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Turning cyber offenders into cyber defenders: Cybersecurity expert advocates for EFCC to Reform ‘Yahoo Boys’ into IT specialists



Turning cyber offenders into cyber defenders: Cybersecurity expert advocates for EFCC to Reform 'Yahoo Boys' into IT specialists

Chidiebere Ihediwa receives cyber-security development and data analysis award, proposes transformative approach to rehabilitate educated online fraudster


In a bold and innovative proposal, cybersecurity expert Chidiebere Ihediwa has called upon the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to revamp its approach towards arrested online fraudsters, commonly known as ‘Yahoo Boys.’ Ihediwa, renowned not only for his expertise in cybersecurity but also as a distinguished software developer, advocates for the re-orientation of these individuals into information technology specialists. This unconventional suggestion, he argues, is a far more constructive alternative to the current practices of detention and dissolution.


The call for reform came during an award ceremony in Ihediwa’s honor at the Police Officers Mess, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, where he was conferred with a Star Award in Cyber-Security Development and Data Analysis in Nigeria by online publication Ihediwa seized the occasion to share his vision for the transformation of individuals engaged in cyber fraud, proposing a paradigm shift that could benefit both the nation and the offenders themselves.


Redirecting talents for national development


Ihediwa’s proposition hinges on the categorization of knowledge into two realms – positive and negative. While acknowledging the education and skills possessed by many of the apprehended cyber fraudsters, he asserts that their knowledge is currently misaligned with the positive direction needed for societal development.


“The inherent knowledge of the Yahoo Boys, even if educated, is at variance with the ideal positive knowledge required for societal development,” explains Ihediwa. He emphasizes the potential advantages of redirecting their skills towards meaningful ventures that contribute positively to the nation.


Recognition of Excellence: Star award for cyber-security development


The ceremony also celebrated Ihediwa’s outstanding contributions to software development and information technology in Nigeria, as he received the Star Award in Cyber-Security Development and Data Analysis. The accolade, presented by, recognizes Ihediwa’s significant impact in advancing cybersecurity and data analysis within the country.


Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Ihediwa commended the management of for bringing him into the limelight through the prestigious award. The acknowledgment of his achievements underscores the importance of innovative thinking in the field of cybersecurity.


A vision for transformation: Turning cyber offenders into cyber defenders


Chidiebere Ihediwa’s proposal challenges conventional notions of dealing with cyber offenders. Rather than allowing them to languish in detention or undergo destructive dissolution, he envisions a transformative approach that harnesses their existing skills for the greater good.


The proposal aligns with the principle of rehabilitation and reintegration, offering a path for these individuals to contribute positively to society. Ihediwa emphasizes that redirecting their knowledge towards becoming information technology specialists could not only benefit the individuals themselves but also fill a gap in the nation’s growing demand for skilled IT professionals.’s recognition of excellence


During the award ceremony, Chris Oji, representing, explained that Ihediwa had been among the nominees for the award late the previous year but was unable to attend the ceremony. In recognizing Ihediwa’s contributions, chose to bestow the honor upon him in the new year.


The acknowledgment of Ihediwa’s achievements reinforces the significance of his innovative proposal, signaling the potential for a paradigm shift in how society perceives and addresses cyber offenders. As the nation grapples with the challenges of cybersecurity, Ihediwa’s vision offers a fresh perspective on rehabilitation and the utilization of untapped talents for the greater benefit of Nigeria’s technological landscape.

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