The Cybercrimes (Prohibition,
Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015 provides for an effective, unified and comprehensive
legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention,
detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrimes in Nigeria. The act also
ensures the protection of critical national information infrastructure, and
promotes cybersecurity and the protection of computer systems and networks,
electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and
privacy rights.

As Nigeria’s online community
grows daily with the springing of thousands of blogs every week, the
Cybercrimes Act is a piece of legislation that should get the attention of
bloggers and online information marketers. One of the offences prohibited under
the Act is “Cyberstalking” which can be found under Section 24 of the Act. It
provides that –
(1)Any person who knowingly or
intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or
network that -­
is grossly offensive,
pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any
such message or matter to be so sent; or
he 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 causes such a message to be sent commits an offence under this Act and shall
be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years
or to both such fine and imprisonment.
By virtue of the above
provisions, it seems a number of people are guilty of this offence. Many
bloggers and online users are guilty of sending messages and articles over the
internet which can be considered to come under the purview of Section 24(1). 
The act
further states in Subsection 2 that –
Any person who intentionally
transmits any communication through a computer system 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; commits an offence
under the Act and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years and/or a
minimum fine of N25,000,000.00.
penalty mentioned above also goes to persons found liable of transmitting
communications which – contain any threat
to kidnap any person or any threat to harm another person, 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
if the transmission contains any threat to harm the property or reputation of another
or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse another person
of a crime, or to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation,
any money or other thing of value: such person commits an offence and shall be
liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 5 years and/or a minimum fine
of N15,000,000.00.
It should be noted that the
courts have the power to make an order protecting the victim of a Cyberstalker and
the Act empowers all law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to
develop requisite institutional capacity for the effective implementation of
the provisions of the Cybercrimes Act. 
It is important that every
active online user is familiar with the provisions of the Cybercrimes Act to
ensure they do not run fowl of its provisions. 
Dunmade Onibokun 
Principal Partner 
Adedunmade Onibokun & Co.