Patterns of cross-border crimes in Idiroko border community of Ogun State, Nigeria
Security of lives and property is one of the fundamental needs for human existence, without which life would have been a reflection of Thomas Hobbes’s description of life as poor, nasty, brutish and short. The Nigeria state has been bedeviled with serious security challenges that are occasioned by porosity of land and water borders. As a result the nation experiences increasing transnational border security threats like human trafficking, arms smuggling, insurgent attacks etc. This paper examined the Patterns of cross-border crimes in Idiroko border community of Ogun State, Nigeria. The theoretical thrust of the paper is the Social Disorganization theory. The Mixed method research design was adopted. The study population is 23,258 residents of Idiroko community and a sample size of 394 was generated using Taro Yamane. The major instruments of data collection were structured questionnaire and Key Informant Interviews (KII) guide. The multi-stage sampling technique which involves successive random sampling was used to select the study participants. Through the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software, quantitative data were analyzed and interpreted using frequency counts, percentages, and graphic illustrations, while hypotheses was tested using chi-square (x2) inferential statistics and the qualitative data were analyzed using thematic transcription analysis. The findings revealed amongst others that the prevailing dynamics of cross-border crimes in Idiroko Border line include terrorism smuggling, bribing of law enforcement agents, and collaboration of law enforcement officials with criminals, identifying major two patterns of crime- property and human crimes. The patterns of Property crimes which occur through the border line were identified as smuggling of contraband food items, drug trafficking, car crimes and smuggling of natural resources amongst others. Also, the patterns of Human crimes that usually occur in the area are mostly smuggling of illegal migrants, female trafficking, child trafficking, smuggling of human parts etc. The paper concludes that until this tide of border issues are addressed and secured adequately, illegal activities and spate of insecurity that bedeviled the nation would continue to hold sway. The paper recommends amongst others the need for authorities to come up with maximum force in project implementation and infrastructural development of Idiroko border community and stringent penalty for those who commit cross-border crime in Nigeria. This will serve as deterrence for others who might want to involve in cross-border criminal activities.