Victims of Criminal Investigations: Experiences of Adults in Two Communities in Osun State, Nigeria

AuthorOjo Melvin Agunbiade,Mustapha Olayiwola Opatola
Publication Date01 March 2009
Victims of criminal investigations:
experiences of adults in two communities
in Osun State, Nigeria
Ojo Melvin Agunbiadeand Mustapha Olayiwola Opatola
‡(Corresponding author) Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Obafemi Awolowo
University, Ile-ife, Nigeria. Email:
†Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, Nigeria.
Received 19 October 2007; accepted 4 April 2008
Keywords: Nigeria, crime investigation, interviewing, interrogation
Ojo Melvin Agunbiade
is a Lecturer in the
Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Obafemi
Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He has pub-
lished in both local and international journals.
Mustapha Olayiwola Opatola
is a PhD candid-
ate in the Department of Sociology/ Anthro-
pology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,
Criminal investigation represents a crucial stage
in the process of crime management and justice
realisation in any modern society; but the crim-
inal investigation process is prone to abuse. This
study examines the experiences of adults who
have been interrogated for a criminal offence or
offences in two communities in Osun State
(Southwestern Nigeria). Thirty-f‌ive adults within
the age range of 18–64 years, who are residents
in the two communities (Ile-Ife and Modakeke-
Ife) were systematically selected from the police
records of investigated criminals, while 15 crime-
investigating, experienced police off‌icers were
purposively selected from a divisional police head-
quarters and two police stations within the two
communities. A qualitative, in-depth interview
technique was used in generating relevant data.
The selection of cases was from lists of reported
and investigated criminal cases at three police
stations namely: a divisional police station and
one police station from each of the two commun-
ities. Findings revealed that many of the particip-
ants are sceptical about the readiness of the
Nigerian police to respect and protect the funda-
mental human rights of suspects. In conclusion,
there is a high preponderance of delay in criminal
investigations and a lack of adequate training for
police off‌icers saddled with the responsibilities of
crime investigation in the locality. This f‌inding
may be extended to the increasing rate of delay in
criminal investigations in Nigeria and the perver-
sion of justice. Hence, urgent attention is needed
in addressing the loss of conf‌idence in the
Nigerian police by the public especially in crime
protection and investigation.
Crime is cultural in nature and a product of
the social order in which we live at any
moment in time. This has made it remain
fundamentally a social behaviour and a
product of unequal power relations. As a
human activity, it represents a social reac-
tion to the activities of others, f‌inding
expression within the culture of everyday
life (Presdee, 2004). Cultural diversity dom-
inates the meaning of crime as well as the
Page 20
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume 11 Number 1
International Journal of Police
Science and Management,
Vol. 11 No. 1, 2009, pp. 20–26.
DOI: 10.1350/ijps.2009.11.1.106

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