The ECOWAS Court has ruled that Section 24 of Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act is vague, arbitrary, and unlawful.
The court rules that it is contrary to the rule of law for the [Nigerian] Police to charge anyone with supposed ‘cyber stalking’. Consequently, Section 24 of the Cybercrime Act is invalid.
The ECOWAS Court of Justice is an organ of the Economic Community of West African States, a regional integration community of 15 member states in Western Africa. It was created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States.
The ECOWAS Court ruled in the suit brought by the nongovernmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP.
The court ruled that Section 24 of Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act is inconsistent and incompatible with Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
The unlawful provisions of Section 24 of the Cybercrime Act, among others, criminalise sending or causing to be sent an “offensive, insulting or annoying’ message via a computer system.”
It is therefore contrary to the rule of law for the Police to charge anyone with supposed ‘cyberstalking’.