SOME SECONDS WITH SOMEBODY’S SON: SHARING TIWA’S SEX TAPE IS ILLEGAL

Section 23(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 states:

Any person who knowingly makes or sends other pornographic images to another computer by way of unsolicited distribution shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be sentenced to one year imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira or both.

Section 24 of the Act criminalises cyberstalking. The Section provides under paragraph (a) thus:

Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that –
(a) is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing
character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent…commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Notes

The sharing of the alleged Tiwa’s sex tape amounts to sending a “message.” But even if it is argued that it doesn’t qualify as a “message” per se, it surely falls under “other matter” as stated in that section.

Note that reference to “computer systems or network” includes mobile phones and other computer devices.

Note too that even if you didn’t send the message (or the video as in Tiwa’s case) but you caused it to be sent (meaning you’re responsible for the sending), you’re still liable. You don’t have to be the first person who commenced the distribution. But it might be worse if you are. 

Importantly, the alleged sex tape also qualifies as something “grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”

While you may feel entertained and not offended by viewing the tape, it still remains pornographic.

However, it appears there is nothing in the Act which criminalises the receiving of such pornographic content on your phone. In order words, you may be held to have committed no crime if you watch Tiwa’s sex tape only. But the moment you join in spreading the video, you open yourself up to criminal liability.

Beyond the sharing of the sex tape, if you engage in trolling Tiwa by sending or transmitting messages calculated to threaten, harass or harm her reputation, you may be held criminally responsible for cyberstalking.

Tiwa is an established icon in the music industry. She is not in the business of pornography. The sex tape was purely her private frolic which unfortunately has generated public engagement.

She hasn’t committed any crime for doing something natural with somebody’s son.

Although it may not be the best idea to have one’s sexual activities recorded, it is not a crime.

But those who insist to record themselves in the throes of passion should prepare to face any unfortunate situation where the sex tape leaks to the whole world.



Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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