Crime and Justice in Nigeria: An Experiment in Democracy

Dick T. Andzenge, St. Cloud State University
Flora Myamba, St. Cloud State University

Nigeria introduced its most recent contitution in 1999, which was followed by national elections that resulted in the current experiment with democracy. In 2000 the elected civilian regime introduced the anti-corruption law. The two documents purported to become the beacons of the nation's political and bureaucratic institutions. at the occasion of the signing into law of the bill on June 13, 2000, the president, Olusegun Obasanjo, expressed a firm hope that the Law will mark a turning point in all major aspects of the lives of Nigerians. The authors examine the national efforts against crime and corruption problems in Nigeria by looking at available data on reported rates of violent crime and corruption between 1999 and 2003, and on the criminal justice system by looking at the organization and administration of the national police force, courts and correctional institutions. The authors find that violent crime continues to be a major problem in Nigeria. They also find limited organizational and administrative capacity in the fight against crime. The authors conclude that Nigera will have to do much more to educate citizens and support those charged with responsibility for law and order.

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Updated 05/20/2006