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This research work was conceived to find out the pattern of cyber-crime in tertiary

institutions in Zaria, identify the types of cyber-crime common in the study area, explore

the social attributes of those involved in cyber-crime in the study area, identify the

motivating factor and causes of cyber-crime, find out the consequences of the emerging

trends and finally suggest solutions to mitigate against the menace. The study adopted the

differential association theory which was developed by Edwin Sutherland to explain the

reason for individual’s involvement in cyber-crime and how they learnt the techniques to

perpetrate the act through interaction with others. The study was conducted in three

selected tertiary institutions in Zaria namely; Ahmadu Bello University, Nuhu Bamalli

Polytechnic and Federal College of Education. Data was obtained through quantitative

method (questionnaires) and qualitative method (In-depth interview). The research also

used both probability and non probability sampling method in the selection of respondents.

Four hundred questionnaires were administered to students of the three selected tertiary

institutions using the simple random sampling method. In addition, 10 key informants were

purposively selected for the in-depth interview in order to gain substantial facts on the

subject. Snowball sampling method was also used to identify the cyber-criminals who

participated in the research. The key informants used for the study are lecturers of

computer science department, operators of cyber-café and cyber-criminals. Data collected

through quantitative instrument was subjected to simple statistical analysis and

interpretation and analyzed with the aid of a computer using the Statistical Package for

Social Sciences (SPSS version 17.0). While data collected through the qualitative

instrument was transcribed from field notes and tapes. The data collected were presented

using tables and bar charts.

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The study revealed that youths who are mostly male are the major perpetrator of cyber-

crime and the crime can be committed at any time of the day. The research was able to

unveil additional techniques such as SQL injection and mathematical model which are used

for piracy and credit card fraud respectively by cyber-criminals. Nevertheless, the study

found that unemployment, poverty, absence of law and corruption are the major causes of

cyber-crime in the study area. Despite the negative consequences of cyber-crime on the

study area, it was discovered that it had positive effect for the perpetrators as they were

able to use the money realized to solve their need. On the basis of these findings, it was

recommended that the Federal Government should empower the youths in terms of job

creation and regularly engage the IT industries to develop strategies to curtail cyber-crime.

The study also recommends that everybody should report to law enforcement agencies any

one suspected to be involved in cyber-crime.



1.1          Background of the Study

The invention of electronic devices such as modern communication hard-wares, internet service

and computer systems has been a major landmark in human history. Ayantokun (2006), defined

computer as a machine that performs tasks, such as calculation or electronic communication,

under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Programs usually reside within the

computer and are retrieved and processed by the computer’s electronics. The program results are

stored or routed to output devices, such as video display monitors or printers. Oyewole and Obeta

(2002), define a computer as an electronic device that accepts, processes, stores and outputs data

at high speed according to programmed instructions. Computers perform a wide variety of

activities reliably, accurately and quickly depending on the purpose it was designed for. Computer

can be used in areas of education, medicine, engineering design, scientific research, office

automation, personal administration etc (Morley and Parker, 2007).

According to Rogers (1995), the rapid evolution of the computer brought the intern

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