Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) have reiterated the need for speedy and fair adjudication of telecommunications disputes and Cyber security issues in order to ensure orderly growth and sustainability in the sector.
The parties made the submission at the 2016 Annual workshop for judges on legal issues in Telecommunications organized by NCC in collaboration with the NJI. The Annual Workshop was conceptualized to bridge knowledge gaps in topical and emerging areas of telecommunications with a view to keeping the judiciary abreast of key relevant issues in the industry.
“I daresay that while the Nigerian telecommunications industry has grown exponentially in recent years, the rapid growth has led to increasingly complex and dynamic transactions, inevitably resulting in disputes. Consequently, judges are now required to possess adequate knowledge and skills to efficiently adjudicate on the cases that may come before them.” Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, Board of Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON, FNJI explained the need for the annual workshop.
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, NCC disclosed that cybercrime has been on the increase and there is urgent need to strengthen the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015.
“The proliferation of e-payment systems following the Federal Government’s adoption of the Cashless Policy has led to a massive increase in mobile and online transactions in the last few years with a resultant increase in financially related cybercrime. Cybercriminals continue to develop new strategies to circumvent cybersecurity models regardless of their sophistication. We are hopeful that in the continuing course of implementation of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015, cybersecurity will be strengthened.”
Hon. Justice R.P.I. Bozimo, Administrator, National Judicial Institute added that about 127 billion naira expected revenue is loss annually as a result of infractions of laws, rules and cybercrimes. “Allegation of fraudulent deductions from customers account and unsolicited text messages, among others, are also common concern in the industry” she stated.
Justice Mahmud Mohammed called for speedy and fair adjudication of telecommunications disputes in the interest of the nation at large.
“Permit me to also reiterate the need for speedy and fair adjudication of telecommunications disputes as a key for orderly growth and sustainability in the sector. In safeguarding this duty, the Nigerian Judiciary remains steadfast as a great partner in the development of the telecommunications sector and indeed the Nigerian economy through accurate interpretation and enforcement of the laws.”
To combat terrorism and security challenges, Hon. Justice R.P.I. Bozimo pointed that Telecoms industry will greatly help to provide evidence in the course of prosecution and determination of related cases.
”The Boko Haram terrorists use mobile lines to coordinate their terror activates. These, among other challenges, may require data and information generated from telecommunication services to serve as evidence in the course of prosecution and determination of related cases.” She explained.