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(Relazione di prof. Edmund U. Agbo nella Conferenza sul “Diritto di Internet: le novita’ in materia di Rete e Web” organizzata dall’Associazione Nuove Frontiere del Diritto con Primiceri Editore ed International Police Association, in Roma, Corte d’Appello Civile, Via Varisco 3/5 – Sala Unita’ di Italia il 14 luglio 2017)

DIGITAL CRIMES IN NIGERIAN LAW: PROBLEMS OF ADMISSIBLITY AND APPLICATION OF EVIDENCE

Paper presented by Prof. Edmund U. Agbo* during the Conference on the “Law of the Internet: Latest Development in the areas of Network and Web”, organized by the Nuove Fontiere del Diritto, the Primiceri Publishers and the International Police Association (IPA), in Rome, Corte d’Appello Civile, Via Varisco 3/5 – Sala Unita’ di Italia

il 14 luglio 2017

*Prof Edmund Ugwu Agbo is Professor of International Criminal Law & director of Research in Digital Forensics, International Bio-Research Institute, Ugwogo Nike Enugu Nigeria. He also teaches in and Coordinates the International Bioethics Programme of the Pontifical Athenaeum “Regina Apostolorum”, Rome, IBI Centre Enugu Nigeria.

Part One

  • Concept and Scope (Law, Internet, Network and Web)
  • Nigerian Law and the Nigerian Evidence Law
  • The Nigerian Evidence Act 2011

Part Two

  • Digital Evidence in Nigeria: Admission of Evidence
  • Digital Evidence in Nigeria: Application of Evidence
  • The Challenges of Admission and Application of Digital Evidence in Nigerian Law
  • Improvement on the Admission and Application of Evidence in Nigerian Law: Recommendations

References

Abstract

Globalization, which first most strikingly started with commerce, assumed a new, more invasive, incisive and pervasive dimension with the revolution wrought in the field of computer/electronics. The world becoming a global village thanks to digital and allied revolutions, experiences a great lot of rapid changes in almost every aspect of human life in general and human nurture in particular – health, wealth, religion, commerce, etc. Normative sciences, especially Law (the branch of knowledge that regulates human relationships; creates permissive or prohibitive rules, and recognizes and ascribes statuses), were all called to action. The Law of Internet and the latest developments in the fields of Web and Network, especially, as they apply to the place of Digital Evidence in the Nigerian Law, with all its challenges and chances, constitute the nucleus of this paper.

Introduction

Law is an essential part of human coexistence. The regulation of how a person as a composite being, regulates the relationships among his or her various organs; and the manner he or she relates with other persons and also with other things surrounding him, presupposes not only intra-personal cum inter-personal regulations via natural predispositions (natural law) and enactment of laws (substantive and adjectival or procedural) via positive law (human law), but more so, the actualization of these regulations via application of the laws (rules). The Law of Evidence is that aspect of law where the substantive and the procedural laws coalesce in their highest expression. The definitions and divisions of offences, crimes; the specification of admissible evidence and the mode of applying the evidence as a proof for judgments and sentences in the Courts of Law, go a very long way to making the law an effective aspect of human relational activity.

Any changes or developments or regressions in any fields of human endeavour necessitate changes in law as, values and measures, are always influenced by them (the changes). Law is therefore that elastic aspect of human life which particular elasticity finds its best expression in the production of some rigid and rigorous rules that are universally relevant. It then follows that the rapid advancement in the fields of science and technology and all the good and evil it implies, calls for an accompanying development in the instruments of regulation of the use and/or abuse of the fruits of the reason and skill of man.

The revolution in the field of the Internet has profoundly shaken the foundation of human relations. It does not only facilitate the awareness in one nation of what happens in other nations, but also has paved the way for perpetrating an action that can affect many nations from just one smallest corner – the “cyber-corner” of one nation or of one village or house or even one room. Human co-existence is redefined and continues still to be redefined. Money can be transferred or exchanged within the shortest possible time. E-commerce system is almost taking over the traditional commercial systems. Religions and political tenets and ideologies can be very quickly and widely disseminated and shared. The societal waves have become faster and more globally consuming than hurricanes and tsunamis. More members of the society, even the previously most marginalized are currently being integrated at almost zero cost. Social, political, economic, religious and ideological classes have been declassified. From “cyber-socialism”, we now have a real “cyber-communism”. Cyber-socialism and cyber-communism are no longer dividing lines in the political and economic spheres. The form of dividing lines that have ruled and ruined the world starting from the … century; breading the protracted cold war that left the world war-thorn, has become unavoidable as well as unacceptable. The contemporary winds; the “cyber-winds” carry all the goods and evils from one nation, one community, one person, etc. to the other without any of the parties willingly requesting nor consciously rejecting them.

Cyber-communism has via via transformed itself in to a banal religion, but mostly in the Marxist sense; an opium of the people; intoxicating them neither as mmanya nkwu nor mmanya ngwo nor ogwuduani, but rather as ngala and as agwu. It has become ude asuru na mba, anu ya na mba.  The technicality, modality and intentionality are almost same worldwide. The way the net works and the way the work nets (scores) are almost alike worldwide. The whole world – rich and poor, small and big, developed and developing – almost in similar measures reaps the fruits – good or evil – of the Web. The impact of the criminal aspect is directly or indirectly felt worldwide, hence the need to encourage a concerted effort. A concerted approach to the control of internet-based crimes and a comparative study of the various international and municipal instruments for admission of evidence and its application as proof in litigations expressible in the Law of Evidence is important.

In this paper, we examined Digital Crimes in the Nigerian Law and the Problems of Admissibility and Application of Evidence. The instrument base of our study is the “Evidence Act 2011, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria”. For an easier understanding of the topic, we have divided it into two parts. Part One considered the concept, delineated the scope, presented an overview of the Nigerian Law in general and the Nigerian Evidence Law in particular, and further examined the Nigerian Evidence Act 2011(the Act currently in force) and therefrom represented the status quo of the Digital, Electronic, Computer, Internet, Network or Web evidence in the Nigerian Law. Part Two explored and explained the admissibility of evidence and its application to prove or disprove a fact, especially, of legal relevance. It also appraised the challenges and the chances of improving on the admissibility and application of Digital evidence in the Nigerian Law, and also made recommendations.   The Conclusion summarily highlighted the high and low points of Digital Crimes in the Nigerian Law of Evidence.

  • Concept and Scope
    • Law: There is no one exhaustive definition of Law. Imbued with abstract and concrete dimensions, distinguishable in natural and human types, and applicable in rules and regulations that are far-reaching, an omni-comprehensive definition of law becomes far fetched. Law is both the body of rules and the rules themselves that guide and regulate relations. In the Roman-Germanic Legal family, a distinction is drawn between law (as an absolute or as the whole system, the whole body of rules or also as right {diritto – Italian; derecho – Spanish; droit – French; Gesetz German} and law as the rules, (leggi – Italian; Loi – French; ley Spanish; legge – Italian; recth – German –; diritto – Right English; Legge – Law).

The above distinctions make it difficult to have a definition of law that will end all definitions. A glance at some definitions by some authorities will help us corroborate the position that there is no one exhaustive definition of law. Karl N. Kelly (1983 – 1962) said that: “What officials do about justice is the law”.  [i]    John W. Salmond (1862 – 1924) defined Law as “The body of principles recognized and applied by the State in the administration of justice”.[ii]  According to Herman M. Gluckman (1911 – 1975), Law is “The reservoir of rules on which judges draw for their decisions”. [iii]  The erudite English jurist, William Blackstone (1723 – 1780) speaking of law, held that “It is the rule of action which is prescribed by some superior and which the inferior is bound to obey”.[iv]

The few examples of definitions of law above, point to the fact that law is conceived by the above authorities only in the positive sense; that is, “ius in civitate positum”. This dogmatic position has created and accentuated “legal positivism”. It is true that positive law is a division of law but untrue that it is the only law.  Law consists of both natural and positive dimensions.

  • Internet: Internet or {the Internet} is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. [v]

Margaret Rouse stated that “Internet sometimes called simply “the Net,” is a worldwide system of computer networks – a network of networks in which users at any one computer can, if they have permission, get information from any other computer (and sometimes talk directly to users at other computers).[vi] The Internet was initially and primarily conceived by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the US government in 1969 to be a network that would allow users of a research computer at one university to “talk to” research computers at other universities, in a manner that even when messages are routed or rerouted in more than one direction, the network could continue to function even when the parts were destroyed in the event of military attack or other disasters. The fruit of the ARPA later codenamed ARPAnet later caused it to develop into what today we call the Internet. The Internet Society, however, warned that it is not easy to give an omni-comprehensive definition of Internet simply because it (Internet) could be made to be one thing by one person or another thing by another person. The Internet could be shaped or reshaped, molded or remolded, but most importantly, it can be used to connect people, communities, and countries around the world. In the “A Brief History of the Internet; As told by its Founders, it was clearly noted that “The Internet (is) at once a worldwide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location.”

  • Network

Network defined in the simplest way is considered to be “When you have two or more computers connected to each other, you have a network. The purpose of a network is to enable the sharing of files and information between multiple systems…. Computer networks can be connected through cables, such as Ethernet cables or phone lines, or wirelessly, using wireless networking cards that send and receive data through the air.”[vii]

  • Web

In the filed of computing, Web is a computer programming created by Donald Knuth to implement literate programming. The World Wide Web (WWW) is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators, interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via Internet. [viii] As a substantive, Web is defined as 1., “something formed by or as if by weaving or interweaving. 2. A thin, silken material spun by spiders and the larvae of some insects, as the webworms and tent caterpillars; cobweb. [ix]

1.2. Nigerian Law    and Nigerian Law of Evidence

1.2.1. Nigerian Law: The term, “Nigerian Law” in the context of this paper represents the entire laws guiding the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This means that the concept refers to the whole laws, rules and the system of enforcement of these, provided for the governing of life and human activities in the Nigerian society. These laws, rules and regulations are embodied in a system, a legal system comprising Laws, Courts, Law Personnel, and the Administration of Justice system in Nigeria. The sources of the Nigerian Law are: English law, Statutes (Legislations), Customary law, Islamic law, Case law or judicial precedents, and International law.

1.2.2. Nigerian Law of Evidence: To understand better the Nigerian Law of Evidence, it will be apposite we explain what evidence is, having earlier explained law. A jurist, G. Eche Ada held that evidence could be understood in two ways: literary and technical. Literally, it means something that substantiates the existence of certain facts, while technically she cited the definition by Blackstone, “that which demonstrates, makes clear, or ascertains the truth of the very fact or point in issue”. [x]  For me, evidence is whatever is presented to affirm or deny the existence of a fact in dispute.

A judicial ascertainment of the meaning of evidence was made by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of Akintola and Another V. Solano {1986] 4 S. C. 141 at 184, where in that case, Oputa JSC stated “If a thing is self-evident, it does not require evidence. What therefore is evidence? Simply put, it is the means by which any matter of fact the truth of which is submitted to investigation may be established or disproved. Evidence is therefore necessary to prove or disprove an issue of fact”.

The Law of Evidence in general is defined as the system of rules and judicial discretionary practice which regulates how such material may be presented at trial.[xi] The Nigerian Law of Evidence refers to the systems of rules and judiciary discretionary practice that regulates how the evidence materials may be presented at the trial in the Nigerian courts of law. As a the Nigerian Law is a derivative of the Common Law, the system is largely concerned with exclusion of evidence at trial because most of the times the lay juries might not be able to evaluate certain type of evidence such as hearsay. This situation makes it possible that sometimes the admissibility of such evidence might undermine the integrity of the system; an example of which is evidence obtained by torture. The adversarial nature of the common law is also taken into consideration in shaping the evidence since the parties aim to establish before the court the justice of their case while the court acts to control their submissions, which rather might be overlong or manifest superior or inferior resources.

  • The Nigerian Evidence Act 2011

In the Explanatory Memorandum of The Evidence Act, 2011, it was stated: “This Act repeals the Evidence Act, Cap. E14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, and enacts a new Evidence Act, 2011 which applies to all judicial proceedings in or before Courts in Nigeria.” The above Memorandum explained the whole purpose of this Act. It is divided in 16 Parts comprising 259 sections with many subsections and paragraphs.

One of the most striking features of this Act is that it is the first Act that reflects Digital/Computer/Electronic evidence in the Nigerian Law of Evidence, making Nigeria be able to join the comity of nations in regulating with all computer-based evidences. The challenges and chances of improvement will however, be highlighted as at when due.

  • Digital Evidence in Nigerian Law: Status quo

Digital Evidence in Nigeria; the admissibility of this evidence and application of the proof therefrom; has been a very welcome development. The discretionary powers of the Courts (Judges) were further re-invigorated by the entry in force of the Evidence Act, 2011. Until that time (2011), admissibility of digital evidence was almost impossible and when and where possible, it was more of abuse than of use of this all-important evidence in the contemporary world. Some Parties were wont to presenting evidences violating the privacies of the others. Sometimes, amicably collected electronic information was represented as judicial evidence. Private discussions were preserved, retrieved and tendered as evidence during legal proceedings. There was a total confusion of personal, social and legal relationships. It was then absolutely at the discretion of the Court to accept or refuse it as there were no guiding legal rules.

Digital evidence in the Nigerian law assumed a defined and efficacious dimension by the entry in force of the Evidence Act, 2011. Though there was no express definition of Digital/Computer Evidence in the Act, the efficacy, indication and application of Computer-based evidence in the Act suffice to decipher what it is all about. In treating the admissibility of documents produced by Computers, the Act described in details what, how, when and where the facts produced by computers could constitute evidence admissible by the Courts

Part Two

  • Digital Evidence in Nigeria: Admission of Evidence

Section 84 of Part V of the Evidence Act, 2011 provided the nature and manner of the evidence produced by the computer that could be admissible by the Court.  With the subtitle “Admissibility of Statements in Documents Produced by Computers”, the Section reads

84 (1) In any proceeding a statement contained in a document produced by a computer shall be admissible as evidence of any fact stated in it of which direct oral evidence would be admissible, if it is shown that the conditions in subsection (2) of this section are satisfied in relation to the statement and computer in question.

(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) of this section are —-

            (a) that the document containing the statement was produced by the computer during a period over which the computer was used regularly to store or process information for the purposes of any of the activities regularly carried on over that period, whether for profit or not, whether corporate or not, or by any individual.

            (b) that over that period there was regularly supplied to the computer in the ordinary course of those activities information contained in the statement or of the kind from which the information so contained is derived.

            (c) that throughout the material part of that period the computer was operating properly or, if not, that in any respect in which it was not operating properly or was out of operation during that part of that period was not such as to affect the production of the document or the accuracy of its contents; and

            (d) that the information contained in the statement reproduces or is derived from information supplied to the computer in the ordinary course of those activities.

(3) Where over a period of the function of storing or processing information for the purpose of any activities regularly carried on over that period as mentioned in subsection (2) (a) of this section was regularly performed by computers, whether —-

            (a) by a combination of computers operating over that period;

            (b) by different computers operating in succession over that period;

            (c) by different combinations of computers operating in succession over that period;

            (d) in any other manner involving the successive operation over that period in whatever order of one or more combinations of computers.

All the computers operating for that purpose during that period shall be treated for the purposes of this section as constituting a single computer; and references in this section to a computer shall be constituted accordingly.

(4) In any proceeding where it is desired to give a statement in evidence by virtue of this section, a certificate —-

            (a) identifying the document containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced;

            (b) giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of the document as may be appropriate for the purpose of showing that the document was produced by a computer, dealing with any of the matters to which the conditions mentioned in the subsection (2) above relate, and purporting to be signed by a person occupying a responsible position in relation to the operation of the relevant device or the management of the relevant activities, as the case may be, shall be evidence of the matter stated in the certificate; and for the purpose of this subsection it shall be sufficient for a matter to be stated to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.

(5) For the purposes of this section —-

            (a) information shall be taken to be supplied to a computer if it is supplied to it in any appropriate form and whether  it is supplied directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment:

            (b) where, in the course of activities carried on by any individual or body, information is supplied with a view to its being stored or processed for purposes of those activities by a computer operated otherwise than in the course of those activities, that information, if duly supplied to that computer, shall be taken to be supplied to it in the course of those activities;

(c) a document shall be taken to have been produced by it directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment.

The Sections 1 and 2 above, make it understandable that the Evidence Act 2011 concentrates more on the technical condition of the computer and the action on it that may give rise to an admissible evidence. The modality of retrieval and preservation of the material evidence might not have been of much importance. The regularity of the supply of information to the computer in question must be proved before the statement containing the information from the computer is to be admitted. Spontaneous and/or arbitrary feeding of information that might be admissible was undermined. The underlining of direct oral evidence as an allied factor for the admissibility of computer-based evidence seems to present “orality” as a condition sine qua non to the admissibility of computer-based evidence.

Sections 3, 4, and 5 of Part 84 of same Act, however went further to recognizing other relevant requisites for a valid computer-based evidence. The fact that even when it is a combination of computers operating over that period or different computers operating in succession over that period or by different computers operating in succession over that period or, of other manner involving the successive operation over that period in whatever order, of one or more computers and one or more combinations of computers, different computers operating in succession over that period; it is to be construed single computer (Section 3 a – d).

Section 4 (a – b) introduced that which was absent in the preceding sections (1 – 3): issuing of a certificate identifying the document containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced and giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of that document to prove that document emanated from the computer. The section further re-echoes and strengthens the provisions of Part IV (Oral Evidence), section 68 (Opinions of Experts).

Section 68 reads:

  • When the court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, customary law or custom, or of science or art, or as to identity of handwriting or finger impressions, the opinions upon that point of persons specially skilled in such foreign law, customary law or custom, or science or art in questions as to identity of handwriting or finger impressions are admissible.
  • Persons so specially skilled as mentioned in subsection (1) of this section are called experts.

Section 69 went further to reiterate:

Where there is a question as to foreign law, the opinions of experts who in their profession are acquainted with such law are admissible evidence of it, though such experts may produce to the court books which they declare to be works of authority upon the foreign law in question, which books the court, having received all necessary explanations from the expert, may construe for itself.

The involvement of experts, in this case, computer forensics experts, is a good development. The provenance of the material evidence – technical (equipment or devices) and individual (technologist and legal officer), the methodology of extraction, preservation and presentation of the electronic evidence materials, and so forth, indispensable for the establishment of validity and necessary for admissibility in court processes was accentuated.

Computer forensics or Cyber forensics or Digital forensics or e-discovery mean relatively the same thing yet none has emerged a defacto standard, employing the words of Marcella and Menendez.[xii] The duo defined Computer forensics in two ways, as (1) “the science of locating, extracting, and analyzing types of data from different devices, which specialists then interpret to serve as legal evidence.” And (2) “ the discipline that combines elements of law and computer science to collect and analyze data from computer systems, networks, wireless communications, and storage devices in a way that is admissible as evidence in a court of law.” [xiii]

The Part IV also implicitly created a room for construing “computer evidences admitted in courts such as any file or fragment recovered from the storage devices like e-mail, browsing history, graphics, photographs, or application documents”.[xiv]

  • Digital Evidence in Nigeria: Application of Evidence

Going by the provisions of the Part V, Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011, one could easily discover a lot of application bottlenecks: vagueness in the definition of evidence materials (information) extracted from computers; identification of the retrieved materials with oral evidence and more so making oral evidence the yardstick for measuring the computer-based evidence, as well as reducing expertise information on digital output to only mere opinion and equating this opinion with oral evidence; and also considering the expert’s information and non-expert’s own alike, especially in the identification of handwriting. It is also comprehensible that expert’s (in digital forensics) evidence is likened to the evidence of those persons considered to be well informed in customary laws and even equaled to hearsay evidence.

All these obstacles notwithstanding, the application of Digital Evidence in Nigeria pursuant to the provisions of the Evidence Act 2011 has been established. As the Act officially recognized recording machines, computers and the likes as judicial evidence, data and sound track of a recording gadget and ouput of a computer are also regarded and applied as judicial evidence by the Act. Section 258 (1) paragraph (b) – (d) provides:

(b) any disc, tape, sound track or other device in which sounds  or other data (not being visual images) are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced from it; and

(c) any film, negative, tape or other device in which sounds or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced from it; and

(d) any device by means of which information is recorded, stored or retrievable including computer output.

  • The Challenges of Admission and Application of Digital Evidence in Nigerian Law.

The challenges of admission and application of digital evidence in  of cyber-criminality in Nigeria and the very recent legislation on the admissibility and application of electronic generated evidence in Nigeria, has been an issue itself.

The following are some of the challenges:

  1. Technology
  2. Politics and Economy
  3. Vague definition of concepts
  4. Dependence of Digital Evidence on oral evidence and consideration of it as a hearsay evidence
  5. The over-dependence of the admissibility of electronic evidence on some judges not acquinated with modern technologies, etc.
  • Improvement on the Admission and Application of Evidence in Nigerian Law: Recommendations

  1. The repealing by the Evidence Act 2011 of the Evidence Act 1945 that did previously retain the traditional evidence rules: i) custody and reliability issue, ii) best evidence rule that a party should produce the original document during trial, and, iii) the rule against hearsay evidence; gave space for the inclusion of computer-generated information as a primary evidence. This strengthens the hope that in due time, digital evidence will assume its position of importance as in countries like Russia, USA, Italy, and other developed countries.
  2. The Nigeria Constitution 1999, the Chapter IV (Fundamental Human Rights) provided in Section 36 (1) that “In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality. In   the Order 2 (How to launch Human Rights Suits), paragraph 3, The Constitution also provided that “Any process or document purporting to be meant for human rights proceedings, presented to the Court or its registry, shall not be rejected on the ground of any defect in form or for failing to comply with these or any other rules as long as the Court can reasonably understand the general purport of the document or process and can deal with it without undue inconvenience.” This leaves an ample room for the admission and application of digital evidence in Nigeria.
  • The Evidence Act 2011 also made provisions favouring the admissibility of digital evidence in: (a) Part I Section 3: Admission of any evidence that is made by any other legislation validly in force in Nigeria, (b) Part IV (Oral Evidence), section (68) provides: When the court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law or custom, or of science or art, or as to the identity of handwriting or finger impressions, the opinion upon that point of persons specially skilled in such foreign law, customary law or custom, or science or art, or in questions as to identity of handwriting or finger impressions, are admissible. Section (2) provides that “Persons so specially skilled as mentioned in subsection (1) of this Section are called experts. Section (71) of the same Part IV provides that “Facts not otherwise relevant if they support or are inconsistent with the opinions of experts, when such opinion are admissible.” Part IX of the Act ( Production and Effects of Evidence) Section (149) provides for the presumption of documents admissible in other countries without proof of seal or signature to be also admissible in Nigeria, while Section (153) (allows a presumption as to the telegraphic and electronic messages.
  1. All the above are some of the factors that signal a better future for the admission and application of digital evidence in Nigeria.
  2. It is therefore, recommended that continuous research in the contents of the Evidence Acts 2011 and steadfast improvements on the aspects of it that challenge the admission application of digital evidence in Nigeria be maintained.

Conclusion.

Giovanni Ziccardi witting on “Democrazia elettronica e liberta’ dei dati tra sistemi elettrorali e WikiLeaks” noted that “ It was a very vast room where all human beings, one day, could assemble and many individuals meet in ways that will be unexpected, and even, difficult. It was a change, announced, not only of politics but of the notion what (or who) truly is a human being.”[xv]

The world has become a global village thanks to digital revolution. Nigeria is an important part of the world, the largest and wealthiest country in the black continent with business, political and religious relationships cutting deeply across all nations of the globe.  The Internet is now the heartbeat of global business, politics and religion. In the area of religion, it is even transforming into a mundane religion of light and sound, but which movement is becoming much faster than that of light and sound.

Exploring and exploiting the potentialities of electronic/computer/digital evidence in legal process will be of immense assistance to Nigeria and the world at large.

[i] Cited by L. B. Curzon, Basic Law: An Introduction for Students, 2nd Ed. 1990, p. 5

[ii] ibid

[iii] ibid

[iv] ibid.

[v] (retrieved 30 June, 2017 https:/en.m.wikipedia.or > wiki > internet)

[vi] (posted by Margaret Rouse to WhatIs.com; retrieved 30 June 2017)

[vii] (https:/techterms.com > definition > network, retrieved 29 June 2017)

[viii] (https://en.m.wikipedia.org > wiki > web; retrieved 01 July 2017)

[ix] (www.dictionary.com >browse > web: retrieved 01 July 2017)

[x] Iroye Samuel Opeyemi, Law of Evidence I, (retrieved from Google, 28 June 2017)

[xi] Maureen Spencer and John Spencer, Evidence Concentrate, Oxford University Press, New York, 2009, p. 1.

[xii] Marcella and Menendez (2008) Cited by Irma Resendez, Pablo Martinez, and John Abraham, An Introduction to Digital Forensics, University of texas Pan America (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228864187, retrieved 03 July 2017)

[xiii] ibid.

[xiv] ibid.

[xv] Givanni Ziccardi, “Democrazia elettronica e liberta’ dei dati tra sistemi elettrorali e WikiLeaks”, in Ciberspazio e Diritto, Internet e le Professioni Giuridiche, Investigazioni Digitali, Quarterly Journal, Vol. 12 – No 1. – March 2011, Mucchi editore, Modena, 2011 p. 51.

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