HomeBUSINESSSERAP Urges Tinubu to Halt CBN's Cybersecurity Levy, Alleges Constitutional Violations

SERAP Urges Tinubu to Halt CBN’s Cybersecurity Levy, Alleges Constitutional Violations

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SERAP Urges Tinubu to Halt CBN’s Cybersecurity Levy, Alleges Constitutional Violations

Afor Kenneth

SERAP has called on President Bola Tinubu to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to retract the cybersecurity levy on Nigerians, citing violations of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international human rights commitments.

In a statement signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization demanded the Tinubu administration to withdraw the arbitrary and unlawful CBN directive within 48 hours.

Furthermore, SERAP urged President Tinubu to halt Nuhu Ribadu and the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) from enforcing section 44 and other oppressive provisions of the Cybercrimes Act 2024, arguing that they contravene the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights treaties.

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Additionally, SERAP called upon the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), to promptly draft and present a bill to amend section 44 and other restrictive clauses of the Cybercrimes Act 2024 to the National Assembly. This move aims to align these provisions with the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international human rights obligations.

SERAP said, “Section 44(8) criminalising the non-payment of the cybersecurity levy by Nigerians is grossly unlawful and constitutional.

“Our lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, is already preparing the necessary court papers should the administration fail or neglect to act as recommended.

“The administration must urgently take concrete and effective measures to ensure the repeal of section 44 and other repressive provisions of the Cybercrimes Act 2024.

“If the unlawful CBN directive is not withdrawn and appropriate steps are not taken to amend the repressive provisions of the Cybercrimes Act within 48 hours, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel the Tinubu administration to comply with our request in the public interest.

“Withdrawing the unlawful CBN directive and repealing the repressive provisions of the Cybercrimes Act 2024 will be entirely consistent with President Tinubu’s constitutional oath of office requires public officials to uphold the provisions of the constitution, and the rule of law and abstain from all improper acts.

“The repressive provisions of the Cybercrimes Act 2024 are clearly inconsistent and incompatible with the public trust and the overall objectives of the Constitution. A false oath lacks truth and justice. The oath statements require the oath takers to commit to uphold and defend the Constitution.

“Section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] provides that, ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” the statement read in part.

Yesterday, the CBN instructed banks and other financial institutions to enforce a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers, citing section 44(2)(a) of the Cybercrimes Act 2024.

The levy, equivalent to 0.005, pertains to half a per cent of all electronic transaction values by businesses specified in the second schedule of the Cybercrime Act 2024.

The funds collected are to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), under the administration of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

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