THE LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL MEASURES IN COMBATING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS
Price: 4000 Naira (BSC, MSC)
Corruption has been a social problem in Nigeria with debilitating consequences on the growth and development of the country. The country is the sixth largest exporter of crude oil in the world earning therefrom a revenue of about 57 billion USD annually. The country also has the biggest agricultural output on the African continent and 25th in the world and is reputed to be the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of 481.07 billion USD as of 2015. If properly utilized, the resources of the country can make the country grow to becoming one of the most developed countries of the world. The country has however failed to develop to its potential as a result of both pervasive and endemic corruption which has virtually crippled the country. It is estimated that the country has lost about 400 billion USD to corruption since independence in 1960 occasioning impoverishment of the vast majority of its population and dilapidation of the nation‟s infrastructure critical for social and economic growth. Successive regimes in Nigeria have enacted several legislation and established institutional frameworks to tackle the problem of corruption in the country but inspite of all these, the problem of corruption has not abated in the country but has continued to grow and in some instances with new sophistications. This thesis deals with the problem of corruption in Nigeria. It examines both the legal and institutional frameworks available in Nigeria for the fight against corruption in the country with a view to identifying their weaknesses and proffering recommendations to strengthening and making them more efficacious in addressing the problem of corruption in the country. The research also examined other factors that promote corruption in Nigeria. In analyzing the laws and institutions, doctrinal approach was employed. The Researcher also visited some of the Anti-Corruption Institutions in Nigeria such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Communion and the Code of Conduct Bureau for practical experience on their activities. Information was also obtained from relevant sites in the internet and the works of other writers on the subject matter. Similarly, relevant statutes and case laws were also used. The Research found certain provisions in the Anti-Corruption Statutes in Nigeria to be static, obsolete and non responsive to advancement in the society and to new trends of corrupt practices such as crimes perpetrated through money paying machines and devices like the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) devices. The Research found some other provisions of these Statutes to be laconic, conflicting, contradictory and ambiguous which weakens their efficacies in curbing corruption in the country. Other factors such as insecurity of tenure of office of the Chairmen and Members of such Anti-Corruption Agencies as the ICPC and the EFCC, poor funding and lethargies of the various Anti-Corruption Agencies were found to contribute in hampering the effectiveness of these Agencies to curb corruption in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Research found the available punishment for corruption in Nigeria not meaningfully impactful in curbing the problem of corruption in the Country. Abdication of parental responsibility was also found to promote corruption in Nigeria. The Research recommends inter alia, amendments to some of the Anti-Corruption Statutes in Nigeria to cure the observed shortcomings and weaknesses including a provision for office forfeiture by any Public Officer or Officials of Corporate Entities who are charged to Court on corruption offences pending the conclusion of their trial and the prescription of drastic punishments such as the life imprisonment and death penalty for certain categories of corrupt practices and the inclusion of the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria in the process of removal of the Chairmen and Members of the Anti-Corruption Agencies. The Research also recommends other unconventional ways to tackle the problem of corruption in Nigeria such as value re-invention, parental responsibility and the concept of indoctrination.
TABLE OF STATUTES Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015———————————–268, 287, 323, 337, 338 Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Decree No. 13 of 1995————————–90 Advance Fee Fraud & Other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006——–66, 79, 90,314, 317, 333 Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3 LFN, 2004————————————-333 Code of Conduct Decree No.1 of 1989——————————————————————-64 Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 50 LFN 1990———————————-64, 334 Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap C15 LFN 2004——————–64, 173, 177, 292 Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 LFN, 2004—————————————–17, 154 Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended—————-145, 176, 203, 323, 337 Corrupt Practices Decree No. 38 of 1975—————————————————————–63 Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000—————————–11, 203, 369, 382 Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act Cap C31 LFN 2004———–10,49,70,186,269 Criminal Code Cap C38 LFN 2004———————————————————–49,60,70,359 Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree No. 84 of 1996———————————61 Criminal Procedure Act Cap C41 LFN, 2004—————————————–258, 306, 315, 345 Criminal Procedure Code Cap C42 LFN, 2004—————————————208, 258, 306, 345 Criminal Procedure (Northern States) Act, Cap C42 LFN, 2004————————————339 Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN, 2004————————————235, 265 Decree No. 3 of 1984————————————————————————————63, 65 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act No 51 2002——-11,43,68,314 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act No. 1 of 2004 Cap E1 LFN 2004————————————————————————————10, 143, 364, 379 Electoral Act 1982 Cap 105 LFN 1990——————————————————————-82 Electoral Act
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the most fundamental root causes of Nigeria‟s socio-political and socio-economic problems is the problem of corruption1. Nigeria is a country richly endowed by God with abundant human and natural resources in proportion enough to develop the country to becoming one of the most prosperous in the world. Unfortunately however, fifty five years since independence, the country has continued to crawl and remained largely underdeveloped. The indices of development are near absent in the country. In the early 1960s, along with Malaysia, Brazil and India, Nigeria was expected to emerge as one of the leading economies of the world at the turn of the twenty first century2. While Malaysia, Brazil and India have almost achieved their potentials, Nigeria has hardly gotten off the blocks3. Today, inspite of the huge investment of government in the energy sector, power supply is still epileptic, the education sector is in shambles, infrastructure are crippled, social values are almost extinct, the economy is in shambles and poverty is pervasive. While the majority of Nigerians continue to live in abject poverty only an insignificant minority live in opulence.4
Corruption has resulted in loss of revenue to the government. In 2015, a former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan was arrested and is being investigated
1 Omorogbe, J.I. (1991) Ethics for Every Nigerian, Joja Educational Research and Publishers Ltd, Lagos, p. vii 2 Akande, I.F. et al (2013) The Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria: The Imperative of Criminal Justice System Reforms. In: Abdulqadr, I.A. et al (eds.) Corruption and National Development , Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers held 22nd – 26th April, 2013 at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Law Teachers, Ilorin, p.31 3 Ibid 4Omorogbe J.I. (2003) Intellectual Giants But Moral Dwarfs: An Examination of the Role of Morality in Education. In: Dukor, M. (ed.) Philosophy and Politics: Discourse on Values, Politics and Power in Africa, Malthouse Press Limited Lagos, p. 380 for misappropriating the sum of 2.1 billion United States Dollars (USD) security vote5. This amount could buy for the Nigerian Armed Forces 751,384 M762 Automatic Rifles, 4,070,000 AK47 Rifles, 2,035 T-72 Armoured Tanks, 222 AH-1 Cobra Helicopters and 145 F-7 NI Bomber Jets6. Also in 2016 the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2013 Audit Report on Nigeria Oil and Gas and the Solid Minerals Sectors was released. The Audit uncovers 2.23 trillion naira lost in unremitted revenues by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation in 20137. When tax payers evade paying taxes, when goods are allowed to be smuggled into or out of the country and when public funds are embezzled, the government loses a lot of revenue. By the same token, when invoices and contracts are inflated or when names of ghost workers are smuggled into government pay rolls, government is drawn into excessive spending.
In a nut shell it is estimated that Nigeria has lost 400 billion United States Dollars (USD) to corruption since independence in 1960.8 The loss of revenue by government has a telling effect on the economy of the nation as it undermines macro-economic stability as government is not able to build or develop the infrastructure necessary to support macro-economic activities. Igwenyi aptly captures the picture when he stated:
The greatest effect of corruption on the nation is in the area of economic dislocation. Taxes, profits and all other manner of revenue which ought to legitimately accrue to the government are directed to private pockets and institutions. As a result, infrastructural amenities
5 The Dasuki Arms Deal Case is a National Embarrassment, Retrieved from www.naij.com/667525-opinion-dasuki-arms-deal-case-national-embarrassment.html Visited on 25 July, 2016 at 11.13pm 6 Ibid
7 NEITI Audit Uncovers N2.23 Trillion Lost, Unremitted Revenues by NNPC in 2013, Retrieved from www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/203908-neiti-audit-uncovers-n2-23trillion-lost-unremitted-revenues-by-nnpc-in-2013.html Retrieved on 25 July, 2016 at 11.50pm 8Ezekwesili, O. (2012) Corruption, National Development, the Bar and the Judiciary. Being a paper presented at the 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja. such as water, electricity, road and other good things of life which ought to be provided for the average Nigerian cannot be provided.9
In Nigeria, even the nation‟s political leaders admit that systemic corruption has inflicted economic costs on the country by stalling her economic growth10. Zimako also drives the point that in countries perceived to be corrupt, foreign investment is lower and that this condition impedes the chances of economic growth and development11
Corruption has also grown to stigmatize Nigeria as the country has attracted to itself an unenviable reputation in the globe as a very corrupt nation. For instance Powel, one time American Secretary of State in an interview on his perception of Nigeria, said “… and what they could have done with their wealth over the last 20 years they just pissed it away. They just tend not to be honest, Nigerians as a group frankly, are marvelous scammers. I mean, it is their national character”12 Similarly, the United States Republican Party Presidential Candidate in the 2016 General Elections Trump was reported to have stated the following words about Nigeria:
We need to get the Africans out. Not the blacks, the Africans, especially the Nigerians. They are everywhere….Why can‟t they stay in their own country? Why? I‟ll tell you why. Because they are corrupt. Their governments are so corrupt; they rob the people blind and bring it all here to spend. And their people run away and come down here and take our jobs. We can‟t have that. If I become President, we‟ll send them all home. We‟ll build a wall at the Atlantic Shore. Then maybe we‟ll re-colonise them because obviously they did not learn a damn thing from the British.13
While it is true that corruption is not peculiar to Nigeria but is a global phenomenon, however, the sheer magnitude of the problem in Nigeria is alarming. Whereas in the past, corruption was found mostly in the public service, today the problem has eaten deep into almost
9 Igwenyi, B.O. (2001) Anti Corruption Act – Obasanjo Legacy. Willy Rose and Apple Seed Publishing Co. Abakiliki, p. 11 10 Obasanjo, O. (2004) Nigeria: From Pond of Corruption to Island of Integrity. In: Bagudu, N. (ed.) op.cit, p. 198 11 Zimako, Z.O. (2009) Face of a Nation: Democracy in Nigeria: Foreign Relation and National Image, Modern Approach Publishers, Nigeria, p. 59 12 Quoted in Ibid, pp. 56 and 239 13 Dare, O. Donald Trump‟s Delusional World (2016, January 26) The Nation Newspaper, p. 48. every fabric of National life in Nigeria. Today in Nigeria, almost everything can be “settled”. Election results are settled, Court judgments are settled, examination results are settled, the Police are settled and even more alarming now, the Military which in the past epitomized discipline, rectitude and professionalism are settled. Examples of the above submissions abound in the country but a few will suffice. On 11 June, 2016 the Nigeria Army retired about 47 Officers who were found to have been compromised by some Politicians to be partisan during the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria14. Also in 2011, the then President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria alleged pressure on him by the then Chief Justice of Nigeria to interfere in the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal by disbanding the panel. The aim was to tamper with the pending judgment of the tribunal15. More worrisome also is that corruption has now crawled into religion in Nigeria. In the past few years, many religious organizations and worship centers have sprang up in Nigeria. The expectation would be that with the rise in religious activities in Nigeria, the Country would experience renewed moral and ethical rebirth and discipline. Regrettably however, the Country has continued to sink deeper into decadence and infamy. It is now apparent that religion is also a tool for corruption and exploitation in Nigeria. Many worship centers are opened not with the aim of preaching salvation to lost souls but with the aim of fleecing innocent citizens of their hard earned resources. Furthermore, many Clerics in the Country who in the past openly rebuked corrupt citizens and served as checks to the excesses of Public Officers and Government Official(s) are now largely compromised. For instance during the period of the 2015 General Election in Nigeria, some Pastors under the aegis of the Christian
14 List: 47 High Rank Officers Retired By Nigerian Army (2016, June 12) Retrieved from https://www.naij.com/857439-list-47-high-rank-officers-retired-nigerian-army-latest-exercise.html. visited on 18 June, 2016 at 4.33pm
15 Modern Corruption in Nigeria Judiciary – The Case of Justice Ayo Salami and Justice Katsina-Alu. Retrieved from www.antigraft.org/cc-case/modern-corruption-nigeria-judiciary-case-justice-ayo–salami-and-katsina-alu. Visited on 18 June, 2016 at 5.05pm .Association of Nigeria (CAN) were accused of receiving bribe of Seven Billion Naira from one of the political parties in the Country to campaign against its main political opponent.16 It is now common in Nigeria to see Clerics driving exotic cars and living in opulent houses in choice areas of the nation‟s cities while many of their followers wallow away in abject poverty.17 The common man on the streets of Nigeria is also not immune to the virus of corruption. The common man who suffers more from the consequences of corruption is content to pick the crumbs that fall from the tables of the high and mighty without batting an eyelid. He is content when dropouts are handed to him. He asks no questions and only whines at the travails of the country. In his own small way, when opportunity avails itself, he steals from his neighbor or extorts from those lower than him. The perception of the common man is that corruption is perpetrated only in the corridors of power or in government offices. He fails to realize that every day, various forms of corruption are perpetrated on the streets where he daily lives. The common man sees nothing wrong when a taxi driver violates traffic regulations, he sees nothing wrong when a voter trades his franchise for a morsel, he sees nothing wrong when driven by nepotism, he casts his vote for a candidate not because of the quality and competence of the candidate but simply because they both come from the same part of the Country or because they both practice the same religion.
The Nigerian Student is also quick to throw stones at government officials whom he sees as the root cause of Nigeria‟s woes. He blames them for stealing the Country dry. He calls their conduct “corruption” and in his disdain he brands them wicked but he sees nothing wrong when
16 Jonathan Bribed Pastors with N7bn Not N6bn – Cleric. Retrieved from https://www.naij.com/388334jonathanbribed-pastors-with-n7bn-not-n6bn-cleric.html. visited on 18 June, 2016 at 4.56pm
17 Richest Pastors in Nigeria 2016. Retrieved from www.naijavoice.com.ng/richest-pastors-Nigeria-2016/. visited on 18 June, 2016 at 5.02pm he gratifies his lecturer to score high marks in his examination or when he bribes the typist in the examination office to change his grades to a higher one. The market woman will also rant and pour invectives at Public officers and policy makers whom she sees as the cause of high inflation in the Country. She blames them for the high cost in transportation which makes her pay more to transport her wares to the market. She calls their conduct “corruption” but she sees nothing wrong when she manipulates her scales and measures to the disadvantage of her customers. She sees nothing wrong when she sells substandard goods passing off same as original. She calls these “business”.
The Police man is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the society and to apprehend and prosecute offenders. He is the one who effects the arrest of a Public officer who demanded bribe to perform his official duties. He calls that Public officer corrupt but he sees nothing wrong when he demands bribe to grant administrative bail even when on the bail form it is written “Bail is free”. The bottom line is that corruption is widespread and pervasive in Nigeria and it affects every strata of the society with devastating consequences on the nation. There is a correlation between corruption and poverty as corruption distorts the distribution of wealth in a nation when the resources of the nation which could be distributed to the citizens through several channels of development aimed at infrastructural improvement and job creation are cornered by a few. In Nigeria, corruption occasions disequilibrium in the society. According to the World Bank, as of 2014, 70 percent of Nigerians lived on 1.25 USD or less per day and that Nigeria is the country with the third largest population of the poor where seven percent of the world‟s poor lived.18 This verdict was reaffirmed by the World Bank President in 2015.19
18 Retrieved from www.independentnig.com/2014/05/02/word-bank-report-poverty-Nigeria/ Visited on 17 July, 2016 at 2.18pm
Thus the greater percentage of Nigerians live below the poverty line not because the country lacks the resources to enhance the living standards of her people but because what is meant for the generality of the people often ends up in the pockets of a few. In terms of development, the Country has stalled. The nation‟s infrastructure are decayed with no tangible investment to revamp them. Many of the roads in the Country were built over 40 years ago and today they have become death traps to the citizens. Electricity supply is still epileptic and many companies have divested from Nigeria and have relocated to other African countries because of the high cost of doing business in Nigeria. Politically also, the country is now more divided than ever. What sells the more in electioneering campaigns is not the programme or manifesto of the candidates but rather what part of the Country the candidates come from or what religion they practice.
Corruption has destroyed the basic concept of the Rule of Law in Nigeria. In Nigeria the law has lost much of its operational force as people breach the law with impunity. The concept of the Rule of law is fast becoming a mantra in the Country as many people are fast losing their fear of the law. The law regulates the conduct of affairs in a nation; it spells out the rights and duties of the citizens. It also defines the way of doing things20. Appropriately, the law can be said to be the oil that ensures the smooth running of the engine of every nation. Where there is no respect for the law, there will be chaos and anarchy21.
The chaos and anarchy the Country is experiencing today resulting from the activities of militants in the Niger Delta region and the Boko Haram elements in the Northern parts of the Country cannot be extricated from the failure of the concept of the Rule of Law occasioned by
19 Retrieved from www.nigerianobservernews.com/2015/03/Nigeria-and-the-world-bank-poverty-index-where-does that-leave us/ Visited on 17 July, 2016 at 2.25pm 20 Kwede, F.M. and Ardzard, H.S.(2007) Appraisal of the Rule of Law in Nigeria: 1999 – 2007. In: Obende, S.S. et al (eds.) Jos Bar Journal, Vol. 1, No. 3, p.46. 21 Ibid
pervasive corruption in the Country. Some of the agitations of these groups cannot be swept under the carpet or waived aside. These groups claim to fight poverty and marginalization all occasioned by the massive corruption prevalent in the Nigerian polity. It is estimated that the Boko Haram insurgents have killed about 15,000 Nigerians in the six years of their operations since 200922 and have abducted several others including the 276 Chibok girls who were abducted on April 14, 2014 and many of whom have not been rescued since then.
The effects of corruption have debilitating impact on the economy of Nigeria which in turn has a negative effect on the well-being of her citizens. The country has continued to grapple with the problem of balance of payments, weak and decaying infrastructure, bad and inconsistent political and economic policies which renders the Country unattractive to both foreign and local Investors. The return of the Country to democratic governance in 1999 ushered in hope that the economic decline of the Country would be halted but since then, many Multinational Corporations have had to close shop in Nigeria and relocate their investments to other Countries that have clement investment environment. Many other companies that remained in the Country have resorted to mass job cuts and raise in prices of their products and services to remain afloat. The result of this is high rise in unemployment which in turn promotes restiveness and rise in criminality. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 42.24 percent of Youths in Nigeria were unemployed as at the First Quarter of 201623. This percentage represents close to half the Youth population in the Country. This level of unemployment portends grave danger to the security of the nation as no nation can long endure and prosper which wastes the talents of so many of their citizens more especially the Youths.
22 Amnesty International (2015) 2015 Amnesty International Report released on Tuesday April 14, 2015. Retrieved from News24 online on April 16, 2015
23 NBS: Another 1.5m Nigerians Became Unemployed in 2016. Retrieved from https://www.thecable.ng/nbs-another-1-5m-Nigerians-became-unemployed-2016 .Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 11.56pm
Usman24 stated and rightly so, that no economic growth or political stability is possible in Nigeria unless this cancer of corruption is tackled and largely overcomed. On her part, Dachung lamented that corruption is Nigeria‟s “prime economic malady”25 Quoting Essien, she stated:
Corruption is the biggest and the fastest growing industry in Nigeria. While petroleum is the largest revenue earner (accounting for between 90-95% of National wealth), corruption is the largest consumer of revenue. Unfortunately, its consumption is into the accounts of a few individuals and corporate persons while the nation wallops (sic) in abject poverty, hunger, disease and debt…. Corruption should be attacked with the same velocity with which HIV/AIDS has been tackled26
From a historical perspective, the problem of corruption is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. Before the amalgamation of 1914, Nigeria did not exist as a country. It evolved from the different Empires, Kingdoms and Chiefdoms which existed before the advent of colonialism. Many of these Empires and Kingdoms grappled with the problem of corruption notably amongst their Rulers and Nobles. Some of these Rulers and Nobles were accused of using the public treasury to finance opulent and ostentatious lifestyles27 . It was not only the Rulers and Nobles that stained themselves with corruption. The rich and powerful people also used their wealth to pervert the cause of justice28. The vibrancy of the Jihad movement which Shehu Usman Dan Fodio led in 1806 had one of its anchors in the problem of corruption in the society29
In pre-independent Nigeria, at one time or the other, some of the founding fathers of the nation found themselves at the receiving end on allegation of corruption. Some of them were either indicted or convicted of misappropriation of public funds or for improper conduct
24Usman, Y.B. (2002) Some Observations of the Problem of Corruption in Nigeria from a Historical Perspective. In: Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.) Problems of Corruption in Nigeria. Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Abuja, p. 49 25 Dachung, T.D. (2014) Arise Nigerians: Not until it is too late. Flourish Koncepts, Jos, p.14 26 Ibid, p. 16 27 Usman, Y.B. Op.cit, pp. 43-46 28 Ibid 29 Ibid, p. 45 resulting from their management of public funds30. Since independence in 1960, successive military interventionists in Nigeria have often sought legitimacy by claiming that the previous regime was corrupt and that their intervention was to rid the Country of the cancer of corruption31. Regrettably however, all the military interventions in Nigeria failed to cure the Country of the problem of corruption. Rather, many of such interventionists leave the Country more corrupt than they met it. Lamentably also, the democratic regimes in Nigeria which symbolized the will of the people, perpetrated corruption on a large scale that brought untold hardships on the same people they represented.
In the 2016 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index in which 168 countries of the world were assessed, Nigeria was ranked 136 with a score of 26 out of a possible 100 thereby falling among the class of highly corrupt countries of the world32. This unenviable position surely rubs on the country a pariah status and is a reproach to her citizens. All over the world, Nigerians are stigmatized and treated with odium and opprobrium. Thus across the globe, even honest and hardworking Nigerians are hardly trusted.
Nigeria however has a long history of legislating against corruption which predates the Country‟s independence in 1960. The domestic provisions against corruption may be found in the Criminal Code,33 Penal Code34 and some specialized or dedicated Statutes such as the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000,35 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004,36 Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act
30 Bagudu, N. (ed.) (2004) Corruption and Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Professor Julius Ihonvbere, League for Human Rights, Jos, p. 2. 31 Alemika, E.E.O. (1998) Recession and Repression in Nigeria , Afrigov, Jos, p.19
32 Retrieved from http://www.transparency.org/cpi2016/in_detail. Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 6.13pm 33 Cap 38 LFN 2004 34 Cap 89 Vol. III Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963 35 Cap C31 LFN 2004 36 Cap E1 LFN 2004 2006,37 Public Procurement Act38, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended)39 and the1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) as amended amongst others.Soon after his inauguration as President on May 29, 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo identified corruption as a monster that must be fought to a standstill in Nigeria. He made Anti-Corruption crusade a fundamental policy of his administration. In furtherance of this objective, the administration presented the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Bill to the National Assembly which was passed into law40.
The regime also established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)41. Soon after its establishment, the EFCC effected the arrest of known fraudsters many of whom had hitherto assumed a larger than life status. In view of the personalities arrested, a source in the EFCC was quoted to have said that the Commission does not care about the status or pedigree of suspects and that once a person is found to be culpable, such person will be treated according to the law42. Also in March, 2005, the EFCC arrested some high ranking members of the Executive Arm of Government and the National Assembly for their involvement in a 50 million Naira bribe for budget scandal43. Irked by the personalities involved in the bribe for budget scandal, President Obasanjo said he would not hesitate to take on more prominent Nigerians in his war against corruption. He acknowledged that corruption was endemic in the developing countries particularly Nigeria and vowed to step on more toes44.
37 Act No. 14 of 2006 38 Act No. 14 of 2007 39Government Notice No. 103, Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 20 (Vol. 98) now amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 2012 40 Known as the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 41 Vide the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act No. 51 2002 which was later repealed and replaced by the EFCC (Establishment) Act No. 1 of 2004. 42Horatius, E. et al, EFCC Arrests Balogun. (2005, March 30) The Punch Newspaper, p. 1 43 Our Correspondent, Osuji, Others Face Trial. (2005, March 21)The Punch Newspaper, p.1 44 (2005, March 18) The Punch Newspaper, p.1
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Although Nigeria is touted as the biggest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 481.07 billion United States Dollars (USD) as of 201545 ahead of countries such as Egypt with a GDP of 330.78 billion USD46 and South Africa with a GDP of 312.80 billion USD47, in terms of infrastructural development however, Nigeria lags far behind many Countries on the African continent. The African Development Bank (AfDB) observed that infrastructure in Nigeria have suffered decades of neglect and is close to the worst ranked in Africa. It also lamented that billions of Dollars have been spent on the power sector by various administrations in Nigeria but without success because of management and implementation problems.48
Also, inspite of the vast resources that abound in Nigeria, poverty has continued to fester in the country. In 2013, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported that Nigeria which was ranked 153 out of 186 countries assessed49, was not one of the countries recording remarkable improvements in its Human Development Index50. It was stated in that report that 68.0 percent of Nigerians were living below 1.25 USD daily51. This report came despite the reported growth in Nigeria‟s economy with the country recording a GDP growth rate of 6.99 in the fourth quarter of 201252. In the 2014 UNDP HDR, Nigeria did not achieve any
45 Retrieved from www.tradingeconomics.com/nigeria/gdp. Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 8.14pm
46 Retrieved from www.tradingeconomics.com/egypt/gdp. Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 8.16pm
47Retrieved from www.tradingeconomics.com/south-africa/gdp. Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 8.21pm
48African Development Bank 2012 Report. Quoted in Carrington, W. (2013) On the Dawn of Nigeria‟s Second Century: Challenge to a New Generation. A Convocation Lecture delivered at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria on October 26, 2013. Retrieved from www.vanguardngr.com/2013/10/nigeria-underperformer-dangerous-mix-corruption-poverty-walter-carrington/ visited on 15 November, 2013 at 2.15pm
49United Nations (2013) United Nations Human Development Report. Retrieved from www.hdr.undp.org/en/2013-report visited on 3 January, 2015 at 2.15pm
50 Channels Television Online (2013) Retrieved from www.channelstv.com/2013/03/19/nigeria-is-not-improving-its-human-development-index-undp/ visited on 19 March, 2013 at 6.13pm 51United Nations Human Development Report (2013) op.cit. visited on 3 January, 2015 at 2.15pm 52Channels Television Online, op.cit. visited on 19 March, 2013 at 6.13pm meaningful improvement as the country was ranked 152 out of 187 countries assessed53. The report observed the disparity between economic growth in the country and welfare indicators.54 As of 2015, the number of Nigerians living below poverty line was 110 million out of a population of about 170 million55. What this means is that as of 2015, 64.7 percent of Nigerians were living below poverty line. The significance of the above problem can better be appreciated when considered against the backdrop that the potential for Nigeria to be prosperous exists in the country. The country is reputed with the largest Agricultural output on the African continent and number 25 in the world56 and also earns 57 billion USD annually in oil revenues57. The question thus is: how can a nation be so blessed with enormous resources and potential and yet the vast majority of its people live in poverty and its infrastructure is either undeveloped or in a state of decay? The answer to this question largely lies at the door step of corruption. Corruption is a social problem and without a doubt it constitutes one of the greatest obstacles to the prosperity of Nigeria. Realizing that corruption is a clog to development, successive Nigerian governments have over the years taken measures to arrest the trend. To this end, several legislation were enacted and institutional frameworks set up to combat the problem of corruption in the country. Despite the avalanche of legislation and the institutional framework to combat corruption in Nigeria, corruption has over the years not abated and is still pervasive in the country in both the private and public sectors and even amongst the common people on the streets. This research therefore seeks to answer the following questions:
53 United Nations Development Programme (2014) 2014 United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report. Retrieved from www.undp.org/en/2014-report visited on 5 February, 2015 at 11.12 am 54 Ibid
55 110m Nigerians Living Below Poverty Line – Osinbajo. Retrieved from www.vanguardngr.com/2015/08/over-110-million-nigerians-living-below-poverty-line-osinbajo/ Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 9.03pm
56 Carrington, W. (2013) On the Dawn of Nigeria‟s Second Century: Challenge to a New Generation. A Convocation Lecture delivered at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria on October 26, 2013 at p.5. Retrieved from www.vanguardngr.com/2013/10/nigeria-underperformer-dangerous-mix-corruption-poverty-walter-carrington/ visited on 15 November, 2013 at 2.15pm 57 Ibid
- What are the shortcomings in the Legal Regime for corruption in Nigeria?
- What provisions of the extant laws in Nigeria inhibit the fight against corruption in the country?
- What has been the efficacy of the available punishment for corruption in Nigeria in curbing corruption in the country?
- What has been the efficacy of the Institutions established to combat corruption in Nigeria in curbing corruption in the country?
- What are the challenges to the fight against corruption in Nigeria?
- What best strategies can be adopted in curbing corruption in Nigeria?
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Research The aim of this Research is to enhance a sustainable fight against corruption in Nigeria by evaluating the Legal and Institutional frameworks on corruption in the country with a view to ascertaining their efficacies or otherwise in curbing corruption in the country. The objectives of this Research are:
- To highlight the shortcomings in the Legal Regime for corruption in Nigeria;
- To highlight the provisions of the extant laws in Nigeria which inhibit the fight against corruption in the country;
- To examine whether the available punishment for corruption in Nigeria has been efficacious in curbing corruption in the country;
- To examine whether the Institutions established to combat corruption in Nigeria have been efficacious in curbing corruption in the country;
- To examine the challenges to the fight against corruption in Nigeria and
- To make recommendations on the best strategies to be adopted in combating corruption in Nigeria.
1.4 Justification for the Study
The justification for the Research work stems from the debilitating impact of corruption on Nigeria. Without a doubt, corruption has been debilitating to Nigeria on many fronts. Despite the vast resources which abound in Nigeria and the country being touted as the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of 481.07 billion USD as of 2015 and the sixth largest exporter of Crude Oil in the world earning 57 billion USD annually in oil revenues, prosperity has eluded the country. In 2013, the UNDP reported that 68 percent of Nigerians were living below 1.25 USD daily and that Nigeria was not among the countries making remarkable progress in its Human Development Index as it ranked 153 out of 186 countries assessed. As of 2015, 64.7 percent of Nigerians were living below poverty line and in Legatum Institute 2016 Global Prosperity Index, the country ranked 125 out of 142 countries assessed on prosperity58 and did not feature among the top 20 ranked in Africa59. Furthermore, as a result of corruption, infrastructure in Nigeria has degenerated with many in a state of decay. Nigerian roads have become death traps with many lives lost due to avoidable accidents. The Nation‟s healthcare delivery system is in shambles due to inadequate facilities in the hospitals. Nigeria today ranks amongst the countries with very high maternal and infant mortality rates. Many jobs have been lost in Nigeria as a result of the down turn in the economy which is occasioned by widespread corruption in the system. The nation‟s graduates continue to roam the streets in search of jobs that are non-existent. The National Bureau of Statistics reported that 42.24 percent of Youths in Nigeria were unemployed as at the
58 Retrieved from www.financialnigeria.com/nigeria-ranks-125-on-global-prosperity-index-new-154.html Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 9.33pm 59 Ibid
First Quarter of 201660. Driven by frustration, many of these jobless youths resort to violent crime to make a living for themselves. This explains the ever increasing state of insecurity in the country which is now gradually degenerating to the level of terrorism. Many Nigerians today cannot sleep with both eyes closed because of the state of insecurity in the country. It is estimated that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East of Nigeria has resulted in the death of about 15,000 Nigerians Corruption is not beneficial to any nation and it has indeed cost Nigeria dearly. This study which inter alia aims at examining the challenges to combating the problem of corruption in Nigeria and to make recommendations for the best strategies to be adopted in combating the problem of corruption in Nigeria is justified in view of the colossal losses the nation has endured over the years occasioned by corruption. Probably among the lives lost as a result of the problem of corruption were potential leaders and great statesmen who could have made their marks in nation building and launching Nigeria on the world map of greatness. The outcome of this study will no doubt be beneficial to policymakers, lawmakers, judges, academics, social commentators, legal practitioners and the general populace in Nigeria.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of this Research work deals essentially with critical analysis of some extant laws enacted in Nigeria to combat corruption in the country such as the Criminal Code61 the Penal Code62, EFCC (Establishment) Act 200463, Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences
60 NBS: Another 1.5m Nigerians Became Unemployed in 2016. Retrieved from https://www.thecable.ng/nbs-another-1-5m-nigerians-became-unemployed-2016 .Visited on 12 July, 2016 at 11.56pm 61 Cap 38 LFN 2004 62 Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963 Vol. III 63 Act No. 1 of 2004, Cap E1 LFN, 2004
Act 200064, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended)65, Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 200666 and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.67 The provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) relative to the issue of corruption were also examined. The Research examines the efficacy of Institutions established to combat corruption in Nigeria. These include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Judiciary and the Nigeria Police Force. Effort was also made to consider the Psychology of corruption with a view to bringing out the factors that promote corruption in the Nigerian society. The Research also examines the variants of corruption in Nigeria and also the challenges to the fight against corruption in the country. The Research also examines the available punishment for corruption in Nigeria and its efficacy in curbing corruption in the country.
1.6 Research Methodology
The Research Methodology employed in this work is essentially doctrinal. Reliance was placed on primary and secondary materials. The primary materials consulted for this work are Statutes relevant to the issue of corruption in Nigeria. These Statutes include Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004, Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended), Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006, the Criminal Code, and the Penal Code.
64 Cap C20 LFN 2004 65 Government Notice No. 103, Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 20, (Vol. 98) now amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 2012 66 Act No. 14 of 2006 67 Cap C15 LFN 2004
Other primary materials consulted are case law decided by Nigerian Courts and Courts from other jurisdictions. The secondary materials for this Research work derives from well researched text books on the subject matter, articles from journals, newspaper and magazine reports, papers presented at seminars and workshops, and sources from the internet and relevant organizations relative to the subject matter. Whilst as stated earlier, the Research methodology employed in this work essentially was doctrinal, teleological and empirical approaches derived from the experience of the Researcher and interactions with individuals and organizations on the subject matter was also adopted to complement the doctrinal method of Research stated above.
1.7 Literature Review
The problem of corruption has been an issue in Nigeria for many years and there are a number of literatures on this topic in the country. It is important however to state that in the course of this research work, an attempt to review existing literature reveals that contributions on the topic do not adequately identified the weaknesses in the available legal and institutional frameworks for combating corruption in the country and they also fall short in proffering suggestions and recommendations that are effective enough to resolve the problem of corruption in Nigeria. Many writers on the topic of corruption submit that a conceptual understanding of the term “corruption” is a challenge to the fight against corruption in Nigeria. According to Lawal and Onakoya, the word “corruption” is not amenable to an easy definition68. To Ikpeze, it is not an easy task to define or attempt a precise and universally accepted definition of the term
68 Lawal, I.B. and Onakoya, O.O. (2013) ICPC: An Analytical Discourse of its Practice, Procedure and Mechanism. In: Abdulkadir, I.A. et al(eds.)Corruption and National Development: Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers. Nigerian Association of Law Teachers, Nigeria, p.507
“corruption”69. This has made many writers on the topic to view the concept of corruption from a narrow perspective. In reviewing existing works, and even the extant laws on corruption, it was discovered that most of the works and even the extant laws on corruption have the problem of limiting their understanding of the concept of corruption to the one adopted by the World Bank which perceives corruption from the point of view of abuse of Public Office rather than from the entire human activities in the society.
For example Ogundiya70 conceptualized corruption as the misuse of public position for private, group or sectional gain. This conception is similar to the definition of corruption by the World Bank. The World Bank defines corruption as “the abuse of public office for private gains…”71 This definition is limited in scope as it restricts corruption to only those who occupy public positions. This to a large extent is how the ordinary Nigerian on the street views corruption. This explains why on matters of corruption, it is often Public Officers that are mostly vilified and hated in Nigeria. Corruption is a typology of crime and there are many aspects of corruption which do not necessarily have to do with any public position such cases include theft, cheating or obtaining by false pretences, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and so forth.
69 Ikpeze, N. (2013) Fusion of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal. In: Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p.2 70 Ogundiya, I.S, (2009) Anti-Corruption Reforms in Nigeria: The Challenges and Failures. In Ogundiya I.S. et al (eds) A Decade of Re-Democratization in Nigeria 1999 – 2009. Department of Political Sciences, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto 2009. p. 150 71Quoted in Ayua, I.A. (2002) Overview of Corruption in Nigeria. In Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B (eds) Problems of Corruption in Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Press, Abuja 2002. p.4
Ojowu72 did not define the concept corruption but he defined Administrative corruption to mean the abuse or strange implementation of laid down rules and regulations in the administration of public sector usually for personal gain73. Again the foregoing is a restrictive definition of the concept of corruption. Abuse of procedure does not necessarily have to be motivated by personal gain for it to amount to corruption. If the abuse of procedure was aimed at the gain of some other person and not the personal gain of the perpetrator of the abuse, it would still amount to corruption. Adeyemi74 agrees that nepotism is a variant of corruption which is not captured in the widely accepted definition of the term corruption as represented by the World Bank definition. He however opined that a more realistic assessment of the situation of corruption would demand that efforts should be concentrated in dealing with cases involving exchange/passage of benefits/gratification as according to him, these may be much more practicable to identify, confronted and contained. He thus considered the problem of corruption in Nigeria from a very narrow perspective.
Alemika75 examined different definitions of corruption proffered by various writers. He identified bribery, kickback and nepotism as the common manifestations of corruption in Nigeria76. This being so, Alemika inadvertently aligns himself with the general conception of corruption as being abuse of public office for private gain. This explains why he argued from the socialist point of view and agreed with many socialist writers that the cause of corruption in Nigeria has much to do with government policies of privatization, deregulation, commercialization and market forces. In as much as it is true that the government policies
72 Ojowu, O. (2002) Administrative and Official Corruption in the Public Sector. In Ayua I.A. and Owasanoye B. (eds.) Ibid, p. 55 73 Ibid, p.59 74 Adeyemi, A..A. (2002) Corruption in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria. In Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.) Op.cit, p. 75. 75Alemika, E.E.O. Corruption and the Civil Society. In: Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds) Op.cit, p. 129 76 Ibid, pp. 131-132
highlighted above contribute to corruption in Nigeria, a clear understanding of the dimensions of corruption in Nigeria would show that government policies stated above is just but one dimension to the problem of corruption in Nigeria. To effectively tackle the problem of corruption in Nigeria, the various dimensions of corruption must be examined and treated.
Obadan77 adopted the general conception of corruption as abuse of public office for private gain or for unofficial ends. He categorized corruption into petty or grand depending on their magnitude78. However in analyzing these categories of corruption, he limited same to the involvement of officials of government, Public Institutions and Multinational or Transnational Corporations. He also identified factors that accentuate corruption which are basically economic in substance and results from weakness in governance79. The distinguished writer failed to identify the weak values in the society as playing a big role in promoting corruption. Thus the recommendation which he proffered is reform of institutions, economic policies and incentives80. Joda81 initially appeared to have broadened the concept of corruption as it affects Nigeria when he stated: “Corruption is not about stealing or extorting money and property by leaders as commonly known. It includes any form of behavior that deviates from ethics, morality, tradition, law and civic virtues by any individual or group no matter their status in the society….”
However, he did a turnaround when he accepted without reservations the (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) definition of corruption as “the misuse of public power, office or authority for private benefit through bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism,
77 Obadan, M.I.,(2002) Corruption and the Destabilization of Development and Transnational Economies. In Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.) Op. cit., p. 186 78 Ibid, p.188 79 Ibid, pp. 191 and 193 80 Ibid, p. 207 81 Joda, T.H. (2010) Anti Corruption Hand Book for Nigerian Youths , Joyce Graphic Printers and Publishers, Kaduna, p. 13
fraud, speed money or embezzlement”. He described this definition as very holistic.82 As a result, the writer went ahead to identify three levels of corruption to wit (i) Petty Corruption (ii) Political or Grand Corruption (iii) State Corruption all of which according to him, are perpetrated by Public Servants, Politicians and powerful people. The question thus arises that if corruption as conceived by the writer is limited to the three levels identified by him, in what category would the everyday corrupt behavior of the ordinary Nigerian on the street (who is neither a public servant nor powerful) fall?
Owasanoye83also posits that corruption is a governance issue and that grand public sector corruption is the most lethal with debilitating effect apt to rapidly multiply poverty as opposed to petty corruption of lower cadre officers84. It is submitted that rather than being solely a governance issue, corruption is fundamentally an attitudinal issue which cuts across every strata of the Nigerian society. The attempt to classify corruption as either grand or petty beclouds the issue. Corruption, whether so called grand or petty is lethal to every society. If the fight against corruption must be successful in Nigeria, the classification identified by the writer above must be jettisoned.
Furthermore, even though Owasanoye identified the need for an appropriate definition of corruption to be adopted to capture all possible variations and exceptions thereto that are recognized in different countries, he offered no such appropriate definition. Alobo85 while discussing the causes of corruption in Nigeria, identified amongst others such factors as:
82 Ibid, pp. 14 – 15 83Owasanoye , B. (2002) Corruption in the Negotiation and Utilization of External Loans. In Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.) op.cit, p. 210 84 Ibid 85 Alobo, J. E. (2006) Corruption in the Rock, Josim Publishing House, Abuja, 2006, pp 22-60.
- Undue societal and family pressure,
- Unemployment/Job insecurity
- Lack of clear developmental projects; and
- Leadership crises.
The writer stated that successive Nigerian leaders have become predators who prey on Nigeria‟s resources and use their positions to accumulate wealth for themselves at the expense of the poor masses. The writer took time out to heap the blame of corruption in Nigeria on the Nation‟s leadership. He wrote:86 Imagine corruption is now a serious Nigerian phenomenon and it has critically hobbled and skewed Nigeria‟s development. Where does this come from? Don‟t bother your mind, the whole sorry development, emanates all the way from ASO ROCK – the seat of power. Government at the central level is the vessel that is leaking from the top and ASO ROCK and other government parastatals and departments are the main fountain where corruption takes its source.
Alobo appears to have allies in Akpotor and Omorogbe. Akpotor writing on the topic “Corruption: The Civil Society and Government”87 attempted to unveil the theoretical underpinnings of corruption on a developing society like Nigeria. He contends that the inability of the civil society to discourage corruption is informed by the thesis that the State usually does not bear the interest of the people at heart or is incompetent or corrupt or all three. The writer further stated that the state has been unable and unwilling to fight corrupt practices because it is well entrenched in it and survives on it. He wrote: “Infact, the Nigerian leadership from the
86 Ibid, p. 27 87Akpotor, S. (2003) Corruption: The Civil Society and Government. In: Duko, M. (ed.) Philosophy and Politics: Discourse on Values, Politics and Power in Africa. Malthouse Press Limited Lagos, p. 355
beginning has been found to be the worst culprit and to that extent, the vernal of the problem”.88 The writer drew attention to examples of some Public Officers with “larger than life” pattern who have been indicted by various probe panels for pilfering public funds89 to buttress his point.
On his part, Omorogbe writing on the topic “Intellectual Giants but Moral Dwarfs: An Examination of the Role of Morality in Education”90, discussed the role of morality in education and good governance. He holds the view that the low level of prosperity in Nigeria reflects the low level of morality in the country especially among the leaders. He further wrote that: Nigerians have had the misfortune of being ruled by a succession of such gangs of criminals for decades since independence. That is why we have made no meaningful progress in development; instead we have been subjected to untold hardship that deteriorates with the passage of time, hardship in the midst of plenty.
Okonkwo while writing on the topic “Legal and Institutional Mechanisms Against Corruption in Nigeria”91 identified reasons why corruption is intractable in Nigeria. He stated that the reason why no serious effort had been made in the past to fight corruption even as its incidents soared is because some Heads of State were implicated in it and therefore had their hands tied. He went on to preposterously express optimism with the then leadership in the country under Olusegun Obasanjo. He stated: “Today we have a Head of State who is determined to fight corruption in our society and who has taken serious and commendable steps in that direction”.92
88 Ibid 89 Ibid 90Omorogbe, O. (2003) Intellectual Giants But Moral Dwarfs: An Examination of the Role of Morality in Education. In Duko, M. (ed.) Ibid, p. 379 91 Okonkwo, C.O. (2002) Legal and Institutional Mechanisms Against Corruption in Nigeria. In Ayua, I.,A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.) Op. cit., p. 268 92 Ibid, p. 269
It is quite true that at the beginning of the Obasanjo administration in 1999, he identified corruption as a major problem in Nigeria. To combat this problem, the administration established the ICPC and the EFCC. At that time, the administration received wide commendation. However, sooner than later, the administration became deeply enmeshed in the murky waters of corruption. Not a few eyebrows were raised when it emerged that the administration frittered away 16 billion USD in the power sector without any tangible results. Many Ministers in that administration also involved themselves in corrupt practices93. The take away from all the above is that in Nigeria, successive regimes always seek legitimacy and acceptance by pledging to fight corruption in the country, but in the end they also get entangled in the web of corruption. The question is: “Why is this so?” This makes a study on the psychology of corruption vital in the fight against corruption in Nigeria which none of the writers has ventured into to the best of the Researcher‟s knowledge. Furthermore, while it is a fact that the leadership in Nigeria is largely corrupt, to point to the leadership as the source of corruption in the country would be wrong. There is no denying the fact that the leadership in every nation is the product of the society. In other words, it is the values in a society that determines its kind of leadership. Where a society makes honesty, transparency and accountability as its values, its leadership cannot be different because they are a product of that same society.
Our understanding of the conclusion of the writers above is that corruption is pervasive in Nigeria because the leadership is corrupt. We find it difficult to agree with this conclusion and would rather submit that the leadership in Nigeria is corrupt because the Nigerian society is
93 N55m Budget Scandal: S-Court Okays Wabara, Osuji, Others for Trial. Retrieved from www.vanguardngr.com/2013/02/n55m-budget-scandal-s-court-okays-wabara-osuji-others-for-trial/ visited on 16, July, 2016 at 11.55pm
corrupt. We find as ridiculous the suggestion that an Accounts Clerk in a private law firm who falsifies documents and steals his employer‟s money does so because the occupants of Aso Rock are corrupt.
Ladan in his work emphasized the role of the law in the fight against corruption in Nigeria94. He stated that the law is a very potent weapon in the hands of any government to influence development and that the fact that corruption has devastating economic harm to the society justifies the criminalization of conducts that amount to corrupt practices95. While it may be true that the law is useful in fighting corruption, it is glaring that despite the criminalization of certain corrupt practices in Nigeria, the harmful practices have failed to abate in the country. Today, the country is still rated as one of the most corrupt in the world. It is therefore submitted that the law alone cannot win the fight against corruption in Nigeria. There is therefore the need to also adopt other variables to fight the menace of corruption in the Country.
Ogunsanwo in his work titled “Transparent Management of Resources: The North- South Question”96 analyzed the problem of corruption especially in the Southern Hemisphere and contended that donor funds sent to developing countries have been found to be mismanaged or siphoned abroad and thus not used for the projects intended97. He further submitted that donor funds were being used to execute projects that stolen internal funds could otherwise have been used for.98 He outlined the efforts of experts from the European Commission99 and the Secretariat of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States in coming up with
94 Ladan, M.T. (1998) Crime Prevention and Control and Human Rights in Nigeria. Justice Watch, Abuja, pp. 90, 91 95 Ibid 96 Ogunsanwo, A. (2002) Transparent Management of Resources: The North- South Question. In Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.), op.cit., p.260 97 Ibid, p. 264 98 Ibid 99 Now European Union
acceptable regulations and guidelines dealing with the utilization of European Development funds facilities in ACP recipient countries100. He stated that in the regulations dealing with contracts for works, supplies, services and studies, the greatest emphasis is now placed on transparency and accountability in the procedures and processes leading to the award, execution and completion of contracts and that the fundamental underlying assumption behind the regulations is that openness or transparency and accountability greatly assists in choosing the right agent for the execution of specific projects at minimal cost to those awarding the contract101. It is true that these new regulations are seen in the processes leading to the award of contracts in projects executed through donor funds, however in the Nigerian context, despite these regulations the processes are still being manipulated and circumvented. We thus have a situation where despite the seeming openness in a competitive bidding process for projects, the eventual winner is determined not based on competitiveness but on other considerations such as politics, patronage or nepotism. Examples of this abound particularly in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Universal Basic Education (UBE) projects where you hear of a list of contractors called “The Governor‟s List” given preferential treatment in the award of contracts.
It is difficult to understand why in a country such as Nigeria, donor funds are stolen and not used for the purpose they are meant for. It is also difficult to understand why it is near impossible in Nigeria to conduct transparent bidding process and make award of contracts competitive. It is not only in the execution of projects that processes are manipulated and circumvented in Nigeria. In the privatization exercise of Public Institutions supervised by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), many allegations were raised of manipulation of the
100 Ogunsanwo, A. (2002) In Ayua, I.A. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.), op. cit, p.260. 101 Ibid, pp. 264 – 265
process and corrupt practices by officials of the BPE. It is baffling why in Nigeria, Institutions or Public Officials who are expected to be unbiased and selfless in decision making process would allow themselves to be induced into taking decisions which are not only detrimental to the interest of the country but hurts the country badly. This also calls for an examination of the psychology of corruption to determine why in other countries especially those in the Northern Hemisphere, the tendencies of abuse of processes are low while in Nigeria these tendencies are very high. It is submitted that this undertaking will give an insight into the pervasive nature of corruption in Nigeria and the measures to be taken to combat same.
Nlerum wrote on the topic “Arrest, Detention and Trial of Public Officers: The Nigerian Perspective”102. The writer traced the root of abuse and corruption of public office in Nigeria to the years of military rule in which the rule of law was emasculated and according to her, the resultant effect was the loss of good governance and wanton looting of public treasury103. While it is true that the years of military rule in Nigeria has witnessed an increase in the magnitude of corruption in the country, we find it difficult to agree with the writer that the years of military rule in Nigeria is the root cause of corruption in the country. The military began their adventure into governance in Nigeria in 1966. If it is true that the years of military rule in Nigeria is the root cause of corruption in the public service, the assumption would then be that corruption in the public service in Nigeria started only in 1966. It has been stated earlier in this work that even before independence in 1960 and the years following independence, some of the founding fathers of this country at one time or the other have been indicted or even convicted for corruption and abuse of public office. Corruption and abuse of public office cannot therefore be said to be the
102 Nlerum, F. E. (2009) Arrest, Detention and Trial of Public Officers: The Nigerian Perspective In: Azinge, E. and Owasanoye, B. (eds.) Rule of Law and Good Governance, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos, p.129 103 Ibid, p. 130
result of military incursion into governance in Nigeria. A proper identification of causes of corruption is crucial in resolving the problem of corruption in Nigeria.
Waziri, in her work “Advance Fee Fraud, National Security and the Law”104 limited her scope to the scourge of Advance Fee Fraud popularly referred to as 419 in Nigeria and its implication on National Security. She identified the types of Advance Fee Fraud105 to include contract scams, inheritance scam, orphan/refugee scam, stolen funds by corrupt Heads of Government, crude oil sales, employment scam, visa/immigration scam, lottery scam, investment scam and so forth. Waziri106 outlined some measures taken by the Federal Government to combat the scourge of Advance Fee Fraud. These measures include:
- The establishment of a Presidential Task Force on Trade Malpractices in 1991
- The establishment of a special fraud unit under the control of the Nigeria Police Force to investigate and prosecute 419 cases.
- The implementation of a policy of transparency in financial transaction otherwise called „know your customer‟ by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since 1992.
- The setting up of a Money Laundering surveillance unit in the CBN in 1993 etc.
It is observed that most of these steps identified above were taken between 1991 and 1993 and although laudable, the scourge of Advance Fee Fraud has not abated in Nigeria. Although the writer made some recommendations to help reduce the rates of Advance Fee Crimes in Nigeria107, most of these recommendations have to do with how to checkmate the
104 Waziri, F. M, (2005) Advanced Fee Fraud National Security and the Law, Book Builders Editions Africa, Ibadan, pp.13-155. 105 Ibid, pp 17 – 35 106 Ibid, pp. 33 – 34 107 Ibid, pp. 82 – 84
involvement of foreigners either as victims or collaborators. The writer did not adequately proffer domestic recommendations that would help tackle the problem of 419 in Nigeria.
Asogwah and Okoli in their book “Economic Crimes and National Development”108 attempted to determine whether corruption in Nigeria is endemic or systemic. According to the writers when corruption is said to be endemic, it means it is always present in a particular place or among a particular group of people. On the other hand according to the writers, when corruption is said to be systemic, it means it has an effect on the whole of the people. Flowing from the above distinctions, the writers argued that both terms have been used to describe the Nigerian condition as it concerns economic crimes but that the use of the term “endemic” foists on every citizen a status of “presumed guilty until found innocent”. The writers thus submitted that they would rather subscribe to the use of the term „systemic‟ to describe the extent of corruption in Nigeria. We find this distinction unnecessary especially in an effort to address the problem of corruption in Nigeria. Firstly, any attempt to classify corruption as either endemic or systemic will obfuscate the issues. If we are to accept the definition of endemic corruption as presented by the writers and also consider Nigeria as a system, it will be seen that corruption has always been present in the country. It is not a disease or a problem that developed overtime. What perhaps developed over time is the proportion of corruption. Thus in this context, corruption can be said to be endemic in Nigeria. In their analyses, the writers isolated the people from the system and any attempt to do that will result in a wrong diagnosis of the problem of corruption in Nigeria.
108 Asogwah, F. and Okoli, P. Economic Crimes and National Development Institute for Development Studies University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, pp. 53 – 54
Secondly, by subscribing to the notion that corruption is systemic in Nigeria, the writers gave an impression that corruption is an organized or methodic crime. While it is true that there are many cases or organized corruption syndicates in Nigeria, it will be foolhardy to limit corruption to the activities of organized syndicate. There are many instances of individuals orchestrating corrupt practices of monumental proportion with damaging consequences on the nation. Their activities cannot be said not to be corruption. There are also other cases of so called “petty corruption” ranging from simple theft to criminal breach of trust or even criminal misappropriation which are perpetrated by individuals. The aforesaid writers merely considered the proportion and sophistication of corrupt practices in determining whether corruption is endemic or systemic. This research will consider the variants of corruption which the writers failed to do.
Alobo further wrote that poverty is the “main” cause of corruption in Nigeria. He stated that the fear of poverty prompts the vast majority to engage in corrupt practices.109 We submit that the above conclusion is lacking in empirical substance. While conceding that poverty is a factor in some cases of corrupt practices, it cannot however be said to be the “main” cause of corruption in Nigeria. There are many reported cases of persons of great means and who live in opulence but yet they engage themselves in corrupt practices. Cecilia Ibru, the Chief Executive Officer of Oceanic Bank Plc was recently convicted of stealing depositors funds in Oceanic Bank running into several billions of Naira. Cecilia Ibru is from the famed Ibru family who are stupendously rich. Also, Lucky Igbinedion the scion of the famed Igbinedion family and former Governor of Edo State was accused of stealing and embezzlement of Edo State Government funds. He is from an opulent family. There is also the case of Tafa Balogun and the list goes on
109 Alobo, J. (2006) Op.cit, p.46
who were convicted for misappropriation and stealing of government funds and these are people of means. This research will consider the psychology of corruption and seek to unravel why both the rich and the poor in Nigeria have tendencies to be corrupt.
Osinbajo writing on the topic “Democracy, Development and the Hegemony of Corruption”110 discussed the impact of corruption on development in Nigeria. According to him, the impact of corruption on economic and social development is decisive. He however failed to identify in specifics the nature and extent of such effects on development. There is no doubt that the impact of corruption on Nigeria is colossal. This research will seek to identify to what extent corruption has damaged the image of the Nation and stalled its development.
Iroanusi111 examined the virus of corruption in Nigeria and measures adopted by various governments since independence to deal with it. The writer examined the political corruption that characterized the First Republic in the forms of election rigging and political thuggery which resulted in the first military intervention in the political governance of the country. The writer further delved into the massive looting of the nation‟s treasury by successive governments in Nigeria. He lamented that despite the establishment of the Code of Conduct Bureau and a Code of Conduct Tribunal by the Shehu Shagari‟s administration during the Second Republic, that administration would for long represent one of the most corrupt and most graft stricken period where public office holders elevated profligacy and public treasury looting to past time. The writer however did not identify the political corruption and thuggery that characterized both the Second and Fourth Republics thereby giving the impression that election rigging and thuggery ended with the First Republic. Also, apart from the narrative of the election rigging and political
110Osibanjo, Y. (1999) Democracy, Development and the Hegemony of Corruption. In: Osinbajo, Y. et al (eds.)Human Rights, Democracy and Development in Nigeria Vol. 1. Legal Research Development Centre, Lagos, p.100. 111 Iroanusi, S. O. (2006) Corruption: The Nigerian Example. Sam Iroanusi Publications Lagos, pp. 7 – 166.
thuggery in the First Republic, the writer limited his discourse on corruption to only the looting of the public treasury. This research will demonstrate that political corruption persists in Nigeria till date despite the criminalization of certain conducts in the Electoral Act. The Research will also show that corruption is not as limited as discussed by the writer.
In his conclusion, the author stated: “Corruption must be destroyed… corruption in Nigeria must be tackled because it has ruined our reputation abroad, it has equally denied us of assistance of genuine friends who understandably do not want to see their money misappropriated”112
However, the author failed to recommend the means by which the monster of corruption would be tackled in Nigeria. It is the aim of this Research to proffer recommendations that would aid in combating the problem of corruption in Nigeria. Ajayi and Adefi writing on Corruption and the Judicial Process113 identified corruption as the most worrisome and destructive problem facing law enforcement agencies and the judiciary. While acknowledging that corruption is neither peculiar to nor indigenous to Nigeria‟s Justice Administration, the writers opined however that what is peculiar to Nigeria is the bizarre and reckless manner it is not only perpetrated but orchestrated114. The writers identified the forms of corruption in the Justice Administration System to include Bribery, Gratification, Granting of Injunctions in breach of the principles governing the grant, refusing to grant an injunction without a just cause, frivolous adjournments of cases, delayed trials of suits at the instance of the Court, assumption of
112 Ibid, p. 167 113 Ajayi, F. and Adefi, O. M. (2009) Corruption and the Judicial Process. In: Confluence Journal of Private and Property Law Vol. 1 Part 1, Department of Private and Property Law, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, p. 59 114 Ibid
jurisdiction on frivolous grounds, tampering with court exhibits, descending into the arena of conflict and so forth. The writers accused the judiciary of always playing the ostrich, by burying its head in the ground and feigning ignorance of the imminent catastrophe. They identified judicial immunity as a major factor promoting corruption in the Justice Administration System. We make haste however to say that Judicial immunity applies only in the case of Judges and does not cover the categories of administrative staff who also play key roles in the administration of Justice. The writers did not avert their minds to proffering panacea for the gangrene of corruption in the Justice System.
Abubakar wrote on “An Overview of Common Fraud Cases in Nigeria”115. He stated that over the years Nigeria has earned a bad reputation, home and abroad as harbinger of various nefarious criminal activities with poor enforcement regimes and that all citizens are being painted fraudsters by interest groups overseas. As a result, the Learned Jurist continued, international business was scared away by Nigeria‟s dubious reputation, while Direct Foreign Investment is falling drastically and that it was not surprising that by the end of 2002, the Intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force against Money Laundering in West Africa listed Nigeria as a Non-Cooperative Country. The Learned Jurist analyzed the concept of fraud as defined in Chapter 86, Section 1529 of the Michigan Criminal Code, Stroud Judicial Dictionary116 and the case of United States vs. Pearlstein.117 On the concept of fraud, the Jurist concluded that it is one of genres of white collar crimes which connote a variety of schemes,
115 Abubakar, T. (2009) An Overview of Common Fraud Cases in Nigeria. A Paper presented at GIABA Training Programme for Judges on Economic and Financial Crimes for English Speaking Countries of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana on 14 July, 2009. 116 Fourth Edition, (Vol. 2), p. 1095 117 576 F.2d 531, 335 (3d cir. 1978)
corruption, stock manipulation, consumer fraud, corporate offences, cyber-crimes, office workers, con men and public officials. He identified the perpetrators of this crime as opportunists, who over time learn they can take advantage of their circumstances to accumulate financial gain. He stated that such persons are usually educated, intelligent, affluent, confident and who are qualified enough to get a job which allows them the unmonitored access to often large sums of money. The writer identified the varieties of fraud cases daily reported and prosecuted in the Nigerian Courts to include Advance Fee Fraud (419), Bank frauds, Money Laundering, Mail fraud, Credit card fraud, Cyber-crime, Consumer frauds, Stock manipulation, Round tripping, Insider trading and Fraudulent and False accounting. The writer confined himself to fraud cases involving Financial and Economic crimes. Whereas in the introduction to the paper, the writer stated that the paper would conclude by proffering solution to reduce the incident of fraud in the Nigerian society, these solutions were however not proffered. This research will make recommendations for solutions to combat the problem of corruption including fraud cases in Nigeria.
Abubakar also wrote on Securities Fraud in Nigeria118. The jurist conceptualized security fraud as a practice whereby investors make purchase or sale decisions on securities based on false information frequently resulting in losses and violation of the Nigerian Securities Laws119. The writer identified the typologies of securities fraud to include
- False information in a company‟s financial statement
- Corporate Fraud
- Insider Trading
118Abubakar, T. (2009) Securities Fraud in Nigeria. A Paper presented at the 2nd Seminar for Judges on Economic and Financial Crimes for English Speaking Countries of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana July 13- 17, 2009, pp.7-13. 119 Ibid, p. 1
- Unauthorized sale of stock
- Wonder Bank Fraud
- Mutual Fund Fraud/Pozzi fraud
- Stock Market manipulations/Abuses which take various forms such as
iv. Wash sale
v. Bear raid and
vi. Abusive short selling
The learned Jurist examined the provisions of the Investment and Securities Act 2007 which criminalizes equity price manipulations however described.120 The paper however did not address the impact of Securities fraud on the Nigerian Economy or measures that can be taken to address this fraud in Nigeria.
Akande et al clearly located the difficulty of both the Criminal Code and the Penal Code which were enacted principally to regulate conventional crimes to deal with the present day dimension of corrupt practices in Nigeria.121 The Learned Scholars acknowledge the
120 Sections 105 and 106 Investment and Securities Act, 2007 121Akande, I.F. et al (2013). The Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria: The Imperative of Criminal Justice Reforms. In: Abdulqadr, I.A. et al (eds.) Corruption and National Development Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers Held 22nd – 26th April, 2013 at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, University of Ilorin Press, p. 38.
inadequacies of the available punishment for corruption under both the Criminal Code and the Penal Code to curb corruption in Nigeria122. However, they proffered no remedy.
Akande et al also stated that the implementation of the Code of Conduct and Tribunals Act has not been effective because the Tribunal did not record any conviction since 1991.123 They however failed to adduce any reasons for this failure. Furthermore, while commenting on the activities of the ICPC, Akande et al stated that since the passage of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and the establishment of the ICPC, the Commission was yet to make any meaningful headway respecting prosecution of Accused Persons under the Act124. They yet again failed to adduce any reasons for this malady. This Research will identify the challenges of the various Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria to achieve much success in the fight against corruption in the country.
In his work “Fusion of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal” Ikpeze is of the opinion that corruption is wide spread in Nigeria because of the absence of strong Institutional and Legal frameworks to combat the problem.125 The above submission in one sense can be said to be correct but in another sense it cannot be said to be conclusive. The assumption of Ikpeze is that Legal and Institutional frameworks without more can win the war against corruption in Nigeria. Although it is true that the law and institutions can impact positively on the fight against corruption, this research will show that the law alone cannot curb corruption in Nigeria but that other variables such as education, good governance and behavioural change can also play key roles in fighting corruption in the country.
122 Ibid 123 Ibid, p. 42 124 Ibid, p. 44 125Ikpeze, N. (2013) Fusion of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria: A critical Appraisal. In Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 2
By way of an overview, Ikpeze identified the various Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria and exempting the ICPC and the EFCC, called for a reduction in the number of the Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria “to make supervision and control easier”.126 The above view of Ikpeze assumes that the avalanche of Anti Corruption Agencies in Nigeria hampers the fight against corruption in the country. This view cannot be said to be correct. If the various Anti Corruption Agencies in Nigeria are strengthened, synergized and well funded, their number would be of added advantage to the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Thus it is not the number of these anti-corruption agencies that is the problem but rather their strength.
Idugboe and Nwano in their work “A critical Analysis of the Practice, Procedure and Mechanisms of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)” stated that it was with the signing into law of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act in 2000 that Nigeria imposed a strict legal framework and severe sanctions to fight corruption in the country127. However, since that period, the incidents of corruption in Nigeria have not abated as the country continues to languish among the basement countries in Transparency International‟s Corruption Perception Index. The question thus becomes germane whether indeed the punishment provided in the numerous Anti-Corruption legislation in Nigeria are strict enough to curb corruption in the country or whether the implementation of these punishments are being manipulated by the Anti-Corruption Institutions in the country. This research sets out to find answers to these questions.
Akomolede et al wrote on the topic “The Independence of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria: Possibilities and Challenges”. They opined that there were enough legal mechanisms to
126 Ibid, p.29 127Idugboe, J.E. and Nwano, T.C. (2013) A Critical Analysis of the Practice, Procedure and Mechanisms of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 108
combat the menace of corruption in Nigeria but that the main problem was the will to take advantage of provisions which punish corruption and abuse of office128. They concluded that the actual problem may not be dearth of law but weak and inefficient enforcement mechanisms.129 This assumption postulates that enforcement mechanisms is the problem and not the efficacy of the law in tackling the problem of corruption in Nigeria. It is however submitted that enforcement mechanism is not the only problem in tackling the problem of corruption in Nigeria but also the effectiveness of the law. This research will highlight some of the gaps in the various Anti-Corruption enactments in Nigeria which are challenges to the fight against corruption in the Country.
Akomolede et al also identified leadership as the major problem of the ICPC in the execution of its mandate of fighting corruption in Nigeria. They submitted that since its inception, the ICPC has been run by “geriatrics”.130 They further submitted that the unprecedented achievements of the EFCC led to positive changes in International perception of Nigeria which they stated was confirmed by the Annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index since 2004131. This research will show that what Akomolede et al view as improvement in Nigeria‟s ratings by Transparency International in its Annual Corruption Perception Index is only marginal and of very little significance. The research will also show that Nigeria‟s perception before the International community as a corrupt country has not meaningfully changed.
128Akomolede, T.A. et al (2013) The Independence of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria: Possibilities and Challenges. In: Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 190 129 Ibid 130 Ibid, pp 194 ,195 131 Ibid, p. 197
Like Ikpeze, Muzan et al while proffering a panacea to the gangrene of corruption in Nigeria recommended the collapse of all Anti-Corruption Agencies in Nigeria into one Institution132. They however failed to describe how this would aid the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Adeleke et al writing on the topic “The Role of the Judiciary in Combating Corruption: Aiding and Inhibiting Factors in Nigeria” cited poor remuneration of Judicial officers as one of the perspectives of corruption in the Judiciary in Nigeria.133 They stated that the highest paid Chief Magistrate in Lagos State earns less than 450,000 naira a month and that this amount was poor and accounted for corruption by many Magistrates. While not being adamant that this amount is adequate, it is however submitted that a Chief Magistrate I in Lagos State is paid this amount in a society where the minimum wage is 18,000 Naira and many Nigerians live within the minimum wage earnings. If as posited by Adeleke et al that some Chief Magistrates are corrupt because they earn 450,000 Naira in a month, this can only explain another perspective of corruption namely “greed”.
Adeleke et al also cited inadequacies of extant laws as inhibiting the fight against corruption in Nigeria.134 They however failed to highlight those areas of corruption which extant laws were inadequate to address. Shehu in his work “Nigeria: The Way Through Corruption to the Well-Being of a People” opines that penalty imposed by the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act on a public officer found guilty of receiving gratification in section 19 of
132Muzan, A.O. et al (2013) The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC): A General Assessment. In: Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 292 133Adeleke, F.A.R. et al (2013) The Role of the Judiciary in Combating Corruption: Aiding and Inhibiting Factors in Nigeria. In Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 304 134 Ibid, p. 308 the Act which is a term of imprisonment for five years without an option of fine is harsh135. Shehu arrived at the above opinion without really giving a consideration to the cost of corruption on Nigeria. Corruption in any form has resulted in the despoliation of Nigeria leading to the collapse of many Establishments, the loss of employment by many Nigerians, the rise in violent crimes/ terrorism in the country and the death of many citizens of the country. This research will consider the impact of corruption on Nigeria and in the light of the foregoing show that this punishment may not even be adequate after all.
Gbadamosi and Aderigbe wrote on the topic “Legal Representation of Corrupt Political Office Holders in Nigeria: Between Professionalism and National Development”. They submitted that the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act punishes Public Officers with Constitutional immunity.136 The impression created by the above submission is that the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act punishes Public Officers with Constitutional immunity such as President, Vice President, State Governor and Deputy Governor of a State. They however failed to locate any provision of the Act where such persons are punished for any corrupt practice. The Learned scholars also opine that corruption in Nigeria started from 1966 with the takeover of government by the military and particularly since the return of the country to democratic rule in 1999137. Corruption cannot said to have started in Nigeria in 1966. This research will show that corruption could be traced in Nigeria before the Independence of the Country in 1960 and even in colonial and pre-colonial periods.
135Shehu, A.Y. (2015) Nigeria: The Way Through Corruption to the Well- Being of a People, National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos, p. 263 136Gbadamosi, O.A. and Aderigbe, T.O. (2013) Legal Representation of Corrupt Political Office Holders in Nigeria: Between Professionalism and National Development. In: Abdulqadr, I.A. et al (eds.) op.cit p. 474 137 Ibid, p. 475
On their part, Itua et al who wrote on “The Nigeria Police and the Fight Against Corruption: An Assessment of Government Policies” appeared to blame Constitutional immunity to Heads of the Executive arm of government who flout the ethical dictates of their oath of Office for the failure of the Police to save Nigeria from “disintegrating into the abyss of corruption”.138 While it is true that Constitutional immunity granted certain categories of Public Officers constitutes a challenge to the fight against corruption in Nigeria, the Learned authors however failed to explain why after such Public Officers vacate office and are no more covered by Constitutional immunity the Police often fail to take the initiative to investigate and prosecute them for corrupt conducts while in office.
Lawal and Onakoya in their work “ICPC: An Analytical Discourse of its Practice, Procedure and Mechanism” found no problem in limiting the qualification of the Chairman of the ICPC to a person who has held or is qualified to hold office as a Judge of a Superior Court of record in Nigeria.139 What this means is that the learned authors found no problem with limiting the leadership of the ICPC to only members of the legal profession despite the mandate of the commission which includes investigation and prosecution of corrupt practices. Thus, while the leadership of the ICPC is opened to members of the legal profession even if untrained in investigation, it is foreclosed to other persons even if well trained in investigation. It will be shown in this research that this position cannot be said to be a plus to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
138Itua, P.O. et al (2013). The Nigeria Police and the Fight Against Corruption: An Assessment of Government Policies. In Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid p. 62 139Lawal, I.B. and Onakoya, O.O. (2013) ICPC: An Analytical Discourse of its Practices, Procedure and Mechanisms. In Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 513
Okafo et al appreciated the penalties prescribed in the various Anti-Corruption legislation in Nigeria.140 They however failed to analyse whether or not these punishments have been effective in curbing corruption in Nigeria. This research will consider the available punishment for corruption in Nigeria and their efficacy in curbing corruption in the country.
Tobi in his book “The Rule of Law and Anti Corruption Crusade in Nigeria”141 was of the view that some Nigerian legislation on corrupt practices cover offences which have already been legislated upon. He cited the example of section 46 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act142 where Economic and Financial Crimes is defined to include offences already legislated upon in both the Criminal Code and the Penal Code as well as other statutes such as the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (as amended). According to him, the implication of this duplication of offences arises when a person is tried on the same offence in two or more of the statutes which may offend the provision of Section 36 (9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which provides that no person who has been tried and either convicted or acquitted by a Court of competent jurisdiction or a Tribunal for a criminal offence shall be tried for that same offence or for a criminal offence having the same ingredients as that offence save upon the order of a Superior Court. While this lacuna can be clearly identified in the EFCC Act, the learned author dwelled heavily on the role of “law” in combating corruption in Nigeria. As stated earlier, this research work will show that law alone cannot win the war against corruption in Nigeria.
140Okafo, C. et al (2013) Analyzing the Effectiveness of Relevant Laws and Crime Control Theories on the Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria. In Abdulqadir, I.A. et al (eds.) Ibid, p. 698 141 Tobi, N. (2008) The Rule of Law and Anti Corruption Crusade in Nigeria. Ambik Press Ltd, Lagos, p.39 142 EFCC (Establishment) Act op.cit. Section 46
In his recent work “The National Question and Corruption”, Nwabueze opines that the laws on corrupt practices in Nigeria seem quiet adequate143. He identified three sources of the laws on corruption in Nigeria namely: (i) the Common Law, (ii) the Statutes and (iii) the Constitution144. In addition to the Criminal Code and the Penal Code, he identified three enactments as the main Statutes on corruption in Nigeria namely: (i) the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, (ii) the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and (iii) the Electoral Act 2010. While reviewing the provisions of the above enactments, the distinguished Academic did not consider their efficacies in fighting corruption in Nigeria but was more concerned with the Constitutionality and legality of their provisions. In the end, he concluded that a good number of the provisions of these enactments are “unconstitutional, null and void”145 and that the enforcement of those provisions amount to “…double illegality or illegality upon illegality”.146 Nwabueze questioned whether the provision of section 6(3) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act which mandates the Chief Judge of a State to designate a Court(s) or a Judge(s) to try all corruption cases arising under the Act or any other law does not tantamount to the Federal Legislature legislating for State and Local Governments and thus infringing on the principles of Federalism and of non-interference by one government in the management of the affairs of another government147. He also submitted that the power donated to the EFCC by section 6 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act to enforce the provisions of the Act and all Economic and Financial Crimes Laws infringes on Constitutional safeguards limiting the abuse of State‟s coercive force for the purpose of law enforcement encapsulated in sections 33 – 46, 174, 211, and 214, 215 and 230 – 296 of the 1999
143 Nwabueze, B. (2016) The National Question and Corruption, John Archers (Publishers) Ltd. Ibadan, p.206 144 Ibid 145 Ibid, p.229 146 Ibid 147 Ibid, p.210
CFRN (as amended). This Research while not overlooking the concerns raised by Nwabueze will also examine the efficacies of these Statutes especially the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and the EFCC (Establishment) Act in curbing corruption in Nigeria.
Dada148 wrote that although Nigerians differ on many issues and challenges confronting the nation, they are however unanimous that corruption of a monumental proportion pervades the nation. According to him, much as the problem of corruption is palpable in Nigeria, no one is prepared to admit that he is corrupt, rather everyone point accusing fingers at other people as corrupt. Nothing can be farther from the truth. We have a situation in Nigeria where even when one is caught, prosecuted and convicted by a Court of law on charges of corruption, he continues to insist on his innocence and blames his prosecution and conviction on witch-hunt by perceived enemies. We thus have a situation where every Nigerian is “innocent” of corruption and yet corruption is pervasive in the country. The writer however failed to delve into the psychology of corruption to find out why this is so.
Abubakar lamented the level of corruption in Nigeria and how complicit the general populace is in encouraging corruption in the country149. He however dwelt on the use of the law to tackle such corrupt practice as Money Laundering and failed to realise that the law alone cannot totally win the war against any form of corrupt practice.
Ladan identified different types of crimes perpetrated through the internet and other electronic channels amongst which are computer-related fraud, Advance Fee Fraud, Money Laundering/Cyber Laundering and so forth150 which are all variants of corruption. He also dwelt
148 Dada, J.A. (2008) Nigeria: The Challenges of Nationhood. University of Calabar Press, Calabar, p.123 149 Abubakar, I.A. (2015) Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing: Law and Practice in Nigeria. Malthouse Press Limited, Lagos, pp 287, 288 150Ladan, M.T. (2015) Cyber Law and Policy on Information and Communications Technology in Nigeria and ECOWAS. Ahmadu Bello University Press Limited, Zaria, pp.62-80
on the use of the law to address these trends. As stated elsewhere in this work, this research while not de-emphasising the use of the law in addressing the problem of corruption in Nigeria will show that the law needs to be complimented with other variables to make the fight against corruption in Nigeria more effective.
1.8 Organizational Layout Chapter One of this Research deals with the General Introduction, Background to the Study, Statement of the Problem, Aim and Objectives of the Research, Justification for the Research, Research Methodology adopted, the Scope of the Research and a review of the various literature on the subject of the research. Chapter Two of the Research examines the nature, scope and characteristics of corruption. A conceptual clarification of corruption is undertaken and the dimensions of corruption are identified. The chapter also considers the psychology of corruption and the evolution of legislation on Corruption in Nigeria. Chapter Three of the Research took a critical analysis of the various Statutes in Nigeria on the subject of corruption and identifying some shortcomings in them. Chapter Four of the Research took an overview of the Institutional frameworks for combating corruption in Nigeria. The chapter examined the efficacies of these Institutions in curbing corruption in Nigeria. Chapter Five of the Research examines the punishment available for corruption in Nigeria exposing their adequacies or otherwise in tackling the problem of corruption in the country.
Chapter Six of the Research identifies the Challenges to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Chapter Seven of the Research deals with the findings from the Research, the Conclusions and Recommendations.
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