A Kogi High Court Judge, Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye, has called on the National Assembly to establish a legislative framework to regulate e-commerce in the country.
Omolaye-Ajileye made the call in his presentation at a webinar organised by the Rule of Law Development Foundation (ROLDF) on Wednesday in Lokoja.
In the paper titled: “Technology and The Law: A Call for A Paradigm Shift in the Legal Profession in Nigeria, the Jurist,” he decried the absence of laws regulating e-commerce.
He said the “exigencies of the modernity of our age demand that the National Assembly takes urgent and proactive steps to enact the requisite electronic transaction laws.”
Omolaye-Ajileye observed that due to the growing use of technology, countries around the world were enacting laws to protect consumers that engaged in e-commerce or online transactions.
“But none exists in Nigeria in the class of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law, otherwise called the UNCITRAL Model Law on Commerce,” he said.
He said in the absence of a law regulating electronic transactions, consumers who engaged in such transactions would be doing that at their own peril.
According to him, it is this legislative lacuna that opened up a recent controversy over the legitimacy or otherwise of cryptocurrency.
He submitted that the solution did not lie in the Central Bank Governor’s unilateral declaration of cryptocurrency as an illegal money but in appropriate authorities filling the legislative or regulatory gaps.
The jurist stressed that Nigeria, with a growing economy had no reason to lag behind such a global trend.
Omolaye-Ajileye urged that the current legislative apathy and complacency on issues relating to technology ought to be addressed with dispatch as “the world is matching on and Nigeria cannot afford to stagnate.”
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to without further delay, remove all existing inhibitions and initiate appropriate legislation to protect consumers engaged in e-commerce.
Joseph Daudu (SAN), Coordinator, ROLDF, commended the submission of the jurist.
Daudu assured the participants of the determination of ROLDF to pursue the enactment of the relevant laws.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Jeugmark, an eCommerce website specialising in handicraft items made by Nigerian youths reported that Nigerians are more comfortable shopping on eCommerce websites than social media.