Crime and Violence in Contemporary Nigeria: A Socio-Legal Therapy for Sustainable Democracy



The global acceptance of democracy as the desirable system of modern governance is beyond disputation. Experience in world affairs has however shown that democracy cannot be sustained in any nation whose very existence is threatened by social instability, some of the determinant indices of which are crime and violence. Nigeria's nascent democratic life has continued to witness an upsurge in various criminal tendencies as well as violent activities across the land. Hardly a day passes in Nigeria without a media report of these tendencies and activities. This development has necessitated a critical evaluation of the efficacy or even the suitability of Nigerian criminal law to meet the challenges of this era. Attempts are made in this paper to diagnose the crisis of the Nigerian criminal justice system vis-à-vis the demands of social control. Effort is made to identify the fountains of crimes and violent upheavals in Nigeria while a pragmatic approach for the prevention and control of these vices is proffered towards meting the challenges of the present and future. The trajectories for overhauling the institutional and structural framework in these regards, for the enhancement of sustainable democracy in Nigeria in the new millennium, are critically discussed.

IFE Psychologia (2002) 10(1), 135-143

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