Background to the Study
Cyber crime is one of the dominant forms of crime that is widely being perpetrated by tertiary institution students in Nigeria (Adeniran, 2008; Aransiola & Asindemade, 2011; Tade & Aliyu, 2011; Aghatise, 2006). Indeed, the recognition of this growing acceptance of cyber crime, otherwise known as yahoo-yahoo in Nigeria, as a way of life among the youths has compelled the federal government to formulate measures to contain the trend at different points in time. The problem has, however, remained pervasive, despite past efforts put in place to curtail it.
Although cyber crime is not an exclusive preserve of Nigeria as it is a global phenomenon, yet the current unprecedented and massive involvement of Nigerians, especially, the university students in it, makes it a serious problem that requires urgent redress. According to Aghatise (2006), it is alarming that 80% of cyber crime perpetrators in Nigeria are students in various institutions. Indeed, many undergraduates in Nigerian universities have embraced internet fraud as a way of life; while many of them have become rich, some others have been caught by the law (Tade & Aliyu, 2011).
In Nigeria, the varieties of applications offered by the Net such as electronic mailing, ‘chat’ systems and Internet messaging (IM) often serve as veritable grounds for carrying out fraudulent activities by the youth, and unlike the traditional criminal groups, both gender are functionally involved in it (Adeniran, 2008). The antics of the ‘yahoo yahoo boys’, also known as ‘yahoo yahoo millionaires’ has raised a new generation of lazy youths, who spend hours on the internet perfecting their game and literally killing their prey (Nkanga, 2008); cyber crime is becoming one of the fastest growing-internet (fraudulent?)businesses in Nigeria (Aghatise, 2006).
Numerous crimes are committed on daily basis on the internet with Nigerians at the forefront of sending fraudulent and bogus financial proposals all over the world (Longe & Chiemeke, 2008). According to a 2007 internet crime report released by the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3), Nigeria ranks third among cyber crime committing countries in the world. The report indicates that the “Nigerian letter fraud” (Email Scams) received in the United States, constituted 1.1% and the individuals reporting fraud-type monetary loss in 2007 puts Nigerian letter fraud at 6.4%, amounting to 1,922.99 million US dollars (Odapu, 2008)
Similarly, the Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has recently announced that more than 288 persons have been convicted over various internet crimes in Nigeria, while 234 are still being prosecuted in different courts across the country (EFCC, 2012). In a related development, the EFCC also recently arrested two university undergraduates, Hope Olusegun and Tunde Wasiu Sodiq in Lagos, on the 4th January, 2013 for allegedly belonging to two syndicates, who specialize in defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians and foreigners through internet scams (Soni, 2013).
Adeniran (2008) observes that the technological advances have brought striking changes to Nigerian cultures, patterns of socialization, social institutions and social interactions. According to him, youths, especially undergraduates and the unemployed have embraced the information and communication inventions, such that the internet is accessed for most part of the day. Ibrahim (2006) notes that cyber criminals in Nigeria are usually within the ages of 18 and 30 years, and are youths, who are outside the secondary schools, but are either in the university or are about to be admitted into the university.
Similarly, a study conducted by the Youth against Cyber Crimes and Fraud in Nigeria (2008) shows that one out of every five youths in most cities in Nigeria is a cyber criminal. Reddick and King (2000) and Adeniran (2006) claim that the anonymity and privacy that the internet provides for potential users has excessively enhanced the degree of fluidity and structural complexity of the ‘yahoo-boys’ operations in Nigeria. Longe and Chiemeke (2008) similarly posit that the majority of cyber crimes perpetrated in Nigeria are mostly targeted at individuals and not necessarily computer systems, hence, they require less technical expertise. They further note that human weakness, such as greed and gullibility are generally exploited by cyber criminals; thus, damage done to their victim is usually financial and psychological. Aransiola and Asindemade (2011) contend that cyber crime perpetrators in Nigeria have distinctive lifestyles from other youths and their strategies usually include collaboration with security agents and bank officials, local and international networking, and the use of voodoo (the traditional supernatural power). Tade and Aliyu (2011) similarly observe that yahoo-boys in Nigeria enjoy a status of big boys; they are socially recognized among friends/lecturers and their flamboyant lifestyle entices others to desire to belong to the clique.
Statement of the Problem
The large scale involvement of Nigerians in cyber crime is a growing threat that has adversely affected the international image of Nigeria; the country is globally regarded as breeding ground of fraudsters and criminally minded people. Similarly, cyber crime continues to result in huge financial loss because cyber criminals often defraud their victims, large sums of money. For instance, a bank once closed in Brazil, because it could not recover from the damage done by a group of scammers who literally hit its deposit base, and brought it down to zero (Nkanga, 2008). Recently, the Nigerian Police paraded two Nigerian university undergraduates, Nwabufor Okwumo and Ezekiel Odera, for the alleged rape, robbery and murder of one Cynthia Osokogu, who they lured to Lagos from Abuja under the guise of sealing a business transaction after initially making friend with her on an online social media network, face book (Ogbo, 2012; Usman, 2012).
The tertiary institution students, and indeed, other youths involved in cyber crime in Nigeria by virtue of money they make off their victims, through their numerous clandestine activities on the internet have been widely recognized as living a distinctive lifestyle (Aransiola & Asindemade, 2011; Tade & Aliyu, 2011; Adeniran, 2008) that fiercely distinguishes them from other youths in the society.
Objectives of the Study
The central objective of this study, therefore, is to examine the Socio-Economic Implications Of Yahoo-Yahoo Guys Among The Students Of Federal University Oye –Ekiti.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to government at all levels as it seeks to reveal the effect of cyber crime activities on the socio economic development of Nigeria. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in a further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the effect of cyber crime on Nigeria’s socio economic development a case study of Lagos state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial Constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time Constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.