Criminology Project Topics

Kidnapping in Nigeria: Issues and Solutions

Kidnapping in Nigeria Issues and Solutions

Kidnapping in Nigeria: Issues and Solutions

Chapter One

Objective of the study

  1. To conduct a thorough analysis of the socio-economic, political, and institutional factors that contribute to the emergence and proliferation of kidnapping in Nigeria.
  2. To evaluate the socio-economic, psychological, and humanitarian consequences of kidnapping on individuals, families, communities, and the nation as a whole.
  3. To critically assess the effectiveness of existing law enforcement and judicial mechanisms in preventing, investigating, and prosecuting kidnapping cases.



Kidnapping in Nigeria: An existential threat

The north-west of Nigeria as well as the entire country are at existential risk of kidnapping, the worst security concern the country has recently faced, (Imhonopi & Urim, 2016). Kidnapping is one of the security challenges plaguing the nation at the moment; as a result, many lives and valuables have been lost, (Ojo, 2020). Kidnappers make the lives of their captives and the people they care about miserable by demanding an outrageous ransom to gain their release, (Oluwole, & Balogun, 2022). Kidnappings have increased significantly in Nigeria, which have triggered displacement of people and disruption of social and economic activities. In the quest to provide the ransom, many families have sold their valuables; some have lost their source of livelihood to effect the release of their relatives. Moreover, paying ransom does not even guarantee that the victim will be released unhurt, (Abdullahi, 2023). Kidnap is derived from the two words ‘kid’ and ‘nab.” While kid literally indicates a child, nab is to steal by force, (Ngwamah, 2014; Alexander & Klein 2009). The social and economic life of Nigeria and the rest of the globe are not new to kidnapping, but its evolution has been rapid and expansionary in nature with the introduction of technology and financial reward. Globally, there have been reported cases of kidnappings, For example, the kidnapping of Colonel Charles Lindbergh’s son on March 1, 1932, by German carpenter Bruno Hauptmann in return for a ransom, (Gardner LC, 2004). That is why Egwu, (2016) suggests that kidnapping is the forceful capture and detention of law-abiding citizens by organizations, individuals, or groups of people infringing on the fundamental rights of the person with an intention to extort money or cause harm to the individual.

Kidnapping is not a new concept; kidnapping is an old concept that deals with the forcible snatching and taking into captivity of minors in the olden days. These children who are kidnapped are forced into captivity and converted into domestic labor machines; some are made farm hands and others turned into sex slaves, (Alexander & Klein 2009). However, modern day trends have changed the narrative in terms of motives, procedures, and coverage. Especially in Nigeria, where the cases have become so frequent that food chains have been disrupted across the nation, this happens because farmers are afraid of going to the farms because of the fear of kidnappers in Nigeria, (Justin, 2021). Kidnapping is defined as the abduction of a person by illegal force, being carried off through deception and holding them against their will, with a demand for ransom, (Uzorma & Nwanegbo-Ben 2014). Sophisticated human trafficking is the framework in which modern slavery occurs, and it occasionally starts with kidnapping. Additionally Inyang & Abraham, (2013) described it as “the unlawful taking, taking away, and detention of a person against that person’s will. In addition, Fage, & Alabi, (2017) suggest that it is the forced or dishonest abduction of an individual or a group of individuals for objectives that encompass monetary, political, and religious objectives in the quest for supremacy. Exposing the victim’s families, the nation, and the world, to absurd suffering and devastation, the reason the south-east, the Niger Delta, and the south-western area continued to see high levels of kidnappings until recently, when hostages were also been taken in the northern states of Nigeria. The threat of kidnapping in Nigeria are surrounded by several ideas of causation; while some others contend that it is caused by factors like unemployment, resource control agitation, and religious fanaticism, others conclude that it is political, while points to ‘get rich quick mentality’ among the youth, (Olalekan, et al., 2018). Without regard to the motive, no man shall kidnap another and demand a ransom. The recent rise in kidnapping instances is particularly concerning.





In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.


Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.


According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine Kidnapping in Nigeria: issues and solutions. Selected residents in Kaduna south, Kaduna state form the population of the study.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Kidnapping in Nigeria: issues and solutions. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing Kidnapping in Nigeria: issues and solutions.


This study was on Kidnapping in Nigeria: issues and solutions. Three objectives were raised which included:  To conduct a thorough analysis of the socio-economic, political, and institutional factors that contribute to the emergence and proliferation of kidnapping in Nigeria, to evaluate the socio-economic, psychological, and humanitarian consequences of kidnapping on individuals, families, communities, and the nation as a whole and to critically assess the effectiveness of existing law enforcement and judicial mechanisms in preventing, investigating, and prosecuting kidnapping cases. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected residents in Kaduna south, Kaduna state. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).


In conclusion, addressing the issue of kidnapping in Nigeria requires concerted efforts from government authorities, civil society organizations, international partners, and communities. By implementing the proposed solutions and fostering collaboration across sectors and borders, Nigeria can effectively combat kidnapping, promote peace and security, and create a conducive environment for socio-economic development and prosperity. Only through collective action and sustained commitment can Nigeria overcome the scourge of kidnapping and build a safer, more resilient society for all its citizens.


  1. Prioritize poverty alleviation programs, job creation initiatives, and skills development training to address the socio-economic factors that contribute to vulnerability to kidnapping. Targeted interventions should focus on marginalized communities and regions most affected by poverty and unemployment.
  2. Strengthen anti-corruption efforts within law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and other public institutions to improve accountability, transparency, and integrity. Implement measures to detect, investigate, and prosecute cases of corruption effectively, including the establishment of specialized anti-corruption units and the enforcement of stringent penalties for corrupt practices.
  3. Invest in the training, equipment, and capacity-building of law enforcement agencies to enhance their ability to prevent, investigate, and respond to kidnapping incidents. Improve coordination and information-sharing mechanisms among relevant agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to facilitate prompt and effective responses to kidnapping threats.
  4. Implement reforms to expedite the adjudication of kidnapping cases and ensure swift and fair trials for perpetrators. Strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to handle kidnapping cases, including the provision of specialized training for judges, prosecutors, and legal practitioners involved in prosecuting kidnapping offenses.
  5. Foster community-based approaches to prevent and mitigate kidnapping, including community policing initiatives, neighborhood watch programs, and awareness campaigns. Empower communities to actively participate in prevention efforts, report suspicious activities, and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to address security threats.


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  • Akpan, N. S. (2010). Kidnapping in Nigeria‟s Niger delta: An exploratory study. Journal of Social Sciences, 24(1): 33–42. Available:
  • Blackburn, R. (1993). The psychology of criminal conduct: Theory, research, and practice. J. Wiley: London.
  • Bridges, G. S., Weis, J. G. and Crutchfield, R. D. (1996). Criminal Justice: Readings. Pine Forge Press: California. 3.
  •  Cyriax, O., Wilson, C. and Wilson, D. (2009). The Encyclopedia of Crime. Available:
  •  Dodo, W. A. (2010). The causes and remedies of kidnapping in Nigeria. The Nigerian Academic Forum, 19(1): 1–4.
  • Knoema (2019a). World data atlas Nigeria. Available: Knoema (2019b). Total types of violence to crew-kidnapping. Available:
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