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Tracing the Origins of Nigerian Organized Crime: Politics, Corruption and the Growth of Criminal Networks

Chatham House, London, UK

Event Documents


Dr Leena Koni Hoffmann, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme
Patrick Smith, Editor, Africa Confidential
Professor Christopher Clapham, Professor Emeritus, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme 


Organized crime - from drug and human trafficking to fraud, financial crime, cyber-crime and other types of criminal activity - undermines Nigeria’s development prospects and its ability to strengthen democratic institutions and accountability. A driver of insecurity, instability and human right violations, there is growing recognition of the need to implement multifaceted yet cohesive policy solutions to curb the activity of international criminal networks.

Ahead of the UK Government’s Anti-Corruption Summit on 12 May, this event will launch the late Stephen Ellis’s last book, This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organised Crime, which traces the origins of Nigerian organized crime from regional political corruption to internationalized Nigerian criminal networks. The speakers will reflect on key themes and findings of Stephen Ellis’s last work, discussing policy implications for effectively tackling international organized crime.

Stephen Ellis was Desmond Tutu Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University, Amsterdam and a senior researcher at the African Studies Centre, Leiden.

This event will be followed by a reception.