Armed Robbery and Armed Robbers in Contemporary Nigeria: The social learning and model visited

Smart Egwu Otu


This present study aligns with the age-long calls for the study of criminal behaviour in different societies as both distinct and the consequence of rapid socio-culture, political, and economic changes blowing over these societies (Clifford 1965; Bennett 1980; Brown, Esbensen and Geis 1991). It succinctly highlights, the ubiquity of armed robbery in contemporary Nigeria, and noting some of its unique characteristics in contemporary Nigeria, the paper holds that both the offence and offenders combine characteristic elements of the western archetype and local (Nigerian) traits. Drawing 86 samples of armed robbers from three selected prisons in the southeastern states of Nigeria, the paper developed a model referred to as “emulation” which offers a far reaching explanation of current robbery in Nigeria. Using the Chi-square statistical test, sources of learning about robbery (independent variable) were weighted against some salient features of the offence such as planning operation, role played by gang members, and reasons for involvement (dependent variables). Analyses of data provide findings which corroborate our constructed model. For instance, results suggest that offenders who learnt about robbery through reading and watching from the screens are more likely to carry weapons, plan operation, share roles, and have unemployment as their major reason for involvement in robbery.

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International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782