Social Structure and the Production of Young Cyber Criminals in Nigeria

  • Edward Uche Omeire Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
  • Charles Omeire O Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria


The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) and the ensuing diffusion of internet in sub Saharan Africa have ushered in a new form of criminality commonly referred to as Nigerian scams or yahoo-yahoo.In recent times, there has been an upsurge in the number of youths involved in  cybercrime. Using Robert Merton‘s Social Strain Theory as a theoretical premise, the paper posits that socio-cultural pressure on youths to achieve pecuniary success and frustration arising from a sense of discrepancy between individual aspirations and legitimate means to realize these ambitions lead to the emergence of yahoo boys sub-culture in Nigeria. The paper recommends among other things value re-orientation, the enactment of appropriate legislation and job creation to cater for the army of frustrated youths who are easily recruited into this criminal enterprise owing to unemployment and structural inequality in the Nation.


1. Adeniran, A. I. (2008). The Internet and Emergence of Yahoo-boys sub-Culture in Nigeria. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 2(2), 368–381
2. Asokhia, M. O. (2010). Enhancing National Development and Growth through Combating Cybercrime/Internet Fraud: A Comparative Approach. J Soc Sci, 23(1): 13-19.
3. Carey, J.W. (1988). The Mythos of Electronic Revolution', in J.W. Carey (ed.) Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society, New York: Unwin Hyman pp. 113-140
4. Carter, S. and Jones-Evans, D. (Eds.) (2012). Enterprise and Small Business? Principles, Practice and Policy. (3rd edition) Harlow: FT Prentice Hall, pp.545.
5. Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond and Grabosky, Peter, Cyber Crime (2013). Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime, L. Paoli, Oxford University Press,
6. companies. Michigan: Ponemon Institute.
7. Dana, D.A. (2001). Rethinking the Puzzle of Escalating Penalties for Repeat Offenders. Yale Law Journal 110, 733-783.
8. Danquah, P., Longe, O. B. (2011). Cyber Deception and Theft: An Ethnographic Study on Cyber Criminality from a Ghanaian Perspective. Journal of Information Technology Impact 11, No. 3,169-182.
9. DeMarco, J. V. (2001). It’s not just fun and “war games”–juveniles and computer crime’, 49 (3), 48–55.
10. Identity Fraud Survey Report (2008) Consumer Version, Javelin Strategy & Research, 200 page 6.
11. Ige, O. A. (2008). Secondary School Students’ Perceptions of Incidences of Internet Crimes among School Age Children in Oyo and Ondo States, Nigeria. A Master dissertation in the Department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan
12. Kalathil, S. & Boas, C. T.(2003).Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of Internet on Authoritarian Rule. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
13. Karofi, U.A., & Mwanza, J. (2006). Globalisation and crime. Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology, 3(1), 70-87
14. Longe, O. B., Chiemeke, S. C. (2008). Mediated Cyber-Crime: An Investigation of the Role of Internet Access Points in the Facilitation of Cyber Crime in Southwest Nigeria. European Journal of Social Sciences 6, 466-472.
15. Mc Connell (2000), Cyber-crime and Punishment. Archaic Law Threaten.
16. McAfee. (2013). The economic impact of cybercrime and cyber espionage. Re -trieved from -pact-cybercrime.pdf
17. Norton (2013). 2013 Norton report. Retrieved from http://www.syman pkid=norton-report-2013
18. Oludayo T. & Ibrahim A. (2011) Social Organization of Internet Fraud among University Undergraduates in Nigeria. International Journal of Cyber Criminology (IJCC) ISSN: 0974 – 2891 July – December 2011, Vol 5 (2): 860–875
19. Ponemon. (2011). Second annual cost of cybercrime study: Benchmark study of U.S.
20. Ribadu, E. (2007), Cyber Crime and Commercial Fraud; A Nigerian Perspective. A paper presented at the Modern Law for Global Commerce, Vienna 9th – 12th
21. Tierney, J. (2006) Criminology: Theory and Context. 2nd ed. Essex: Longman
22. Zero Tolerance (2006), Retiree in Trouble over Internet Fraud. Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Vol. 1, No. 2
How to Cite
OMEIRE, Edward Uche; O, Charles Omeire. Social Structure and the Production of Young Cyber Criminals in Nigeria. International Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 117-124, may 2017. ISSN 2521-0041. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 may 2023.