and Fight Against Crime and Global Action on Cybercrime partnered with the European Union to train judges on cybersecurity and the use of electronic evidence.

At the closing ceremony, Solicitor General of the Federation, Beatrice E. Jedy-Agba, noted that ” only a small fraction of cybercrimes are prosecuted and adjudicated”.

The training, she added, would strengthen Nigeria’s capacity to reduce cybercrime, which according to her, is already threatening the political system.

Earlier on, she said as a member state following the Budapest framework the training is not only fundamental but also beneficial.

“As you may recall, Nigeria acceded to the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime ETS No. 185 in July 2022; this is so far the most relevant close-to-global existing legal framework on cybercrime and one of the benefits of Members States is capacity building in the area of cybercrime.”

She said as a commitment to the fight against cybercrimes and the capacity building of the criminal justice authorities in Nigeria, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice inaugurated the Reconstituted Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) National Coordination Team with membership from key stakeholders.

With the capacity building programme, she observed that Nigeria, which according to the United Nations projection is seventh in terms of Internet deployment, is poised to be a leader in the anti-cybercrime crusade.

According to Jedy-Agba, “It goes without saying that digital transformation has essentially redefined life, particularly in the post-covid era and while it has benefits, there are resulting challenges which include the increase in cyber crimes.”

“The increasing reliance on electronic evidence not only for cybercrimes but even traditional crimes which may not be located in the territory where the case is investigated makes it even more imperative to build capacity on its use.”

“Therefore, the continuous need to train and retrain criminal justice sector authorities cannot be overrated.”

“This will enhance their ability to effectively apply cybercrime legislation and respond to the challenges it poses.”

Leader of the EU delegation, Sabrina Mekaoui, noted that efforts are ongoing to encourage international cooperation to address cybersecurity.

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