Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has charged new media to acquaint themselves with the contents of the Act in order to be properly guided in their cyber operations.
Addressing a youthful population who mostly live their life in the cyber ecosystem, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta observed that the Cybercrime Act has become law since May last year, noting that it was therefore imperative for New Media practitioners to familiarise themselves with the contents of the law as it affects their practice.
In a statement issued yesterday, it said that the NCC boss who Spoke through Mr Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs, Pointing to various sections of the Act, he explained that the Act does not encumber freedom of expression as erroneously believed but instead it seeks to protect those whose freedom may be damaged by the freedom freely expressed by others.
For instance, Section 24 of the Act, Danbatta pointed out, deals with Cyber stalking and prescribes punishment for “Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer system or network “ which, among others, “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 cause such 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.”
In addition to Danbatta’s paper, the Commission raised a team of technocrats and industry practitioners to help bring more understanding to the document which everybody agreed is still very fresh in the public domain.
In fact a blogger who was one of the first victims of the Act and spent some weeks in Ikoyi prisons while waiting to perfect his bail, threw the gathering into some bout of laugher when he informed that his lawyers were arguing over the existence of the Act even as he was being shepherded to his temporary home. The discussants include: Messrs. Nnamdi Nwokike, Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NCC; Taiwo Obe, Founder and Director, Journalism Clinic; Mideno Bayagbon, Editor, Vanguard Newspapers; Basorun Adetunji, New Media and Information Security, NCC; Folorunso Mesele, Information Technology, NCC; and Mrs. Afure Iloka, Legal and Regulatory, NCC.
In his intervention, Danbatta who acknowledged the contribution of the media to the growth of the telecommunication industry, and also in bringing the sector to global attention, pledged that under his watch the NCC would be happy to associate with anything that can add value to the practice of journalism, especially in the area of capacity building, and thus help to prevent unpleasant consequences arising from needless infractions.
However, Prof Danbatta hailed the quality of discourse and noted that the Commission has achieved a major aim of initiating dialogue on a vital document that could have far reaching effects on social relationships, businesses and modern lifestyle.


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