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Nigeria activates Cybercrimes Act 2015 as court admits teenage cyberstalking suspect to N5million bail

The Nigeria Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015

*The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State of Nigeria, has granted a N5million bail to an accused 19-year-old girl, who apparently shared the nude video of a former Permanent Secretary of the state on the Internet August 2021

*The plaintiff informed the Federal High Court he fainted and almost committed suicide after his immediate and extended family members viewed his nude photo on a social media platform

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

For purportedly engaging in cyberstalking with the intention of blackmailing her victim, and in strict application of the Nigeria Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015, the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, has granted a N5 million bail to Miss Charlotte Delhi, a 19-year-old girl and accused person.

Young Delhi was alleged to have been involved in the illegal sharing of the nude video of Dr. Walton Liverpool, a former Permanent Secretary of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, on the social media with the intention to extort the sum of N15million from him.

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It was gathered the Department of State Service (DSS), in the suit number FHC/YNG/33C/2021, filed a count charge against the defendant.

Cyberstalking

The prosecutor has alleged that the teenager deliberately engaged in cyberstalking with intention of blackmail which is contrary to Section 24(2)c and punishable under subparagraph (b) of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention, etc.) Act 2015.

During the court sitting Thursday, October 21, 2021, on Yenagoa, the two motions on bail and commencement of trial were taken with both counsels, Principal Legal Officer of the DSS, Victor Uchendu, Esq and a former Attorney-General of Bayelsa State and Counsel to the Defendant, A.S. Arthur, Esq, agreeing to the bail of the accused person.

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Justice Isa Dashen, the Presiding Judge, after hearing the positions of the two counsel on the bail, granted Miss Delhi’s bail at N5million and a surety with landed property within the jurisdiction of the state, report said.

Shortly after the ruling on bail, the presiding judge ordered commencement of the trial of the accused, calling Dr. Walton Liverpool, a former Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, as the first prosecution witness.

According to Liverpool, whose nude picture was apparently posted on the social media platform by the accused, he met the accused through her “friend request” to him on Facebook August 23, 2021, and had consensual sexual encounter at a popular hotel known as Golden Gate in the Bayelsa State capital.

The nude video allegedly released by Miss Delhi, the accused, thereafter has caused him psychological and physical pains, said Dr. Liverpool.

He told the court that he fainted and almost committed suicide after his immediate and extended family viewed it on the Internet.

According to Dr. Liverpool, “On the 8th of September, 2021 after I was hosted to a reception after the day I got my academic Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) from the Imo State University, in Owerri, the state capital.

“After the ceremony, I retired to my room to sleep. At about 12a.m., I received a WhatsApp message on my phone, announcing a package for me.

“I inquired who the sender of the message and asked the nature of the package. I was told that they have made a video of me.

“When I asked for the identity of the sender, they told me not to worry, and that I should cooperate with them and the matter will be over.”

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The complainant further informed the court that he was asked to pay the sum of N15 million, or else the nude video would be posted on the social media.

“I responded that as a retired Civil Servant, I don’t have such money. I discovered that the video was dehumanising and embarrassing.

“I pleaded that I would pay the sum of N1million and pleaded that I needed to sell a property to raise a million Naira.

“They sent me another message that I should pay the sum of N5 million. They threatened not to accept anything less,” Liverpool narrated.

He also noted that after a study of the nude video, he discovered that the video was taken at a room at Golden Gate Hotel, and that it was 19-year-old Miss Charlotte Delhi that was with him.

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He continued: “The sender of the video boasted that I would faint if I refuse to pay, and get the video off a media space.

“After six days, on the 14th of September, 2021, I was alerted that my nude video had been posted on Facebook.

“They tagged members of the State House of Assembly, present and former State Commissioners, Local Government Chairmen and former Chief of Staff to Governor, Rt. Hon. Thalfor Ogolo.”

Report indicated both counsels, the Principal Legal officer of the DSS, Victor Uchendu, Esq; and a former Attorney-General of Bayelsa State and Counsel to the Defendant, A.S. Arthur Esq, during the tendering of evidence, however, argued on the admittance of the list of WhatsApp conversation between the former Permanent Secretary of Bayelsa State Ministry of Education (Dr. Liverpool) and the accused person (Miss Delhi).

The presiding judge later adjourned the matter till November 9, 2021, to rule on the issue of exhibit to be admitted by the Federal High Court.

NCC’s consumer awareness campaign about cybersecurity at NCSAM 2021 and Child Online Protection

ConsumerConnect had reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the recent celebration of the annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) earlier in October 2021, focused on raising consumer awareness about cybersecurity through sensitisation campaigns in the country.

RELATED: Telecoms Regulator Celebrates National Cybersecurity Awareness Month In Nigeria

The West African country’s foremost telecoms sector regulator had joined the rest of the global community in celebrating the NCSAM 2021.

The telecoms regulator focused on raising consumer awareness about cybersecurity with structures, projects and activities towards securing Nigeria’s cyberspace.

According to the Commission, this is done through awareness and sensitisation campaigns, and providing the public with general knowledge and tools to help them keep safe when on the Internet.

RELATED Cybersecurity: NCC Management, COP Ambassadors Stress Importance Of Child Online Safety In Africa

During the celebration this year, the NCC said Nigerian telecoms consumers are educated on cybersecurity issues, such as Cybercrime & Cybersecurity, Understanding the Law on Cybercrimes (i.e., the Cybercrimes Act 2015), Child Online Protection (COP), and Online Security & Safety Tips.

The Commission also describes ‘Cyberstalking’ as a situation “when attackers harass victims through online communication mediums, such as e-mails or social media.”

Similarly, in his exclusive video presentation on the Child Online Protection (COP) recently, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, emphasised the Commission’s efforts towards Child Online Safety in the country.

Regarding the regulator’s security tips for parents, administrators and children, the Commission describes the Social Media as “a term for the online platforms that people use to connect with others, share media content, and form social networks, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram.”

It specially warned consumers to “be careful what you put on social media. Once it is out there you cannot take it back.”

Social media is part of the daily lives of young people as it has many benefits, but also some risks, said the NCC.

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