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‘The police must establish a stand-alone anti-cyber

crime unit to counter cyber criminals’


FRIDAY, 05 FEBRUARY 2010 03:28 JIBRIL SADO

The Nigeria Police Force has been admonished to establish a dedicated anti-cyber crime unit if the force is to be
in a position to match stride-for-stride, cyber criminals who continue to portray the country in a negative way
before the international community.
Expressing this position at a function was the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Background Check
International (BCI), Mr. Kola Olugbodi.
Olugbodi was speaking to the Nigerian Compass in an exclusive chat at the end of a five-day workshop
organised by BCI for senior officers of the Lagos State command of the Nigeria Police. The workshop tagged
„Understanding latest trends in cybercrime, hacking and online fraud‟ was held at the Officers‟ Mess, Ikeja,
Lagos.

While highlighting some of the benefits he believes the participating officers have acquired from the workshop,
Olugbodi stressed that although they gained some foundational knowledge on how to fight cyber crime, it was
more than ever, imperative for the police to treat cyber crime in the country with the seriousness it deserves. He
therefore called on the police to vigorously pursue the creation of what he described as a stand-alone anti-cyber
crime unit with experts in cyber activities, to deal with issues of internet fraud, hacking and all sorts of internet-
based crimes.

Olugbodi said: “We at BCI decided to organise this workshop for the police as part of our corporate social
responsibility and we hope that the gesture will ginger the police authorities to seriously explore the possibility of
establishing and professionally running a stand-alone anti-cyber crime unit for the force. The country needs such
and the job of the police can only be made easier with such a move.
“The trend in many countries around the world is to have such a unit. This is not surprising because criminals are
getting more sophisticated by the day and apart from financial crimes conducted on the internet today, terrorists
and other violent criminals are increasingly taking advantage of the accessibility of the web to wreck havoc and
the only way to match these people is to have law enforcement agents who have the knowledge to contend with
them. So, for the police, it is not even a question of they should, but more a question of they must have such a
unit.”

On the immediate gains of the workshop to the participating officers, Olugbodi said that although training
in techniques for combating cyber crime was not something that could be exhaustively taught in five days, he
however expressed the belief that the officers were in a “starting position” as far as the knowledge of cyber crime
fighting measures was concerned.

His words: “The officers now have an understanding of how to unravel basic crime moves on the net, how to
identify fake websites, how to trace the origin of fraudulent e-mails as well as how to track such mails. They now
know that they can investigate and catch perpetrators. There is an awakening in their spirits now about the
dangers of cyber crime and we at BCI expect this to be a challenge on the side of the Nigeria Police to
encourage the trend of ensuring that the men and officers of the force are able to apply cyber knowledge in
fighting cyber criminals instead of relying on luck to unravel cases.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Marvel Akpoyibo who was on hand to hand out certificates of participation
to the officers, thanked the facilitators of the workshop for the “immense contribution” they have made to the
police in Lagos through the workshop. The CP also urged the participants to seize the opportunity afforded them
by the workshop to further their knowledge of computer and the internet.
Akpoyibo said: “Crime generally can be complex, but cyber crime is more complex because of the fact that it
is committed without the victim necessarily seeing the suspect. In the case of such crimes as assault for
example, you will see all the evidence, but this is not so with cyber crime where you have to dig into hidden
corners to make a case. In cyber crime, a person may not even know that a crime has been committed unless he
is learned in computer and in particular, the internet and is therefore able to put figures together.”

“You need some specific training to be able to pin down such crime on specific individuals and part of such
knowledge is what those of you who have participated in this workshop have acquired. I urge you to seek to
expand that knowledge, knowing that it can only make you a better crime fighter. I am glad that this has
taken place in our command and we will not hesitate to recommend it to other commands.”
Over 85 police officers including Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Superintendents of Police (SP), Inspectors
and Sergeants, took part in the workshop.