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20 Most Common Crimes and their Punishments in Nigeria

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20 Most Common Crimes and their Punishments in Nigeria.

20 Most Common Crimes… In any country of the world crimes are bound to be committed and that is why there are laws in place to deter people from committing them and punishing the ones who go ahead to break the law.

Most Common Crimes and their Punishments

Most Common Crimes and their Punishments

In most countries and for several reasons, certain crimes are more common than others. In Nigeria, it has been noticed that certain crimes are more common than others. I’d be listing the top 20 most common crimes and their punishments in Nigeria so you would be aware of them because, as they say, ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse before the law.

Most Common Crimes and their Punishments.

1. Economic Crime –This crime is in many forms. The common denominator for this type of crime is it damages the economy of a country – Nigeria in this case, and can even put the country at risk of entering a recession. There are many of such crimes. Tax evasion, pipeline vandalism and so much more.

Punishment:  Seven years imprisonment with or without fine.

2. Financial Crime – A financial crime is an act that involves the illegal use of cash or financial instruments such as cheques, drafts, money orders, etc. For example, bank fraud, issuance of dud cheques, etc.

Punishment for financial crime: Imprisonment for fourteen years or fine or both.

3. Advance Fee Fraud – is a kind of scam in which a fraudster through false pretense/deceitful information hoodwinks a person to make some upfront payment on a proposed business deal, romance, marriage, contract , etc.

Punishment for financial crime: Imprisonment for fourteen years or fine or both.

4. Money Laundering – is moving money illegally out of Nigeria. Basically money which hasn’t been declared to the authorities and mostly money gotten through illegal means to convert it to a legitimate money.

Punishment for money laundering: Imprisonment for seven years to fourteen years with fine.

5. Terrorism – Terrorism involves many things but it is the act of causing fear and harm to the public with the intent of intimidating usually with religion, politics, money and other such motives as the fueling ideology.

Punishment for terrorism in Nigeria is life imprisonment or the death penalty if death is involved.

6. Cyber Crime – is the use of a computer or other electronic device to perpetrate criminal acts. Cyber cafes have to register with the EFCC so that the commission can monitor their operations and enforce operating standards that eliminate internet crimes.

Punishment for cyber crime: 10 million naira or 5 years imprisonment.

7. Rape – Rape is forcefully having sex with someone against her wish or will, especially using violence. Over 90% of predatory sex is perpetrated by males against females. To some extent, rape reflects the ambivalence, moral decadence, ethical bankruptcy, materialism, corrupt soul, widespread promiscuity and hypocrisy that have characterized Nigerians over the years.

Punishment for rape: Life imprisonment or a less sentence and would also be required to pay fine.

8. Police Brutality and Hostility – The egregious brutality and hostility of the police force in Nigeria brings into question the need for survival tactics in a no man’s jungle called Nigeria. The populace have no known defence against police brutality. Police kill innocent citizens and put tags of armed robbers to cover themselves. Innocent Nigerians have paid the price for crimes they never committed.

Punishment for police brutality: Three years imprisonment.

9. Bribery and Corruption – Bribery is a specific offence which concerns the practice of offering something, usually money, to gain an illicit advantage and corruption is an abuse of a position of trust in order to gain an undue advantage.

Punishment for bribery and corruption: Three years imprisonment.

10. High way robbery / Armed Robbery/ Robbery.

This is quite a common crime in Nigeria. It has been a menacing vice and it is even increasingly worse in some cities

The punishment for robbery:  7 years imprisonment with or without fine.

In cases of violent crimes, the other offences would be charge separately.

11. Religious Crisis: 

Whatever crimes are committed during a religious crisis would be charged as such. For example, perpetrators of religious crisis or violence would be liable for murder, arson, rape and theft if they so do happen and charged and punished accordingly.

12. Abetment:

Punishment for abetment: Same punishment for the culpable crime.

13. Criminal conspiracy:

Punishment for criminal conspiracy: Six months maximum imprisonment with or without fine.

14. Slander and libel:

Punishment for slander and libel: Imprisonment for three years or fine or both

15. Embezzlement:

Punishment for embezzlement: Imprisonment for seven years to fourteen years with fine.

16. Ballot box snatching:

Punishment for ballot box snatching : A maximum fine of N50,000,000 or for a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years or both.

17. Examination malpractice:

Punishment for Examination malpractice: Three years imprisonment

18. Hate speech/ Public incitement:

Punishment for Hate speech/ Public incitement: one year imprisonment

19. Forgery:

Punishment for forgery: Seven years imprisonment with or without fine.

20. Physical assault:

Punishment for physical assault: Imprisonment for life or less sentence with or without the option of fine.


You should note that there are more than 20 crimes which are common in Nigeria and the law has punishments for them all. You should take care to know these laws and what it entails to have broken these laws so you don’t get penalized for it.

If you feel you have been accused it is important to seek the services of a lawyer who would stand attorney for you. Some people break the law unknowingly and if your lawyer is a good one, he or she could be able to plead your case on this ground.

What’s your take on this? We believe this article was helpful, if yes, don’t hesitate to share this information with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Google +

NG Team.

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