Criminology And Criminal Justice In Nigeria
The main focus of the study is to examine criminology and criminal justice in Nigeria using Abuja as case study. Survey research design was employed for the study with the aid of convenience sampling method, 36 lawyers was selected from five Law chambers in Abuja. Well structure questionnaire was issued to the enrolled participant out of which 30 were retrieved and validated for the study. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square Statistical Tool(SPSS v.2.3).
Findings from the study revealed that Although there has been lapses in criminal justice in Nigeria, the judiciary do engage in criminal investigation before administration of justice in Nigeria. More so findings revealed that the judiciary has been professional enough to an extent within the ambience of criminology while giving criminal justice in Nigeria. The study therefore recommends that The problem of corruption and unethical practices among judiciary and law enforcement agencies need to be sincerely and decisively tackled. other suggestion cut across funding, legislative intervention, policy change, structural reform, personnel training and non-governmental stakeholders‟ intervention.
1.1 Background of the Study
There is no one ‘cause’ of crime. Crime is a highly complex phenomenon that changes across cultures and across time. Activities that are legal in one country (e.g. alcohol consumption in the UK) are sometimes illegal in others (e.g. strict Muslim countries). As cultures change over time, behaviours that once were not criminalized may become criminalized (and then decriminalized againe.g. alcohol prohibition in the USA),thus leading to the need to establish institution responsible for investigating crimes and administration of criminal justice. As the study of crime and society’s responses to it, criminology is an interdisciplinary field that brings together scholars, clinicians, and other professionals from all types of disciplines to seek an understanding of some of the behaviors that have deep and broad consequences for society. How has crime been studied in the past? How has it been conceptualized by different societies? Why are there inappropriate (i.e., criminal and illegitimate) codes of conduct in all societies where documentation exists? These are some of the questions we will pursue in this entry. First, we will describe what has been studied under the umbrella term “criminology,” giving us an appreciation of the history of the field.
More so, the administration of justice refers to the maintenance of right within a political community by means of the physical force of the state. It is the state’s application of the sanction of force to the rule of right (Garner, 2004). But in its broad sense, the administration of justice is involved in the exercise of every governmental function, be it legislative, executive or judicial. It is one of the vital functions of state, for the aim of state and government is the welfare and happiness of the citizens (Ewelukwa,1980). In this regard, the organs involved in the administration of justice include the police, the legal profession, the court and the prisons.
The Criminal Justice System of a nation represents a system or structure through which the laws guiding the existence and order of such a society is applied and the rights of the citizens are upheld. Certain characteristics have been associated with CJS. They include fairness, justice, equality effectiveness and efficiency (Alemika, 2014; Alemika & Chukwuma, 2005; Gabbay, 2005). These characteristics spell out equity, offence-punishment proportionality, constitutionality, public order and safety and integrity among other things. Criminal justice implies ascertaining whether or not an accused is guilty of a crime and ensuring that due process is involved in the determination of guilt or innocence and the administration of punishment or compensations as appropriate. Thus, the CJS is a social influencing agent that is concerned with orderliness, peace and tranquility in most societies. In influencing others, behaviors can be regulated and managed. However, if the process of influencing others is, in any form, tainted, then such influence may become either negative, difficult to achieve and, or, may be met with outright rebellion and disregard. Therefore in persuading, exerting influence and ensuring compliance, the agents of influence must be credible (Ajzen, 1992; Passer, Smith, Atkinson, Mitchell & Muir, 2003). A criminal justice system is a system made up of different agents charged with the responsibilities of investigating and prosecuting criminal cases and the correction and rehabilitation of those found guilty of opposing the laws. (Olonisakin, Ogunleye, and, Adebayo, 2017).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A lot has been said and written about criminal justice administration in Nigeria, its challenges and the injustices of its machinery. However, the predominant focus has been directed towards issues of prison congestion, capital punishment, police brutality and the awaiting trial inmates phenomenon, who though are not convicted persons, but as at 2006 accounted for about 65% of the number of persons incarcerated in Nigeria‟s prisons as a result of poor investigation of crime and proper administration of justice. It is trite that the pivot of the criminal justice system is crime detection and investigation, which serves as the pivot of every criminal case. This is especially so in an adversarial system of criminal justice like that which is in operation in Nigeria. In an adversarial system of justice, it is the duty of the accuser referred to as the prosecutor, to ensure that all pieces of evidence which are legally required to prove the charge against the defendant have been collected and collated through investigation and is ready for presentation before the court, for the determination of the defendant‟s guilt or innocence.Criminal investigation is so important to the entire criminal justice system that its absence, tardy or shoddy execution may lead to delay in the administration of justice, the victimization of innocent citizens and escape of offenders from paying for their misdeeds and being reformed. Thus it is against the backdrop this study set to examine criminology and criminal justice in Nigeria.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main focus of the study is to examine criminology and criminal justice in Nigeria. Specifically the study seeks:
- To ascertain if the judiciary do proper criminal investigation before administration of justice in Nigeria.
- To examine if the judiciary has been professional enough within the ambience of criminology while giving criminal justice in Nigeria.
- To examines the challenges of criminal investigations in Nigeria.
- To profound suggestions for improving criminal investigative activities in Nigeria
1.4 Research Hypothesis
- HO1: The judiciary do no conduct proper criminal investigation before administration of justice in Nigeria.
HI1: The judiciary do conduct proper criminal investigation before administration of justice in Nigeria.
- HO2: The judiciary has not been professional enough within the ambience of criminology while giving criminal justice in Nigeria.
HI2: The judiciary has been professional enough within the ambience of criminology while giving criminal justice in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be significant to law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and all bodies responsible for administration of justice in Nigeria. Findings from the study will lay emphasis on the need for all the parties involved to be professional in carrying out their duties as well as uphold the nitty-gritty of criminology. To avoid diversion of justice on the platter of corrupt practices. Finally the study will empirically contribute to the body of knowledge and serve as reference material to other student and researchers who wish to conduct further studies in related field.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study borders on criminology and criminal justice in Nigeria. The study is however delimited to selected law chambers in Abuja.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
During the course of this research, the following factors are proposed to be a limitation.
Financial constraints tend to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview).
The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research is reduced.
1.8 Definition of Terms
This is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.
The process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals.
Criminal Justice System:
Is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.
Criminology is a field primarily interested in acts constituted as crimes and the subsequent social responses to these criminal acts
Judiciary is the branch of government whose task is the authoritative adjudication of controversies over the application of laws in specific situations.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The main focus of the study is to examine criminology and criminal justice in Nigeria using Abuja as case study. It ascertained if the judiciary do proper criminal investigation before administration of justice in Nigeria. It examined if the judiciary has been professional enough within the ambience of criminology while giving criminal justice in Nigeria. It examines the challenges of criminal investigations in Nigeria.
Survey research design was employed for the study with the aid of convenience sampling method, 36 lawyers was selected from five Law chambers in Abuja. Well structure questionnaire was issued to the enrolled participant out of which 30 were retrieved and validated for the study. Hypothesis was tested usign Chi-Square Statistical Tool(SPSS v.2.3).
The Nigerian criminal administration of justice system is besieged by a host challenges among which are poor and ineffective criminal investigations. On the other hand Criminology as an interdisciplinary study of crime, and the responses to crime have generated a wealth of knowledge surrounding the commission of crime, its predictors, social situations that elicit it, and many other topics. criminal investigations in Nigeria as have been shown in the foregoing discourse are also inundated by a legion of challenges, eight of which were examined herein. In this work, the link between ineffective criminal investigations and some of the inefficiencies in Nigeria‟s criminal administration of justice system have been demonstrated.
Although there has been lapses in criminal justice in Nigeria, findings from the study revealed that the judiciary do engage in criminal investigation before administration of justice in Nigeria. More so findings revealed that the judiciary has been professional enough to an extent within the ambience of criminology while giving criminal justice in Nigeria even though they need to do more.
From the findings of the study, the study recommends that Some suggestions have been made for the improvement of criminal investigations infrastructure and activities. These suggestions cut across funding, legislative intervention, policy change, structural reform, personnel training and non-governmental stakeholders‟ intervention. Some of these will require governmental action both at the federal and state levels; others require non-governmental stakeholders‟ action while some others will require concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
More so, The problem of corruption and unethical practices among judiciary and law enforcement agencies need to be sincerely and decisively tackled. If there are any grudges the Nigerian public nurse against the police, the worst of them is bribery and corruption. Although, the police force is a miniature of the wider society, yet it is unarguable that in Nigeria, the police as an institution is the poster boy of wanton corruption in public service system. These suggestions are broad signposts to what ought to be done and certainly, further detailed research is required on each of the proposed suggestions.
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