The Challenges faced by Criminal Justice System and the Role Players in Combating Cybercrime in Nigeria

Ezeji, Chiji (2020)


Cybercrime is a new wave of criminality confronting the law enforcement clusters of the world. The modus operandi of cyber criminals is different from those of conventional thieves and fraudsters. It is a new area of crime that many law enforcement agencies are ill-equipped and under-funded to deal with. The rapidity of innovations in the computer era also makes it extremely difficult for investigators to catch up with criminals who exploit the net for their nefarious ends. The Criminal Justice of Nigeria and its counterpart in other nations are faced with challenges of cybercrime which includes jurisdictional problem; the borderless space of the internet, when a crime is committed on the internet the question arises as to which national legislation should be used to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators? Therefore, it is crucial that the criminal justice of Nigeria adopts proactive measures in detecting and preventing cybercrime, thereby enhancing reduction of the victimization of law abiding citizens. The paper adopted qualitative method. Interview technique was used in obtaining data from twelve carefully selectofficials of the Nigeria Police Force forensic unit, detective unit, crime prevention and investigative unit. The officials were selected because of their expertise in the research topic. Amongst the following are the findings: the paper identified the simplicity of the network, the anonymousness of the users of the World Wide Web makes it difficult to trace the criminals, and cyber criminals impersonate others by using the password of such persons to enter network for criminal purposes. The challenges associated with electronic banking and commerce is that criminals use encryption to conceal evidences, thus, requiring the law enforcement agents to decrypt such evidences before using them for investigations and prosecutions. The following recommendations were suggested in this paper : the law enforcement agencies should establish a regime of constant training and retraining for their operatives, including computer crime detectives, preventers, and investigators. There is an urgent need for more globally coordinated action against cybercrime just as there is need to establish a working group of experts to address cybercrime problems in Nigeria, as well as need to organize various national/international conferences and seminars on cybercrimes so that best practices can be shared.