SERAP, BudgIT, and Nigerians Sue CBN Over ‘Cybersecurity Levy’ Directive


Lawsuit Filed Against CBN Over ‘Cybersecurity Levy’ Directive

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, and 136 concerned Nigerians have jointly initiated legal action against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over its directive to banks to implement a ‘cybersecurity levy’ on electronic transactions.

The CBN’s directive, issued last week, instructed banks to impose a levy of 0.5% on all electronic transactions, with the proceeds to be remitted to the ‘national cybersecurity fund’. However, SERAP, BudgIT, and other plaintiffs argue that this levy is unlawful and violates constitutional provisions.

In the lawsuit, filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the CBN’s directive is illegal, null, and void. They contend that the levy, as directed by the CBN, contravenes sections of the Cybercrimes Act 2015 and the Nigerian Constitution.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs are seeking an interim injunction to prevent the enforcement of the CBN’s directive pending the determination of the lawsuit. They argue that millions of Nigerians would suffer irreparable harm if the levy is unlawfully deducted from their accounts.

The lawsuit, spearheaded by lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, alleges that the CBN’s directive is an infringement on the rights of bank customers and is inconsistent with the Cybercrimes Act and constitutional provisions regarding revenue collection and the protection of property rights.

No hearing date has been set for the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs are urging the court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of justice and to uphold the rule of law in the country.

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