Critically discussing the patterns
This assignment will be critically discussing the patterns of crime and the development of social control in Nigeria. In order to do this, this assignment will focus on two imperative themes. One is the rights of women in Nigeria are affected due to Nigeria's patriarchal societal norms and values. And two, corruption within the Nigerian government and its link with conflict and human rights abuses. To enhance the discussion, the essay identifies key social, political and economic factors that influence the approaches to crime and social control. Furthermore, it draws on how criminological theory can help explain crime within the country. Lastly, the essay highlights the key issue of state crime; it definitional debates using examples from Nigeria. In doing so, it reflects on the role of Nigeria in international law, international transitional policing and international human rights conventions.
Nigeria is a post-colonial country originally linked with the United Kingdom. Consequently, the country is now shaped by a post-colonial economy, a developing nation emerging from its colonial roots to become socially and economically independent (Jega 2000) by the 1960’s Nigeria gained their political independence. At the same time, the country became a mass exporter of oil across the global economy, generating a significant income stream for social and economic development (Jega 2000). A relationship between democracy and good governance is what is needed for a country to grow and progress however it has been argued that Nigeria, in particular, lack the growth due to the absence of democracy. Nigeria has battled with the governance crisis since its independence, therefore, effecting an economic and social transformation of the country. For example, some reasons which have attributed to the crisis in the governance an increase in the ethno-religious and political conflicts which result in the emergence or ethnic militias, political assassination, kidnapping, acute unemployment, abject poverty and poor infrastructural facilities which have posed a serious threat to national security.
However, despite social and economic development emerging from Nigeria’s significant role in the global economy, the country has experienced political, social and economic drawbacks. This includes dysfunctional leadership involving reckless spending, over-invoicing, and diverting state finances into private accounts. Subsequently, this type of corruption has put a strain on Nigeria's political and economic society.
They are many issues which cause corruption in Nigeria; amongst them are greed, poverty and unemployment. Greed has caused a number of crises resulting in political leaders embezzling funds which are supposed to be used to better the country. According to Mike. U (2019), Nigeria was ranked the second most corrupt nation in the world amongst 91 other countries which their position fluctuated over the years in relation to how many countries were surveyed. However, in 2014 Nigeria was ranked 136 out of 174 surveyed countries in relation to corruption (Transparency international 2014). Despite the improvement, the country still faced several concerns. In 2015 a new government emerged in hope of there being a decrease in corruption despite flaunting that would be the case in his campaign, however, he did not use his power to adhere to his statement, instead has added to the corruption.
According to (Storey Report 2014), embezzlement of the public funds is common, since Nigeria modernised their administrative system there have been misuses of their resources for personal gain. For example, after the death of president Mr Abacha, an investigation commenced in order to conclude if and how much money he embezzled in gas plant construction in Nigeria, the investigation revealed that Mr Abacha had, in fact, stole $100 million which can be considered as a state crime. State crime is defined as ‘illegal or deviant activities perpetrated by the state or with the complicity of state agencies' (Green and Ward 2004). State crime consists of crime which is committed by security forces such as tortured genocide, political crimes such as corruption, economic crimes such as violation of health and safety laws and social and cultural crime such as institutional racism Nigeria are known of committing all of the above. Importantly, these governance characteristics can help explain some of the recent crime trends within Nigeria. For example, (Suleiman and Karim 2015) contend that the emergence of militant groups such as Odua People’s Congress and the Niger Delta Militants is the cause of poor governance in Nigeria. Poor governance has exposed the country to channels of abuse, such as corruption, human rights violations and disregard for laws and has resulted in a toxic mix of the rise of militant groups.
This consistent conflict, alongside poor and corrupt governance, has resulted in an increase in economic and social gaps between the rich and poor (Soniyi 2018). More specifically levels of poverty, unemployment and subsequent poor liveable conditions are directly correlated with Nigeria’s state failure and poor governance and crime being committed. In the reflection of the crime situation and ineffectiveness of the crime control in Nigeria is causing several problems. For example, illegal oil digging leaves those in Nigeria homeless. Despite the oil helping the country expand and become better by enabling the economic growth in the developing nations it leaves some individuals homeless. Amnesty International identifies and figures out why countries were not tackling corporate criminals and why they are not being held accountable. They argued it’s due to the power those in charge withhold therefore they are too powerful to be prosecuted (Guardian 2014).
Furthermore, according to (World Bank group 2004) 63.1% of Nigerians were reported as being poor, which increased to 68% in 2010. Similarly, unemployment pushes individual's corrupt activities, therefore, individuals are forced into corruption to make money to live a better life, and are prone to criminal activities such as taking bribes to work as thugs for politician's. The effects of corruption have affected Nigeria in negative ways, unemployment may have potentially been eradicated to some extent, and for example, the money which is meant to be used to create employment for Nigeria's and potentially reduce poverty is being used and laundered by those in power of the public service.
Poverty increases the likelihood of crime committed by those in social and economic disadvantaged populations which is reflective of the prison population which you talk about now. Due to these circumstances Nigeria's prison population have fluctuated over the years but have always remained alarming. According to (world prison brief), 2000 was the lowest year of Nigeria's population which was 62.9 %, however, in 2010 it increased to 72.9% which then decreased to 67.8%. Nevertheless, according to (Nigerian prison service 2018), out of 51,384 prisoners, only 32% were convicted which is concerning, therefore, prisons are becoming overpopulated and in a sense are used as a tool to captivate and ridicule lower class individuals. On the other hand, amongst these figures, women take into account 2.1% of Nigeria's prison population. Over the years the number of female inmates has increased significantly. In 2000, the number of female prisoners was 709; however, in 2018 the figures increased to 1586 (world prison brief). The Guardian (2017) reported that Nigeria ranked 118th out of 144 countries in the global gender gap report. This suggests that women are facing tougher situation than male in terms of economically and educationally wise as 75% of women are reported as not attending school and in rural areas 51% do not apply for education.
Similarly, from a theoretical perspective, a broad Marxists approach theory aids in explaining how power is held by the bourgeoisie which is those in political power, therefore, the laws and how Nigeria is run are based on the bourgeois ideology to control the masses (Thompson 2016). For example, he proposed that all classes commit crime and the crime of the capitalist class are detrimental for society financially and economically wise paralleled to crime which the lower class commit.However, Nigeria's prison population is quite high when those who are in power are the ones committing a significant crime which are affecting the country (Garland 1990). Poverty is the best explanation as to why Nigeria's prison population is considerably high, according to World Bank group in 2004 63.1% of Nigerian was poor, which increased to 68% in 2010, therefore, individuals are left with no choice but to commit crime in order to survive. Additionally, white collar crime best explains how Nigeria government are using their power to exploit others which is exclusively affecting those who in poverty., For example, white collar crime is criminal acts which are performed by individuals for financial gain, therefore, causing citizens millions, these consist of bribery, extortion, fraud and embezzlement (Sutherland, 1938, Cressey, 1960).
However, when those in power commit these crimes they tend to be brushed off and ignored. For example, according to ( Uzochukw 2019), president Buhari campaign proposed that he will be fighting corruption, nonetheless based on how society was still going if not becoming worse it was identified that the government was not fighting corruption, instead, he was helping to make the situation worse. For example presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar claimed that the president was the problem as the system and policies enabled the president to convict and arrest a former sectary of the government of the federation who was involved in major corruption, however, the president supposedly overlooked and chose to ignore this as he offered the secretary another role during the re-election campaign, therefore, failing to prosecute under the law as . This emphasises that those in power will ignore the crime that one and other are committing knowing that those are the crime that are detrimental to Nigeria's society, therefore, encouraging poor behaviour making ‘the rich get richer and the poor get prison' (Reiman and Leighton 2017).
Corresponding, Nigeria’s faces corruption on a national crisis scale which is the emergence of Boko Haram. Boko Haram emerged in 2002 founded by Mohammed Yusuf, the group's aims were to overthrow Nigeria's government and create an Islamic state as Boko haram ideas are based around an ideology to challenge corruption of Nigerian government. In 2009 the activities of the group transformed after the government cracked down on its followers resulting in their leader Muhammad Yusuf being killed whilst in police custody. Since then the group has vigorously attacked Nigeria’s police, military, Politician, schools and religious buildings, resulting in roughly 13,000 individuals being killed from 2009 -2015 (Shuaibu 2015). Furthermore, due to Nigeria’s high level of unemployment and uneven economic development, the country is a playground for terrorist attacks. That is, the implications of high levels of unemployment and uneven economic development are key factors which can be used when recruiting individuals into joining the terrorist group (reference). Moreover, according to Husaini (2018), 44% of Nigeria’s ‘population are under the age of 15’ therefore there is an increasing amount of unemployed youths who are economically deprived which made them target for recruitment by Boko Haram. Similarly, according to national bureau statistics of (2009-2010) the national unemployment rates for youths in Nigeria increased from 13.1% and in 2009 from ages 15-24 41.6% were unemployed.They mainly detained wives and children of the sect members who in 2013 the federal government released; they were able to find out from some of the children that were made to provide fuel to Boko Haram in order for them to set building and schools on fire (Oloni 2013). Therefore, this shows how individuals are living in poverty due to the failure of the government providing an economic and educational opportunity in deprived areas, consequently the socio-economic status of the country is a vital explanation of the escalation of Boko Haram.
However, according to Uzochukw (2019), an estimated $1.2 billion dollars was invested into purchasing arms to fight against Boko Haram supposedly disappeared which the government failed to explain. Consequently, the cause of corruption is not only affecting the economy, if the money was being used for the economy youths and individuals will be in better living conditions and would not have to join Boko Harem as an option, they are also failing to eradicate Boko Haram due to money being used for self-gratification. Hence why the poverty theory proposed by Hensenclever and Rittberger (2005) explains that the ‘growing of economic, social and political inequalities stems from the conflict which is the cause of concern Nigeria is facing.
Moreover, violence against women and girls is endemic in Nigeria, which became internationally known as it was reported that Boko Haram kidnapped 270 schoolgirls on April 14th 2014 from the community Chibok this sparked off worldwide as #bringbackourgirls. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau announced in a video he released in May 2014 threatening that he would sell the schoolgirls as slaves in the market in exchange for the release of their brethren that are held in different states across Nigeria. Moreover, Zen and Pearson (2014) identified that women are treated less favourably in Nigeria, hence why Boko Haram was able to carry out a mass abduction of many females which is considered as gender-based violence and it's targeting of women. The UN identifies GBV as ‘physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women ‘therefore within Nigeria GBV can be transcended into region, religion and ethnicity with sexual and physical abuse affecting women. For example it is estimated that 35.1% of Igbo women are affected by abusive, however, women still continue to be victims of all types of abuse.
Nigeria consists of 250 ethnic tribes, however, the three largest and dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, and however, the country has encountered a phenomenon known as ethnic inequality. The Nigerian ethnic groups are divided into Hausa which accounts for 29% of the population, Yoruba 21% and Igbo 18%. However, when it comes to hiring people for jobs Hausa individuals tend to be favoured.
According to Nwabunike and Tenkorang (2015), the Nigerian demographic and health survey indicated that Igbo women were more likely to previously have experienced sexual and emotional violence in comparisons to Yoruba women. Furthermore, women with controlling and domineering partners were likely to experience physical, emotional and sexual violence; however, those though women-beating was acceptable and justified were subject to all types of abuse. Similarly, Nigeria’s most common abuse towards females is sex trafficking. Women and girls from Nigeria are recruited into international sex work and trade as the recruiters have a connection with immigration officials in Nigeria and Italy as they lure socially and economically deprived and gullible women into joining them. The UN estimated that Nigeria accounts for 13% of human trafficking out of 4 million individuals who are smuggled yearly. Furthermore, the majority of females who are trafficked, 2000 of them are trafficked to Italy which accounts for 60% of them are Nigerians with 80% coming from Edo and Delta state of Nigeria (state gov 2018). This is because the women were promised lucrative jobs when arriving in Italy. However, upon arrival, their passports were seized and the women were informed their jobs will be to serve men's needs sexually as well as in all other aspects. Furthermore, it was reported that the women were put through sessions of voodoo or black magic which were used as threats of any attempts to resist or try and escape, death will be cast upon them.
In Nigeria, women are considered as second class citizens as there is the commonality of the general perception of the roles women play in society and the best place for them is the kitchen. The Nigerian society is patriarchal which a major feature of the traditional society is, therefore, it is a structure of a set of relations with materials which enable men to dominate women. For example, as women are discriminated against In relation to education, being mistreated, seen as objects, therefore, are objectified to trafficking it has reduced women to being inferior (False 2013). Irrespective of liberal feminism they see gender inequality emerging from influence and traditional attitudes about what the appropriate role of men and women in society is therefore in relation to Nigeria they continuation of this causes several issues in the country (Pateman, 1987). Furthermore, the decisions/coercive techniques used to convince women to become part of the sex trafficking industry may also be linked to the socio-economic challenges facing a large disproportional proportion of Nigeria such as poverty enables women/girls to be more prone to becoming victims to human trafficking (UNESCO 2006).
Correspondingly, from a theoretical framework perspective, human trafficking can be explained by rational choice theory and strain theory. Rational choice theory helps to examine how human trafficking is driven by contextual factors, for example, due to limited structural opportunities available to women is the root of their willingness to take risk and trust a significant other hence why some women become victims of sex trafficking due to putting their trust in the traffickers, who are willing to take added risk to attain their ultimate goal of accumulating wealth (Parsons 2005). In contrast, from a strain theory perspective, Nigeria faces a societal pressure to accumulate wealth and enhance their social status; this creates an increase for the vulnerability of women who are socially disadvantaged into deviant behaviour or anomie such as trafficking for the sex trade. In this context, females exchange their bodies as a survival mechanism (Bankole 2019). Therefore, women’s rights as humans are continuously affected due economic and political instability, consequently making them prone to violence, abuse and exploitation which violate women’s rights on several counts. For example the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in article 4 ‘no one should be held in slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms, likewise article 5 states ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ all of which are subject to the women who are being trafficked (United Nations human rights office of the commissioner 2019).Furthermore, the Palmero Protocol is seen as the biggest anti-trafficking law for the international community as it was known as the first agreement that has taken a comprehensive international approach in attempting to eradicate sex trafficking which the UN adopted. In relational to Nigeria, an organisation named the coalition against trafficking in women international promotes the rights of women as they work with international organisations in order to prevent the organised crime of trafficking (United Nations office on drugs and crime 2019). The Palmero protocol addresses sex trafficking from human rights perspectives which focuses on the protection of the victim rights as well as from a criminal justice perspective taking into consideration sex trafficking being considered a transnational organised crime. The Palermo protocol was adopted and accessed by the general assembly resolution in 2000, it states that significant action needs to commence in order to avoid and combat trafficking especially involvements from women and children. The protocol request that their international comprehensive response which consist of strategies to prevent trafficking, for example, the government strengthening their legislature measures to discourage the increase of demand, therefore tackling economic and social deprivation as women who deprived are victimized. Furthermore, the report highlights that the government needs to punish whilst protecting the rights of victims and these procedures need to be implemented worldwide. Additionally, the organised crime consists of a group of individuals whether that may be national or internationally engaging in criminal enterprises for profit, therefore, this best explains what sex trafficking Is in terms of the leaders exploiting women for their own personal financial gain (Haynes 2004). As a response to sex trafficking, the UN adopted a convention transnational organised crime to combat issues regarding smuggling and sex trafficking how only states who adopted this are part of the agreement. Similarly, The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) was created in 2003 proposed that sex trafficking can be stopped through the use of campaigns to promote awareness as many people are ignorant to the topic. For example, some view sex trafficking as prostitution and failing to understand that the majority of the women are being held against their own will (NAPTIP 2017). In contrast, Agbu (2003) argues that the elimination of corruption would form the elimination of sex trafficking as the government has to enable sex trafficking to become a profitable and low-risk achievement for traffickers. Therefore, if the country was not corrupted in several aspects for example, politically, the government embezzling money was addressed then the money could be used to help out Nigeria economic which could potentially reduce corruption. In conclusion, based on the evidence in this assignment it is fair to conclude that Nigeria is corrupted in several aspects. The corruption amongst the government such as money embezzlement has unfolded corruption in Nigeria. Therefore, other forms of corruption emerged, for example, Boko Haram a terrorist organisation killing several people in Nigeria and kidnapping predominantly women. This was able to identify that Nigeria is also a patriarchal society based on their traditional views of the roles women and men play in society, therefore, women are subject to abuse and sex trafficking. However, it was examined that if the government were held accountable for their reckless spending and greed then poverty could potentially be eradicated and the appropriate tools would have been able to be used in order to address Boko Haram and sex trafficking. However, they are agencies which aid in helping those who are victims of sex trafficking such as the national agency for the prohibition of trafficking in person however Nigeria needs to institutes groups such as these and implement them into Nigeria's society in order to tackle corruption in the form of trafficking.