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NCC engages judges on cyber crimes, telecom issues

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU—Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has engaged judges on issues of the emergent cybercrimes, curiosity on effects base station and other legal issues in telecommunications.

The telecom regulator also urged judges to be cautious of artificial intelligence, which it said may put judicial officers out of job.


The judges, who attended the telecom conference in Enugu were drawn from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts.

NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta, said the purpose of the annual conference, which is the third, was to put the judges abreast of emerging legal issues associated with telecommunication operation, particularly as the industry was a dynamic one.

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Represented by NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr. Sunday Dare, Danbatta said the focus of the conference was to bring the judges up to speed on telecommunication issues and the legal aspect of telecommunications.

Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammad, who was represented by Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court, stated that the sustenance of the conference had brought them abreast of topical and emerging areas in the telecommunications sector.

He said: “The dynamics associated with this sector have created new challenges and this calls for fresh thinking on the respective roles of both the judiciary and the regulator.

“On our part, the judiciary will continue to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in line with the rule of law.”


He said: “The telecommunications industry is a very dynamic industry. We have trends and we have issues bothering not just on data protection, but also on lawful intercept, the right of Nigerians to privacy and the legal issues that come up with that; SIM swap, SIM registration and several others.

“So what we do every year is to bring judges and others in legal profession together to expose them to regulations, the directions and the activities we do within the legal realm and to also get a feedback because some of these cases come before them and they have to adjudicate on them.”

“So we have these kinds of exchange and brainstorming session to understand the nitty-gritty of it. We are just looking at the legal issues that may ensue between the operator and subscribers, between regulators and subscribers and between regulator and the operators.

“The greatest threat to the judiciary now is artificial intelligence because that is intelligence that is being developed that can do the work of the Justices, the lawyers and the rest. So the judiciary must think about that.

“I know that in the last five years or more, we’ve had several of the court processes move from analogue to some level of digitalization. It’s an ongoing process and there is an appreciable optic of digital archiving, digital records and digital filling.”




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