Cyberstalking Law And The Right To Freedom Of Expression In Nigeria: A Dead Ringer Or A Constitutional Snag?

Publication Information

Journal Title: Indian Politics & Law Review
Author(s): Abiodun Ashiru
Published On: 05/02/2021
Volume: 6
First Page: 75
Last Page: 95
ISSN: 2581-7086
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Cite this Article

Abiodun Ashiru, Cyberstalking Law And The Right To Freedom Of Expression In Nigeria: A Dead Ringer Or A Constitutional Snag?, Volume 6, Indian Politics & Law Review, 75-95, Published on 05/02/2021, Available at https://iplr.thelawbrigade.com/article/cyberstalking-law-and-the-right-to-freedom-of-expression-in-nigeria-a-dead-ringer-or-a-constitutional-snag/

Abstract

Freedom of Expression is one of the most essential human rights which is entrenched in several legal documents in the world, be it local, regional or international. It is a cornerstone upon which the very existence of a democratic society rests. Due to its important nature, any restriction placed or imposed on this right must be impartial and reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. With technology evolving through the use of text messaging, email, and social media, instantaneous communication has increased the risk of unwanted and repeated harassment. Cyberstalking is the act of threatening, harassing, or annoying someone through multiple email messages, as through the Internet, especially with the intent of placing the recipient in fear that an illegal act or an injury will be inflicted on the recipient. Cyberstalking is criminalised by section 24 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 by the Nigerian government. This paper examines the fate and status of the right to freedom of expression as entrenched under the Nigerian Constitution in the light of the provision of the said section of the Cybercrime Act. The paper x-rays the arguments of some scholars that the provision of the Cybercrime Act violates the constitutional provision of the right to freedom of expression. The paper concludes that the Nigerian Cybercrime Act provision on cyberstalking is a legal restriction on the right to freedom of expression in Nigeria.

Keywords: Cyberstalking, Freedom of Expression in Nigeria

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