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Intelligence information sharing: Benefits of collaboration among security agents in Nigeria




According to J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) a long time director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation……….The efforts of all law enforcement agencies with the support and understanding of the American people.” This quote from J. Edgar Hoover is prominently displayed on a courtyard wall of the FBI Headquarters in Washington DC. The FBI has for many years recognized the value and the necessity of cooperation between law enforcement and the American people, and among the agencies that serve them. The foundation of this cooperation is mutual respect, trust and the sharing of information both within the government, and between the government and its citizens.

It is the right of all citizens to be sure that their government is not only providing security to the nation as a whole, but also to each of us individually by guarding our civil rights and civil liberties. The goal of sharing of information is to prevent the activities of those who would do us harm through acts of terrorism or other crimes. Furthermore, the idea that we should have transparency in government underpins the very purpose for information sharing. We absolutely have to be balanced – certain information in our care must be protected to safeguard citizens’ privacy and civil liberties, as well as to shield sources and methods.

Investigative agencies must wait until the activities of the persons under investigation reach a level of validity and clarity before the information is shared. With this sense of steadiness in security, there would be transparency of government which would allow citizens to have greater visibility into the workings of government, reduce crimes and terrorism, and help to produce a greater wealth of knowledge and societal progress.


Effective crime/terrorism-related prevention, protection, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts depend on timely, accurate, and actionable information about who the enemies are, where and how they operate, how they are supported, the targets the enemies intend to attack, and the method of attack they intend to use. This information should serve as a guide for efforts to:

Rapidly identify immediate and long-term threats
Identify persons involved in crime/terrorism-related activities Guide the implementation of information-driven and risk-based prevention, response, and consequence management efforts.

Crime/Terrorism-related intelligence is derived by collecting, blending, analyzing, and evaluating relevant information from a broad array of sources on a continual basis.

There is no single source for crime/terrorism–related information. It can come through the efforts of the intelligence community; Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement authorities; and other government agencies.

Successful crime/counterterrorism efforts require that Federal, State, local, and private-sector entities have an effective information sharing and collaboration capability to ensure they can seamlessly collect, blend, analyze, disseminate, and use information regarding threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences in support of prevention, response, and consequence management efforts. Trust is the essential glue to make this public-private system work. Trust results when partner capabilities are understood and valued, processes are tailored to leverage these capabilities, and these processes are tested and proven valuable to all partners.

Dr. Oyedokun Ayodeji Oyewole is the President/Chairman – Governing Council, Institute of Information Management (IIM) – Africa and President – Records and Information Management Awareness Foundation (RIMA Foundation), a Not-for-profit NGO. He can be contacted at:

In this article:
J. Edgar Hoover
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