The Federal Government on Wednesday lamented the increase in cyber crimes in the country occasioned by the digital transformation witnessed in the country.
This it noted had thrown up new types of crimes as well as aiding criminals to penetrate the traditional crimes using the new technologies.
The Solicitor General of the Federation, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a three-day cybercrime awareness programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the US Embassy in Abuja on Wednesday.
Represented by the Director, Solicitors, Mrs Gladys Obegbero, she noted that the security agencies in the country as well as judges now depend on the digital infrastructure to effectively discharge their duties, adding that a breach in the cyber security architecture of the country could compromise the rule of law.
She said, “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 cybercrime.
“In today’s digital age, legal professionals, judges, and law enforcement agencies depend on secure digital infrastructure to effectively carry out assigned tasks, Breaches in cyber security could jeopardize the fair administration of justice. compromise the rule of law, and undermine the trust of citizens in the justice system.
“The dark side to this is the emergence of new types of crimes as well as the commission of traditional crimes using the new technologies which challenge existing legal concepts.”
She said as a result of the global nature of the crime, efforts must be put in place to curb the menace.
She said, “The global nature of this menace sometimes described as a “phenomenon without borders” makes it imperative for governments to seek to build capacity to be able to effectively combat it and this includes awareness creation.”
Speaking, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission disclosed that the anti-graft agency had secured 1084 cyber crime convictions so far in 2023.
Represented by the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, he said the statistics suggest that more efforts are needed to curb cybercrime in the country.
He said the EFCC has observed that cybercrimes are faster, cheaper, and easier to commit than traditional crimes.
He said, “We have successfully investigated and prosecuted several cases of have successfully cybercrime and have so far recorded 395 convictions in Advanced Fee Fraud cases and 1084 cybercrimes convictions this 2023 and still counting.
“This statistics is a clear indication that a lot has to be done in combatting cybercrime in the nation and there is an urgent need to rev up efforts in this regard.
“As it is easier and smarter to do transactions online, it has equally become easier and smarter for cybercriminals to explore vulnerabilities on digital platforms to perform their sordid enterprise under the cloak of anonymity.
“The EFCC under my leadership is committed to ensuring the due and timely enforcement of all cybercrime laws in the nation. We are equally open to collaborations towards the realization of this mandate to rid the nation of economic and financial crimes including cybercrimes.”