Legal And Institutional Frameworks In The Control Of Economic And Financial Crimes In Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal

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Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Dennis Ude Ekumankama
Published On: 31/10/2022
Volume: 8
Issue: 5
First Page: 319
Last Page: 346
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Dennis Ude Ekumankama, Legal And Institutional Frameworks in the Control of Economic and Financial Crimes in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal, Volume 8 Issue 5, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 319-346, Published on 31/10/2022, Available at


The incidence of economic and financial crimes in Nigeria predates Nigeria’s independence which happened in 1960. This is evidenced by the fact that far before independence Nigeria had through her colonial masters passed the Criminal Code and the Panel Code Laws applicable in the Southern and the Northern parts of Nigeria respectively. In those codes are provisions that prohibit most of the acts and omissions related to economic and financial crimes. However, Nigerians coming out of the civil war between 1966 and 1970 went into a serious battle for survival resulting in all manner of criminal activities on a large scale. The early post-war period, therefore, witnessed the perpetration of offences that were alien to Nigerian society including human trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, Terrorism and Terrorist funding etc. Then, there came the master monster generally known as corruption which had reared its ugly head that has earned Nigeria a failed State.

The inadequacies of the Nigeria Criminal Justice System to carter for the overwhelming sophisticated and cancerous forms of economic and financial crimes necessitated the emergence of a new regime of laws. The effect of the new laws was actually the over-criminalization of human activities as legislative measures of controlling these hydra-headed crimes. The whole essence was to delineate offences that should remain within the ambit of straitjacket traditional criminal justice system from those that ought to be covered by the new regime.

The product of economic crime is illicit and subversive. It undermines economic and political programmes thereby subverting the honesty and integrity of the nation. Nigeria is internationally known as the haven of corruption and has been christened as one of the most corrupt countries. Nigeria’s economy is battered now.

The various laws passed for the purposes of fighting economic and financial crimes as enumerated in this paper are basically a conscious response to the debilitating effect of these crimes and the fact of failure in finding a solution. In all this, we are of the firm view that Nigerians’ problem is the absence of positive political will to fight corruption.

Keywords: Economic and Financial Crimes, Corruption, Legal Framework, Institutional Framework, Problems and Solutions

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