By Dr. Nicholas O. Agbo, Lecturer, University of Nigeria

(Being a paper presented at Legal Practice (LPD) Webinar Part 1, held on 11 November 2021. THEME: Role of Lawyers in Resolving Nigeria’s Security and Stability Challenges)


Nigeria is presently enmeshed in a rising insecurity of unimaginable dimension. On April 26, 2021 Boko Haram killed 30 Nigerian soldiers in the Sokoto. Several terror groups ranging from Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, bandits, jihadist, kidnappers, etc.,  now waste human life more easier than one can waste a mere animal. The entire Nigerian citizenry now literally sleep with two eyes open, emasculated by the fear of these terror groups and the pains and destruction they are capable of unleashing on innocent law abiding citizen. In the wake all these, the economy has receded deep into the wood as the national legal tender continues its astronomical downward plunge. This paper seeks to interrogate the sources, and implication of the rising state of insecurity in the nation with a view to finding possible solution through law. The key recommendations of the paper will be an immediate return to true federalism, strict adherence to the rule of law, vigorous enforcement of the financial crimes laws as well as enacting more efficacious one such as the Unexplained Wealth Orders as a tool for reviving the dead war against corruption, immediate enactment of law to establish State Police, codification of moral values and ethics and embarking upon Moral rearmament of the citizenry, redressing of obvious past and present wrongs and placement of merit over mediocrity.

Keyword: Boko Haram, Banditry, insecurity, Federalism, Kidnappers.


The primary purpose of government is to ensure the security and welfare of the governed. The Nigerian 1999 Constitution expressly stated in Section 14(2)(b)  thus: “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government…”[1] In the wake of various incidences of insecurity across the nation, ranging from kidnapping of hundreds of school children, kidnapping and killing the kidnapped, even after the ransom has been paid, in some case, to the recent killing of two soldiers and abduction of one solders from the safety of their barracks portends an ominous sign that the state has failed in the discharge of it primary duty. Events of recent years have shown that insecurity is a regional items is the menus of Nigerian national life. There is the Niger Delta crisis that began in the 1990s reaching its crescendo with the extrajudicial killing of the founder and leader of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. In the North East, North West and North Central geopolitical zones of the nation the Boko Haram, Armed Bandits and Fulani Herdsmen are unleashing havoc on the local populace, kidnapping, maiming and killing innocent citizens. In the South East you have the Kidnappers and Unknown Gun Men(UGM), while in the South West activities of the Bandits and Fulani Herdsmen are very noticeable. The insecurity situation in the nation is taking a bizarre status with an Islamic Scholar Ahmad Gummi maintaining that Bandits should be allowed to carry AK47 and should not be declared a terrorist organization. He gave as his reason the following:

NE is already and is still devastated by this madness for over 12 years. If we allow, terror, to set in into these raw naïve unexposed bandits, NW will be in ruins sooner than later. Already IPOB are destroying SE, and Igboho has set the ball of confusion rolling in SW. For those who want to destroy the NW, it’s a good recipe. Turn bandits into religious zealots. Tell me, what then remains of Nigeria?”[2]

The Global terror index 2020, ranked Nigeria 3 out of the top 10 Terrorist nations citing Boko Haram as the terrorist organization responsible for most of deaths[3].

The 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) has ranked Nigeria 146 among 163 independent nations and territories, according to its level of peacefulness. Nigeria moved one step from 147 in 2020, though it still ranked eighth among the least peaceful countries in Africa after South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan and Mali[4]. On several occasion Nigerians living abroad have been kidnapped, raped and sometime killed to the extent that some of them have sworn never to return back to Nigeria, choosing even to be buried in their respective countries of domicile, all to the nations national shame.

The implication of these classifications is that Nigeria, being an unsafe place, has the natural consequences that both nationals and foreigners will be scared to invest in the economy of the nation. Corollary to the foregoing is that Nigerian living in Diaspora who account for $34 billion[5] remitted into the country annually, may lose faith in the future of the nation and as a result decide to keep their money in the country of their domiciles with its very negative effect on an already crumbling economy.

With the inflow of such a huge sum stopped, some unemployed youth, restrained by the inflow from joining the deviant groups, may be pushed into criminal activities, including violent crimes to make a living and to take out their anger on a passive society, giving credence to the statement of Onyegbula that “the standard of living and the deteriorating social infrastructure like roads, refineries, hospitals and educational system have all contributed to a nation of desperate people.”[6]

Every facet of Nigerian life has been adversely affected by the rising insecurity in the nation; educationally, socially, politically and economically. Business men and women, both citizens and residents, are moving their business out of Nigeria to a clime with better enabling einvironment for investment. of selling military equipment to the insurgents who destabilize the country.

The goal of this paper is to examine the causes and implications of rising insecurity of Nigeria, which reared its head in the 90s but appears to be worsening in a frightening proportion, and to critically look at how a solution could be achieved law either in existence through new legislations.


A true definition of insecurity must be preceded by the knowledge of what is security. Security is the state of being free from danger or threat. Conversely insecurity is a state of being beset by danger and threat. Insecurity can be defined as a state of being insecure where insecure is defined as: “not safe, liable to collapse, give way”[7]

In the Nigerian context, the definitions offered by William appears very apt as will be seen in the discussion of implications of rising insecurity in the country. According to him, security is widely associated with mitigating the threat to cherished values which, particularly if left unchecked in the near future, threatens the existence of a specific referent object.

Security of life and property is the essence of government as undergirded by the social contract theory where the people to whom sovereignty belong surrender some of their rights to the government in exchange for protection as espoused by various theorist, especially Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu[8].

Several scholars has described insecurity in one way or the other but Achumba, Ighomereho &Akpor-Robaro defines insecurity in a way that captures the reality of the current situation of Nigeria. According them, insecurity is a state of not knowing, a lack of control, and the inability to take defensive action against forces that portend harm or danger to an individual or group, or that make them vulnerable.

Insecurity has also been defined as “a state of fear, anxiety, restlessness, uncertainty.”[9] In order words a person will be in a state of insecurity when he or she is in a “state of fear or anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection.”[10] Insecurity is lack of safety or existence of danger; hazard; uncertainty; lack of trust; doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lack of stability; disturbed; lack of protection and unsafe.[11]

  1. Causes of insecurity in Nigeria:

Insecurity in Nigeria is a result of years of systemic failure in Nigeria driven by distended corruption. Contributing factors to the insecurity challenges in Nigeria include but are not failed government, corruption, Kleptocracy, absence of state police, un-remedied wrongs, porous borders.

  1. Failed government

The central responsibility of every government is the protection of the governed. The Nigerian 1999 constitution, as amended, recognized this prime duty and codified it in section 14(b)[12] but  the trend of events show, very ‘point blankly’ that the nations has failed in the delivery of this responsibility which is the essence of government in the first place. Right on the heels of the failure of government to protect the governed is the fact that the nation is fast sliding into the status of a failed state. The Governor of Benue State Mr. Samuel Orton lamented that the nation is fast becoming a failed states.[13] In the same vain, the Governor of Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku stated that even a blind man can see that the nation is sliding into anarchy and state failure while recounting the killings and reprisal killings between Tivs and Fulanis and calling for immediate amendment of the 1999 constitution to provide for state police as the federal police cannot be everywhere at all time to offer the much needed security[14].

It is becoming very obvious that the poorly trained ill-equipped security officers are often overwhelmed by the superior firepower of Bandits, Herdsmen, unknown Gunmen and kidnappers, etc. Not too long ago, on April 26th 2021, to be precise, More than 30 Nigerian soldiers were killed in militant attack in Sokoto state.[15] As if this was not shameful enough, on July 18, 2021, bandits shot down a Nigerian Air force (NAF) fighter Jet in northern Nigeria on the border between Zamfara and Katsina states confirming the superior fire power of the bandits over that of the state defense unit.[16]

  1. Corruption:

Corruption can be defined as dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. Transparency International defines corruption simply as abuse of entrusted power for private gain[17] but continues to state as follows: “Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development and further exacerbates inequality, poverty, social division and the environmental crisis.”[18] Flowing naturally from the above is the fact that diversion of public funds for private interests, recruitment of mediocrity instead of excellence, manipulation of the electoral system to elect people against the will of the electorates are all products of corruption.  As rightly stated by Onifade Comfort etal,

“A peak into the spectrum of national life reveals the incidence of distended corruption and avarice as expressed by Nigerians in high and low places, conflict and confusion in various communities and region, selfishness and pervasive lawlessness in the conduct of daily life as the guiding principles of human social interaction.”[19]

It is not uncommon to see a person who has never held any job who has no means of livelihood but few months after being elected or appointed into office he becomes a multimillionaire owning properties worth hundreds of millions all over the state and the nations in general. The fact that such overnight wealth are never questioned shows how distended and reeking the corruption in Nigeria is, so much that aberration has now been elevated to the norm. This is as further corroborated by the fact the Nigeria ranked 149 out of 180 countries in the Corruption perception index of Transparency International.[20]

Section 14(3) of the Nigerian Constitution Expressly provides,

“The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”[21]

But this is just in theory as in practice the reverse is the case. In essence where the federal government makes appointment in such a way that the heads of all the security agencies are drawn from one ethnic group that act is actually corruption and a corruption from the tops means a reeking corruption in the entire fabrics of the country.

  1. Kleptocracy

The best form of government the world over is democracy described as government of the people, by the people and for the people and that is what Nigeria is supposed to be practicing. Key element of democracy include but not limited to:

  • free and fair elections: regularly scheduled elections in which all voters have an equal opportunity to participate and where final results reflect honest vote totals.
  • checks and balances: a system of separate branches of government that ensures political power is not concentrated in the hands of a single branch
  • minimal corruption: public trust that most elected leaders and civil servants (e.g., police officers and judges) perform their jobs without bribery or criminality
  • rule of law: no one is above the law, including government leaders transparency: information on how officials conduct the public business and spend tax payers money is available and easily understood
  • independent judiciary: judges have freedom to decide cases impartially, based on their interpretation of the law and the facts[22]

The above essential elements of democracy are lacking in Nigeria experiment of democracy. Elections are massively rigged so much that the electorates have lost faith in the ballot box. The only free fair and credible election Nigeria ever had was the June 12 1993 and those immediately before that. Prof. Humphrey Nwosu who supervised that historic election has this to say:

the conventional methods of direct closed/open primaries had proved to be unsuitable for Nigeria given its present level of economic, social and political development. On the other hand, we viewed the nonconventional methods of selection as those indirect methods of selection that were more appropriate to Nigeria’s level of political development…..Above all the generality of the Nigerian public as well as international observers had confidence in the process and the electoral outcome, until the shattering news of annulment on June 23, 1993[23]

The June 12 election and the election of governors, and state and national assemblies before it, was a strong foundation laid for what would have been a strong democratic nation but with its annulment, the country has tethered on the precipice of a very weak foundation at the danger of total collapse.  “Undouble, the June 12, 1993, presidential election was adjudged by both national and international observers as the freest, fairest and most peaceful election in Nigeria History”[24]

It remains a question to be answered why Nigeria will jettison a system that produced the only free fair and credible election in her history. Because of absence of credible election people get to power through various corrupt and manipulated ways and as such are not interested in serving the people but rather in serving their masters who got them there, in the first place. The result is that what we have, in practice, is a form of government known as Geriatric Kleptocracy. The same group of people who have been in government since independent are being recycled over the years till date.

  1. Absence of State Police

In any true federalism there is always a state police that will be under the command of the state Executive Governor who is the chief security officer of the state. If all the 36 states have their own state police in addition to the federal police under the command of the federal government, security breaches will be foiled as soon they arose preventing their several repeat occurrence. Several well-meaning Nigerians, including the state chief executives under the aegis of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have been calling for the state police as a means of containing the inesecurity challenges in the country as it is obvious that the entire police force is so overwhelmed that, now and then, a huge number of military personnel have to be deployed to perform police duties with its serious implications on professionalism. In the words of the chairperson of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Koyode Fayemi,

the call for state police is an extension of true federalism as each federating unit is supposed to have control of its security apparatus. Each of the federating units (which are the states) should have control over their own security apparatus. That is not to say that we still won’t have a federal police which responds to federal issues but I terms of wider knowledge of what obtains in my locality, the best person to use is somebody from the locality who has a better much richer understanding and will be faster in response to immediate needs of that environment.”[25]

It is high time Section 214 (1) of the 1999 Constitution[26], which provided that ‘There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof’, is amended to give way for state police.

  1. Un-Remedied Past Wrongs:

Section 15(2) of the Nigerian 1999 constitution provides that “national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited”[27]. Unfortunately the above section has been observed more in breach than in performance. It is obvious that there is manifest discrimination against certain people because of their race or ethnic group. For instance the fact that not one single person from the south east geopolitical zone is heading any of the security agencies of the nation cannot be a coincidence. It must be a deliberate act of discrimination, most likely in difference to President Buhari’s 5%/95% principle. The sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation as is envisaged under section 14(4) of the 1999 constitution is definitely lacking.

When the Nigeria Biafran war ended in 1970 and no victor no vanquished was declared it was supposed to be followed up with Reintegration, Reconstruction and Reconciliation (3Rs).  If the 3Rs had been strictly implemented there may not have been MOSSOB, or IPOB and the rest of agitation groups within its progeny.

If the resource sharing formula had been equitably resolved there would not have been Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (Mosop), Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF),   Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV), etc. Even with the extension and implementation of Amnesty Program the restiveness of the Niger Delta is still very much alive showing that only the symptoms were treated while the main cause of the ailment remain unaddressed.  It is high time government sat down with all the discriminated, injured and dissatisfied people and assuage their grievances as way of stemming future agitation before they snowball into irredeemable centrifugal explosion.

  1. Porous border.

One of the indispensable condition of statehood is that the state must have a well-defined boarder. Nigeria’s borders with its neighboring states appear very porous and it should be a thing of concern. Writing under the caption ‘Porous borders: Nigeria’s endless security dilemma’, Mr. Tunde Ajala wrote:

The government’s inaction is even more disturbing because it’s been proven that the porous borders have aided illegal arms proliferation, especially through the northern borders, while criminals from different parts of the world stroll into the country, contributing immeasurably to the frightening level of insecurity Nigeria is grappling with today.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has repeatedly, since the inception of his regime in 2015, blamed the festering insecurity in the country on the influx of illegal arms from Libya and close associates of the country’s former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed since 2011.”[28]

The state of Nigerian borders cannot be better painted than the foregoing. It explained vividly that the security challenges in Nigeria is multidimensional; domestic and international. One bewildering phenomenon of the Nigeria porous border is the seeming likelihood that it was not actually by accident but by design. Not quite long ago, the governor of Bauchi State was seen on National TV advocate that Nigerian borders should be left open for Fulanis from any other part of the world to come in:

“Fulani man is a global or African person. He moves from The Gambia to Senegal and his nationality is Fulani….So, we cannot just close our borders and say the Fulani man is not a Nigerian. In most cases, the crisis is precipitated by those outside Nigeria. When there is a reprisal, it is not the Fulani man within Nigeria that causes it. It is that culture of getting revenge which is embedded in the traditional Fulani man that attracts reprisal.”[29]

The foregoing is very scary. It means that most of the mass killings in the country may have been done by foreigner who took advantage of Nigeria open border police to stroll in and leave carnage in their track. The sooner our borders are fully secured to forestall the infiltration of armed bandits from other countries the easier it will be for the country to tackle its domestic security challenges that is fast consuming her.


The implication of the rising insecurity in Nigeria is legion but may be analyzed under 3 major heading, namely Economic, emergence of more destabilizing multiple agitations and degeneration into failed state.

  1. Economic implication.

In northern Nigeria, the Boko Haram group, founded in 2002 by Utaz Mohammed Yusuf, has made major cities in the northern region of Nigeria cities of fear. Surprisingly, despite all the calls for the organization to be proscribed as terrorist organization nothing has been done to that effect even when many countries and non-governmental organization has unequivocal declared it a terrorist organization. The executive summary of United States Country Report of human Rights practices on Nigeria painted a vivid eerie picture of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The insurgency in the Northeast by the militant terrorist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa continued. The groups conducted numerous attacks on government and civilian targets, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, widespread destruction, the internal displacement of more than two million persons, and the external displacement of somewhat more than an estimated 300,000 Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries as of December 14.[30]

According to Nwagboso, between 2007-2011 the Boko Haram group had carried out the following attacks in Nigeria:

  1. The Boko Haram stormed Police station at Maiduguri in 2009 and this resulted to death of hundreds of Nigerians. ii. The group freed hundreds of prisoners in Maiduguri jail in September 2010. iii. In December 2010, the Boko Haram bombed the city of Jos and this led to death of 80 Nigerians. iv. Dozens of Nigerians have been killed from 2007 to 2011 largely due to sporadic shootings in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital by Boko Haram group. v. Bombed several states in the north after the May 2011 inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan. vi. Bombed Police Headquarters, Abuja in June, 2011. vii. Bombing of churches in Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Bauchi, Adamawa, Abuja in 2011. [31]

As aptly noted by Nwagboso, the natural consequences of the criminal and unwholesome acts of the Boko Haram group “has not only made Maiduguri, Abuja, Suleja, Damaturu, Minna, among others, cities of fear but also made Nigeria unsafe for investors and tourists.” For instance, between 2005 -2008 Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to Nigeria averaged $5:3 billion annually but from 2015-2019 the FDI flow in to Nigeria diminished to $3.3 billion annually owing to the heightened insecurity that marked the said period.[32] It is obvious that there is remarkable drop in the Foreign Direct Investment inflow into Nigeria as a result of these insecurity challenges. It is noteworthy that in 2012 a group of investors from Germany that had wanted to build a cement factory in Maiduguri had to withdraw from the project due to the activities of Boko Haram. With the drop in FDI, economic stagnation, unemployment, poverty, etc., will naturally follow.

As the continuous clashes between Fulani herders and local indigenous farmers persist, production plummets. There will not be enough for local consumption talk less of exportation to earn foreign currency.  In the same vein, resources that would have come into the country to boast the economy, both from citizens living in diaspora and foreigners in tourism, may cease as many countries warn their national to desist from travelling to Nigeria. In desperate measure to contain the insecurity challenges, government will be forced to spend disproportionate amount of the already scarce resources in security vote. Regrettably even such disproportionate security spending fuels the vehicle that drive Nigeria’s hyper corruption.[33] As the threatening insecurities challenges continue to distort the economy of  the nation whose official legal tender is almost worthless, having lost more than 80%[34] of its value, economic hardship will bit even harder and trigger brain drain resulting in the country loosing most of its best brains.

With investors, both local and international, being scared away, the economy will take a hard knock resulting in stiff competition for the limited supply of very scarce good.

  1. Rising of multiple agitations:

We now have Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) in the north, Odua People’s Congress and Amotekun in the south west, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the south east, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta in the  south/south, and the list goes on. These are created solely for the defense of its members or regions.  These organizations sprang up as a result of agitation of marginalization or to fill the lacuna created by the failure of government to defend them and, now and then, they clash with each other and with government, thereby exacerbating the pervading complex insecurity in the nation. According to Onifide etal,

“the state of insecurity in the country has been sustained by a regressing economy…., unemployment and a growing sense of disenchantment that government and its representatives have not been fair to the people, thus pushing some citizens into criminal activities including violent crimes to make a living and to take out their anger on a passive society. Consequently, the state of increase lawless, violence and criminality that has become characteristic of life in Nigeria has further increase the dismalness of insecurity facing the country.”[35]

It has become a cyclical issue for as insecurity challenges fail to be addressed systematically, it trigger the practical demonstration of the disorganization theory where the physical environment breeds deviant who follow the crime saturated atmosphere to propagate deviancy as a normal way of life.

  1. Failed state status:

It is a well-established fact that the essence of government is to ensure the security and welfare of the people. It follows therefore that a state that refuses or fails to discharge this critical duty ought to cease from being a state. A state is said to have failed when it is consumed by micro or internal violence and ceases, or becomes unable, to deliver positive political goods to their inhabitants.[36] Commonly cited examples are Commonly cited as example of failed states are Somalia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Bosnia-Herzegovina , Rwanda, Sudan etc. The present situation in Nigeria may not strictly qualify as a failed state but to the extent that the nation, acutely plagued by micro insecurity, is unable to deliver the political goods to the people, is overwhelmed by internal violence, so much so that even the military barracks are not safe, it is well on its way to junkyard of failed state as already pointed by some sitting governors of some states in the federation.[37]


The rising insecurity and its disastrous consequences in our nation are the direct product of state failure as identified above due, in large part, to violations of relevant constitutional and legislative provision created for that purpose. It follows, naturally, that the cure will be to double back on those provision and legislations, in strict performance, underpinned by unequivocal political will to drive a vigorous implementation thereof.

Extant literature on the causes of worsening insecurity in Nigeria point at corruption as the chief culprit of the menace.  To that end, the first port of call in finding solution will be to vigorously implement the laws targeted at corruption such as Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)[38], Enact and Unexplained Wealth Order, and restore the dignity of the ballot through credible electoral system.

  1. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The EFCC was established in 2003 to tackle the Advance fee fraud crimes popularly called 419 with Nuhu Rebadu as its premier chairman. It has powers to investigate all financial Crimes including the advance free fraud[39] and to examine and investigate all reported cases of economic and financial crimes with a view to identifying individuals, corporate bodies or groups involved. EFCC has handled many corruption cases but it has also been dogged by corruption itself culminating in the arrest of the immediate past Acting Chairman of the Commission Mr. Ibrahim Magu who has been replace with Mohammed Umar Abba. It is high time the government ensured that the leadership and staff of such a strategic commission are men and women of high moral standard that will be above board as far as corruption is concerned to be able to discharge their sacred duty.

  1. Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)

The ICPC has full powers to investigate and prosecute a person on whom allegation of corruption or any other financial crime has been made.[40] It has a provision for allegation against even the President or Governor of a state to be investigated by an independent counsel appointed by the Attorney General.[41] The problem is that the due to long years of endemic corruption and the culture elevating the aberration the norm, the political will is lacking for the highly placed individual to even have allegation of corruption against them talk less of prosecution them and getting a conviction which would then serve as deterrent to others. That political will is needed now if the country is to heal.

  1. Unexplained Wealth Orders.

Much of the socio-political tension that fuel the insecurity challenges in Nigeria comes from the politicians who get to power true illegitimate means d have formed what Onifide etal, called “a thieving and amoral minority whose only qualification is access to governance and the national till.”[42] Once ensconced in their office they recruit unemployed, vulnerable and impoverished youths “arming them with dangerous weapons to pursue and track down their political foes and to sustain a climate of repression, fear and cowardice so they can continue in their political offices ad infinitum.”[43] It is obvious that the wealth used to sustain the atmosphere of insecurity were acquired illegally and once the source of such illegal wealth is sealed its effect will equally cease. The fastest way to achieve this will be to put up a very stiff fight against corruption by the enactment of a new law akin to unexplained wealth orders of Great Britain.

UWOs a law introduced in United Kingdom by section 1-7 of Financial Crimes Act of 2017 and became effective in 2018[44]. The new law enables the court to grant orders that give new civil powers to UK law enforcement agencies to help them identify, investigate and seize property suspected to represent the proceeds of criminal activity. The high point of this new law is that it reverses the burden of proves and places it on the suspect to explain the source of his or her wealth were thee is a probable cause to believe that his or her legitimate source of income cannot afford such property. With this kind of law in Nigeria the EFCC and ICPC will have more powers to proceed against corrupt politicians and their family members.

  1. Restore The Dignity Of The Ballot Through Credible Electoral System.

In the history of democratic experience of Nigeria there is one fact that all Nigerians and international community are agreed upon and that is that the only free, fair, credible election Nigeria ever had was that of June 12 1993 using option A4. Surprisingly after that election was annulled the system was jettisoned giving rise to rigged and manipulated electoral result that throws up unqualified and mediocre people into position of trust with its consequences that has brought the nation to her knees. This is more like killing the geese that lays the golden eggs.  The Option A4 has been said to be unconventional but so is the problem with Nigeria. It makes sense that and unconventional problem should be attacked and decimated with unconventional weapon especially when every conventional weapon have failed over the span of almost 3 decades.  It is time to amend the electoral laws of Nigeria to reintroduce the only electoral system that had ever produced untainted result as well as stipulate more serious penalties for electoral fraudsters.


Off all the contributing factors to the rising insecurity in our nation, corruption is the substructure that sustains the malaise. The is because what was supposed to be a democracy is, in practice, a kleptocracy where the frail electoral system is manipulated to put amoral thieving horde into office. The journey to national healing ought to start with Moral Re-armament because, “Providing moral leadership that eschews evil, corruption, vices, inequity, injustice and wickedness will compel the people to model the character of their leaders and vice versa.”[45]

Against the backdrop of the foregoing this paper will make the following recommendations:

  1. Restore the dignity of the ballot through credible electoral system by vigorous prosecution of electoral Crimes.
  2. Return to true federalism where federating unit control their own economic resourse while paying tax to the federal government
  3. Establishment of state police in keeping with the terms of true federalism obtainable in civilized countries, especially the United States of America, who presidential system of government we are copying.
  4. Pursue vigorous national integration as provided for in the Nigerian constitution by giving all states, races, and tribes a sense of belonging in the appointment of top selective offices of the federation.
  5. Avoiding discrimination by choosing excellence over mediocrity.
  6. Immediate proscription of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization
  7. Effective policing of all Nigerian borders to stop the infiltration of non-national especially the criminals.

The magnitude of spate of insecurity in the country today has never been witness in the history of the nation. Driving the conflagration is the distended corruption within by the government itself. The most intractable obstacle to tackling corruption in Nigeria is that it has the blessing of the ruling APC government. This is well borne out but the confession of the then Chairman of the party and former Governor of Edo state Adam Oshiomhole, at the Edo state APC Presidential rally on Thursday January 17, 2019, that “once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven”. It lives no one in doubt that APC is a sanctuary of treasury looters and that President Buhari’s fight against corruption is a window dresser and a witch hunt.[46]

But this is a time to stand up for the country. The nation had survival the Nigerian/Biafran war, it survived the Adaka Boro break away attempt in the on February 23rd 1966,[47] but with more than half of the geopolitical zone spoiling for war of exit, it is very imperative that the genuine dialogue should be pursued, based on the above recommendations, if the saying that Nigeria must remain one will have any meaning.

By Dr. Nicholas O. Agbo, (08168009390,

(Being a paper presented at Legal Practice (LPD) Webinar Part 1, held on 11 November 2021. THEME: Role of Lawyers in Resolving Nigeria’s Security and Stability Challenges)

[1] CFR1999, Section 14(2)(b).

[2] Mohamed Babangida, ‘Gumi Warns Buhari against declaring Bandits Terrorist’ Premium Time: Assessed November 6th, 2021.

[3] Top Ten Terrorist Countries, Terrorism index 2020 Assessed November 5th 2021.

[4] Tope Templer Olaiya, Nigeria ranks 146th on Global Peace Index, 8th least peaceful in Africa

[5]Kunle Aderinokun, ‘Diaspora Remittances Hit $34bn as Nigerian Migrant Workers Top List’ Assessed November 6th 2021.

[6] Onyebgula, S. Democracy in Nigeria: A critical overview of the Journey sofa. CDD News Quarterly Journal of the Center for   Democracy and Development

[7]New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language, lexicon publications Inc., Revised and updated 1992. Danbury, Ct.

[8] Muyiwa, F. etal,  ‘Social Contract Theories And Governance In Contemporary Nigeria’(2016)<>

[9] Ndubuisi-Okolo P, ‘Insecurity in Nigeria: the implication for industrialization and Sustainable Development’ (2019)5(6)7.

[10] Beland, D. (2005). The Political Construction of Collective Insecurity: From Moral Panic to Blame Avoidance and Organized Irresponsibility. Center for European Studies Working Paper Series 126.

[11]I.C. Achumba etal, ‘Security challenges in Nigeria and the implications for Business Activities and Sustainable Development’, Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, Vo. 4. No. 2

[12] CFRN 1999 Section 14(b)

[13] Peter Duru, ‘Nigerian is fast becoming a failed state’ Vanguard News: November 6th, 2021.

[14] Sylvanus Viashima, ‘Nigeria is fast becoming a failed state’Sun Newspapers: November 6th, 2021

[15] More than 30 Nigerian Soldiers Killed in Militant Attack: Assessed November 7th, 2021.

[16] Chris Ewokor, ‘Nigerian military jet shot down by Bandits-Military’ (2021)BBC News <>Assessed November 7th 2021.

[17] Transparency International, ‘What is Corruption? <>

[18] Ibid

[19] Confort O.etal, ‘Addressing the Insecurity Challenge in Nigeria: The imperative of Moral Values and Virtue Ethics’(2013) 2(13)Global Journal of Human Social Science Political Science <> Assessed November 7,2021.

[20] Council on Foreign Relations, ‘Perception of Corruption in Nigeria remain high according to NGO’(2020) Assessed Nobember 6th 2021.

[21] CFRN, 1999.

[22] Identifying essential elements of Democracy: assessed November 6th 2021.

[23] Humphrey Nwosu, ‘Laying the foundation for Nigeria’s Democracy: My Account of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election and its Annulment’ (2017) New York: Page Publishing Inc. 240.

[24] Id n8 at p 23.

[25] The case for State Police, Thisdayliveonline: Assessed November 7th, 2021.

[26] CFRN 1999

[27] CFRN 1999

[28] Tunde Ajala, ‘Nigerian Endless Security Challenges’ Punch Newspaper: Assessed November 7th 2021.

[29] Citizenship Rights in Africa Initiative, ‘Nigeria: Bauchi State Governor on Stateless Fulani: November 7, 2021.

[30] Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria: Assessed November 7th, 2021.

[31] Chris I. Nwagboso, ‘Security Challenges and Economy of the Nigerian State(2007-2011)’, American Journal of Contemporary Research, Vol 2 No.6 2012

[32] Financial Africa, ‘Ten economic consequences of growing insecurity in Nigeria’: Ten economic consequences of growing insecurity in Nigeria: Assessed November 7th, 2021.

[33]EFCC eventually uncovered how the said $2.1b was shared out as bribes to matters unrelated to security. The then National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who had custody of the money was eventually arrested along with many other suspects.

[34] It is sad to recall that in 1973 the Naira was exchanging at N1-$62 but today it the naira exchanges for N579-$1. See the Decline and fall of the Naira in Vanguard news of August 9, 2021.

[35] Confort O.etal, ‘Addressing the Insecurity Challenge in Nigeria: The imperative of Moral Values and Virtue Ethics’(2013) 2(13)Global Journal of Human Social Science Political Science Assessed November 8th , 2021.

[36] Robert Bates, ‘When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late Century Africa’(2008)  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

[37] Id Bauchi and Benue.

[38] Independ Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission Act, 2000.

[39] EFCC section 6(c)

[40] ICPC ss 27-42; s54, 61.

[41] ICPC s54

[42] Onifide c. etal, ‘Addressing the Insecurity Challenge in Nigeria: The imperative of Moral Values and Virtues Ethics(2013) 2(13) <>.

[43] Onifade c. etal, ‘Addressing the Insecurity Challenge in Nigeria: The imperative of Moral Values and Virtues Ethics(2013) 2(13) <>

[44] Transparency International Uk, ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders-a brief guide’ <>

[45] Onifade c. etal, ‘Addressing the Insecurity Challenge in Nigeria: The imperative of Moral Values and Virtues Ethics(2013) 2(13) <>

[46] Sunday N, ‘Once you join APC your sins are forgiven’(2019) Vanguard<> Assessed November 8th 2021.

[47] Eromo Egbejule,‘The West African Nation that lasted 12 days’ Assessed November 8th, 2021.

Written By Obioma Ezenwobodo Esq

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