Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Nigerian Cyber-crime: A Performance Review of EFCC and The Nigerian Cyber-Crime Working Group
When President Olusegun
Obasanjo inaugurated the Nigerian Cyber-crime Working Group (NCWG), on
It has now become obvious, that the creation of the NCWG was purely a case of financial resource duplication For example, in the 2004 budget the EFCC received only N300, 000,000 in allocated fiscal funding. Although it is possible that the total sum of financial allocation to the EFCC were later revised, many of the proposed Financial Crime projects proposed by the EFCC, simply got zero funding.
On the other hand, although the NCWG did not have any formal budgeting funding allocated for fiscal year 2004, it somehow managed to receive an initial allocation of N100, 000,000 from the Nigerian Government. The bottom line is clear, both agencies received funding
for similar objectives.
Thus, in terms of functional
responsibilities, the NCWG is a clear duplication of the EFCC, the N100, 000,000
out of budget expenditure allocated to the NCWG, should instead have been used
to make the EFCC more effective. Although the EFCC is yet to
secure one criminal conviction in a Nigerian Court of Law, the agency has made
tremendous strides in its counter Cybercrime efforts. The
EFCC has made hundreds of Cybercrime arrests, and recovered millions of Naira in
looted monies. Also, the EFCC has earned the respect of
International anti-Cybercrime law enforcement bodies. For
example, in a 2004 statement by the outgoing
The key word here is “exclusively”. It is rather ironical, that while International Cybercrime prevention bodies, such as the FBI, are trying to assist the EFCC with becoming a more efficient Cybercrime fighting body by forming exclusive relationships with the EFCC, the Nigerian Government appears determined to undermine it’s own efforts by creating the NCWG as a parallel duplicated organization. To this extent, International Law Enforcement bodies are now confused. However, most still prefer to do trans-border collaborative Cybercrime Law enforcement work with the EFCC. The NCWG is hence, a distraction both locally and internationally. Locally because it competes with the EFCC, Internationally because it sends confusing signals to International law enforcement bodies.
Since the inauguration of the NCWG, well over eight months ago, the NCWG has very little to show. To date, the most significant document produced by the NCWG is the Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Bill. Incidentally, a large portion of the Nigerian Cybercrime Bill was copied from the Internet by Basil Udotia, the Coordinator of the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group. For those who do not know, the first version of the Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Bill had several sections directly lifted from Professor Susan Brenner’s Model States Computer Crime Code, which in turn was “drafted by students in Professor Brenner’s Cyber-crimes Seminar” . In short, the only significant accomplishment of the NCWG, is a document which may one day become the Nigerian Cybercrime Law, is for the most part, composed of materials lifted from the internet. The Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Bill is not an original presentation. Readers should also note that since revealing the true source of the Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Bill in a previous article, Basil Udotia, Coordinator of the NCWG, has promised to make further revisions to the Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Bill before submission to the Nigerian Lawmakers. However, copies of revised edition of the Nigerian Cybercrime Bill have now become “State Secret”. The Coordinator of the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group, no longer wishes to makes copies of the Draft Cybercrime Bill open for public review. He is sitting on it!
Nevertheless, in terms of performance comparisons, it clearly appears that the EFCC might be a more capable organization in fighting Nigerian Cybercrime than the NCWG. The EFCC has made several arrests, and now has several cases pending in Nigerian criminal courts. On the other hand, the NCWG is yet to deliver minimal results. The NCWG is yet to publish a National Cybercrime Policy, and does not appear to have any clear strategic direction.
Rather than continue to invest monies in funding the NWCG, it might be more efficient to consolidate all activities of the NCWG with those of EFCC. Such consolidation will not only create synergy in the procedural and administrative operational efficiencies, it will also result in the creation of a uniform Cybercrime policy, and remove financial and statutory resource duplication. The NCWG ought to be dissolved and merged with the EFCC.
 See, http://www.fmf.gov.ng/NASS%202004%20Capital%20Final.htm
 See, http://www.crime-research.org/articles/Ashcroft09/
 See, http://cybercrimes.net/
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.