THE IMPACT OF JUDICIAL SYSTEM ON CRIME REDUCTION IN NIGERIA
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POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS ON THE IMPACT OF JUDICIAL SYSTEM ON CRIME REDUCTION IN NIGERIA
THE IMPACT OF JUDICIAL SYSTEM ON CRIME REDUCTION IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Crime is one of the human security problems confronting humanity across the world. Nations have grappled to contain the rising incidence of homicide, armed robbery, and kidnap, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, illegal gun running and host of others. According to the report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2011, homicides globally were estimated at 468,000 and more than a third (36%) was estimated to have occurred in Africa, 31% in the Americas, 27% in Asia, 5% in Europe and 1% in the tropical Pacific region. Continent of Africa has been on the foremost on global statistics on crime. It was revealed that South Africa and Nigeria have recorded high incidents of violent and non-violent crimes in recent times. Incidents of murder increased from 15 609 murders in 2011/12 to 16 259 murders in 2012/13 in South Africa, with increase of 650 murder cases or a 4,2% increase when comparing the total numbers of murders with the previous year as revealed by Africa Check, (2013). The same report also revealed that, murders and attempted murders that take place during aggravated robbery or inter-group conflict (such as gang or taxi violence), and vigilantism make up between 35% and 45% of all murders and attempted murders.
Nigeria is currently caught in the web of crime dilemma, manifesting in the convulsive upsurge of both violent and non-violent crimes. Notable in this regard are the rising incidents of armed robbery, assassination and ransom-driven kidnapping, which are now ravaging the polity like a tsunami and spreading a climate of fears and anxieties about public safety. The sudden increase in crime has been ongoing as Nigeria has been on the global crime map since 1980s. These throes of crime for decades are traceable to poverty, poor parental upbringing, and greed amongst the youth; get rich quick mentality, inadequate crime control model of national security among others.
The judiciary is vested with the power of upholding the rule of law by interpreting, construing and applying the laws of the land in the resolution of disputes and act as checks on the two other arms while also adjudicating on contentious issues. The establishment of other agencies like State Security Service (SSS), Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a laudable effort towards crime prevention and control, their narrow focus and few personnel inhibits them from functioning in a broad day to day manner like the police. Some of them apart from the State Security Service that is consigned to the gathering of intelligence reports don’t exist even at the State or Local Government levels. They leave the day to day policing of the entire country more at the door-steps of the police.
The ability of the Nigerian police and other security agencies in the country to effectively prevent crime has often been called to question. As a matter of fact, many have lost faith in the security agencies going by the incessant increase in the crime rate. Crime prevention basically involves the disruption of mechanisms, which cause crime events. In other words, the central question to crime prevention is how to disrupt the causes of crime Okunola (2002). Crime prevention involves the community, government as well as individuals; crime control involves the whole of the criminal justice system, that is, the police, courts and prisons.
It is clearly evident that the judicial system in Nigeria is trying to reduce crime to a zero level but however, their efforts are not enough. This study is aimed at studying the the impact of judicial system on crime reduction in Nigeria and therefore, findings from this study will give more insight on how the judiciary can make Nigeria to be a crime free nation and also restores her pride as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Crime is a universal occurrence and differs to an extent among the various nations of the world. The Nigerian crime problem is in various dimensions and is capable of crippling its corporate existence as well as efforts towards sustainable development. Tanimu (2006), stated that the Nigerian corporate existence can be undermined by a number of factors among which is an escalating and uncontrolled crime problem. Security and crime have been deeply rooted in the political history of this country, particularly in recent time, which has emerged as a key concept in Nigeria’s struggle for good governance, sustainable democracy and development.
The judicial system in the Nigeria is responsible for maintaining law and order and must make sure they carry out their functions effectively without any interference by the other arms. There is obviously a reason to check whether they effectively carrying out their functions in the country by trying to reduce crime rate in the country. Certainly, this is what this study intends to do.
1.3 Research Questions
This research will be carried out to answer the following research questions:
i) what is the prevalence of judicial system in crime reduction in Nigeria?
ii) what are the reasons for crime reduction by judicial system in Nigeria?
iii) what are ways the judicial system can effectively reduce crime in Nigeria?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the impact the impact of judicial system on crime reduction in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are: to;
i) to determine the prevalence of judicial system in crime reduction in Nigeria
ii) to establish the reasons for crime reduction by judicial system in Nigeria
iii) to inquire the ways the judicial system can effectively reduce crime in Nigeria
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study sought to investigate the impact of the impact of judicial system on crime reduction in Nigeria. Findings from this study will be beneficial to the researcher, the government and the judicial arm of government. It will also contribute to academic knowledge in the areas of laws and social sciences.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will cover will every arm that makes up the judiciary in Nigeria, staring from the Nigerian Police, immigration, EFCC, ICPC, DSS and the likes. Variables of interest include: the judicial system and crime reduction. While the judicial system is the independent variable, crime reduction will be the dependent variable.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The researcher was only faced with lack of adequate attention by the respondents as they busy and therefore had limited time to answer the questions.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The following terms were used during the course of the study:
Judicial system: This is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes.
Crime reduction: Crime prevention is the attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice.