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“Laws for Sale:” The Domestication of Counterterrorism Policies and Its Impact in Nigeria


While the politics of the domestication of counter-terrorism laws and policies in Africa has been widely discussed, a critical analysis of the contents of these legislation and security frameworks, and the method of its implementation has not attracted similar attention. Through an empirical study, this chapter examines the nature of the Nigerian counter-terrorism laws, policies and structures. It argues that these laws are a reproduction of the United States and United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism frameworks, thus they glossed over the historical, political and social context of the Nigeria, which is characterize by a repressive state culture. Therefore, these counter-terrorism laws and policies provided an excuse for state agents to repress fundamental human rights and civil liberties and also credible opposition groups in guise of curbing terrorism. Consequently, these factors have rendered Nigerian counter-terrorism laws ineffective, as alienating human rights and civil liberties while countering terrorism helps to provide fertile grounds for the proliferation of terrorism.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-55769-8_48
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  1. 1.

    For more on the definition of terrorism, see Part 1 subsection 2 of the TPA of 2011.

  2. 2.

    See Section 1, subsection 2 (iii, v & vi) of the TPA of 2011.

  3. 3.

    See Section 2 TP (Amendment) Act 2013.

  4. 4.

    Also see Section 1 (A) (TP) (Amendment) Act 2013.

  5. 5.

    Author’s Interview with a Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria (Abuja, March 21, 2015).

  6. 6.

    Author’s Interview with a key Senior Military Officer of the Nigerian Army (Abuja, March 9, 2015).

  7. 7.

    Author’s interview with an Officer in the Office of the National Security Adviser (Abuja, March 27, 2015).

  8. 8.

    Author’s Focus Group Discussion with Senior Military Officers of the Nigerian Army and Navy at the Defence Headquarters, Nigeria (Abuja, March 9, 2015).

  9. 9.

    See Sections 206 and 215, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001, available at:

  10. 10.

    See US Executive Order 13224, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, US Department of State Website, available at:


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This study was made possible by support from the Social Science Research Council’s Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship, with funds provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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Correspondence to Emeka T. Njoku .

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Njoku, E.T. (2017). “Laws for Sale:” The Domestication of Counterterrorism Policies and Its Impact in Nigeria. In: Romaniuk, S., Grice, F., Irrera, D., Webb, S. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Global Counterterrorism Policy. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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