Chapter 35

Search and Seizure in Digital Forensic Investigation

Chapter Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Search and Seizure Defined
  3. Fundamental Issues for Consideration in Search and Seizure in the Digital Age
    1. Privacy Issues and Search Warrants
    2. The Computer and the Warrant Process
    3. Nature of Search in the Technological Environment
  4. Existing Rules on Search and Seizure in Nigeria
  5. Applicable Rules on Search and Seizure of Computers and Their Devices in Digital Forensic Investigation in Nigeria
    1. Explanatory Notes on Section 45 of the Act
  6. Description of what to be Seized: Computer System Search
    1. Laser Printers
    2. Hard Disk Print Buffers
    3. Print Spooler Device
    4. Monitors
    5. Scanners
  7. Digital Property in the Cloud Subject to Search and Seizure
    1. Drafting a Warrant for Cloud Search and Seizure
  8. Affidavit in Support of Warrant for Search and Seizure of Computers
    1. The Role of the Computer in the Offence
    2. Description of Technical Information as contained in the Affidavit
    3. Description of the Role of the Computer in the Offence, where the Computer is an Instrumentality of the Crime
    4. Search Plan of the Computer used for the Illegal Purpose
  9. Further Consideration of Relevant Sections of the Cybercrime Act in relation to Search and Seizure
    1. Section 45(2)(e) Relating to Use or Cause to use a Computer or any Device to Search any Data contained in or available to any Computer System or Computer Network
    2. Section 45(2)(f): Use of any Technology to Decode or Decrypt any Coded or Encrypted Data contained in a Computer into Readable Text or Comprehensible Format
  10. Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement: Warrantless Searches
    1. Exigent Circumstances
    2. The Plain View Doctrine
    3. Border Searches
    4. Consent Searches
    5. Privileged and Confidential Information: The Doctors, Lawyers and the Clergy
  11. Offsite Search and Authorisation Request
  12. Need for Engagement of Experts in Search and Seizure Operations
  13. Is there Any Permissible Time Period for Examining Seized Media, Imposed by the Nigeria Cybercrime Act, 2015?
  14. Acquiring Data for Search and Seizure by Investigators
  15. Jurisdiction of a Judge to issue Search Warrant on a Computer System Existing Outside its National Territory
    1. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
  16. Basic Tips for Government Agencies for Request for Assistance from the Authority of Foreign Jurisdictions in Investigation, sequel to Search and Seizure
  17. Illegally-Obtained Evidence: Improper Search and Seizure
    1. Effect of Sections 14 and 15 of the Evidence Act 2011 on Illegally or Improperly obtained Evidence
The importance of this in criminal investigation cannot be over-emphasised. In other to appreciate the argument that may ensue in the execution of the said section, Chapter 35 gives a detailed insight into service providers’ authority for seizure and preservation of electronic data in Nigeria.