Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, the Solicitor General of the Federation
By Ebere Agozie
Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, the Solicitor General of the Federation says only a small fraction of cybercrimes is actually prosecuted and adjudicated.
Jedy-Agba said this at the closing ceremony of the ‘Training of Trainers on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence for Judges and Prosecutors in Abuja.
The event was under the Global Extended Action on Cybercrime (GLACY+) in Nigeria, West African Response on Cybersecurity and Fight against Cybercrime (OCWAR-C), both EU funded projects in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice.
She noted that Nigeria acceded to the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime ETS No. 185 in July 2022 which is the most relevant close-to-global existing legal framework on cybercrime and one of the benefits for member states is capacity building in the area of cybercrime.
“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 cybercrimes.
“Since accession to the convention, this is the first national activity under GLACY+ in Nigeria and it is a great idea to have it partner with OCWAR-C.
“Nigeria appreciates this partnership and support to create a national pool of trainers on cybercrimes and electronic evidence for Judges and Prosecutors.
She said that the global nature of this menace sometimes described as “phenomenon without borders” makes it imperative for countries to seek to build capacity to be able to effectively combat it.
“Hence, the efforts of the international organisations in cyber capacity building cannot be over-emphasised.
“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 re-train criminal justice sector authorities cannot be overrated as it will enhance their ability to effectively apply cybercrime legislation and respond to the challenges it poses”, she said.
She said that as a commitment to the fight against cybercrimes and the capacity building of the criminal justice authority, the Minister of Justice inaugurated the Reconstituted Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) National Co-ordination Team with membership from key stakeholders.
She commended the Justices of the Federal High Court who took out time to be participants at the training and also the prosecutors from the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“This training will fundamentally be beneficial to the dispensation of justice in Nigeria.
“I urge participants to pass on the knowledge acquired to other legal practitioners as national trainers on cybercrime and electronic evidence”, she added.
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FCT) Justice John Tsoho, represented by Justice Inyang Ekwo, expressed his delight at the training aimed at effective justice delivery in the country.
“When I received the invitation to nominate 10 judges, I was challenged and sceptical as approving ten judges to leave their respective desks for one week for fear that they might be affected bearing in mind the tight doctrine of the court.
“However, upon noting that the program is based on the global action on cybercrime and electronic evidence, I did not hesitate to
send the number of judges requested.
“I had taken out some time to go through the program and acknowledge that the judges have benefited greatly in the training and acquired the capacity to demonstrate the knowledge
gained in judicial proceedings and impart this knowledge to others”.
Tsoho noted that cybercrime is a global issue and he is convinced that building effective repositioning of knowledge will bring about skilled prosecution and effective judicial proceedings.
“I commend the organizers and participants of this programme and I am satisfied that the programme ran its course successfully.
“I also request for follow-ups for this programme as I believe that the interactions in the course of the programme were fruitful.
“I therefore salute everyone for a successful programme, and declare it closed”. (NAN)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza