It even goes as far to talk about the traditional life, cultural behaviour and the activities of the Nigerian society. Strong Essays words 4. An important concept Smith regularly draws upon is Nigerian ambivalence toward certain forms of corruption and therefore the part they play in that system. This concept refers to the practice of corruption justified by its perpetrators for reasons relating to cultural values; in ways that are not stigmatised or even deemed corrupt Olivier de Sardan, Strong Essays words 2.
Corruption consists of a diffident diversity of practices, which includes embezzlement of public funds, bribery and misuse of power Strong Essays words 3. But the unfortunate truth is that countless nations suffer from corrupt leaders and systems, forcing the people to fend for themselves in all situations. Among the cruelest of these countries is Nigeria. Nigeria has been fraught with hardship ever since its independence, but the situation was especially destructive during one particular regime beginning in Chinua Achebe uses this book "No Longer at Ease" to portray the corruption in the Nigerian society and how deep it has eaten into every aspect of the Nigerian civil and business organisation.
This pervasive corruption has been blamed on colonialism with the most convincing argument point being that the lifestyle of the Europeans and Nigerians such as Hon. Sam Okoli who worked in high positions influenced people holding special positions to receive bribe and misuse their powers The petroleum company is the main contributing factor of the GDP in the West African nation, which is also the continents, most noticeable and populous reserves. Since Nigeria was under British control it has suffered socio-economic and political adversities for decades.
Corrupt domestic militias and complicity of multinational corporations have rid the nation of its natural resources. The same corporations that are ridding the land and exploring the resources have hypocritically identified Nigeria as a major concern with regard to human rights and environmental degradation Meanwhile, in a neighboring town just miles away is poverty stricken land where someone calls home. It is surrounded by trash, with little food to eat, as the stench of sewage from the city coats the air.
This scenario is foreign to people living in the United States. That is simply because this is a problem prevalent to ones living in Nigeria, West Africa A major impetus for political schism in Nigeria was the Biafran war. But because corruption in Africa is now systemic, we can no longer be contended to use these theoretical models, as they are no longer adaptable.
More importantly, African corruption raises not only economic but also social and political rationality In Africa, unlike elsewhere, we have in some cases more of corruption of the social exchange type, in form of nepotism, tribalism and clientelism etc, more than the economic exchange type, due to the place of such primary group relations in Africa. However, this type of corruption can also lead to corruption of the economic type, due to social pressures on public officials to fulfil social obligations Jackson and C.
G Rosberg, R. Joseph, Peter Lewis, and J. The ruler ensures political stability and personal political survival by selectively distributing favours and material benefits to followers or clients Weber distinguishes patrimonialism from a legal-rational bureaucratie system of authority, governed by formal rules This is vital to the stability of political leaders and their survival, being the only way to legitimize their power in a society where the state is still viewed as an alien imposition Indeed, politics in Nigeria centres on redistribution of state patronage in an atmosphere of fierce ethnic and regional competition Politicians who occupy public office are expected to use their position to amass resources for themselves and members of their primary groups, or else they lose their relevance.
It contends that, except the putting in place of such institutions are accompanied by a radical change in social values and practices beginning from the top, corruption may likely remain a major problem in Nigeria in particular, and in Africa in general. The remaining part of this article is divided into three parts.
Challenging Corruption in Africa: Beyond the Bleak Projections
This national mood was well captured in an acceptance speech by the then president elect, Olusegun Obasanjo, following his victory in the February , presidential election:. I regard the resuit of this election as a mandate from the people of Nigeria and a command from God Almighty that I should spare no effort in rebuilding this nation. I understand the clear message of the Nigerian people.
Before his election, Obasanjo, a known crusader against corruption and abuse of power, and one time President of Transparency International Board of Governors, had left no one in doubt about his disdain for corruption. His imprisonment between and , by a previous military regime, was not unconnected with his principled and courageous stand against corruption by the regime. The decision to initiate such a new law was similarly informed by the realisation that given the high levels of corruption and its current modem and sophisticated nature, existing legislations could not effectively check the menace.
The law aimed to prohibit, prevent and prescribe punishments for corruption, through the instrumentality of a national anti-corruption agency modelled after those of Hong Kong, Singapore etc. These challenges which constituted the initial obstacles threatened the survival of ICPC, raising questions about the commitment of the political class to the war against corruption in Nigeria. Justice Mustarpha Akanbi, a well respected jurist as its chairman It has its administrative headquarters in Abuja, the federal capital and is expected to establish branch offices in all the 36 states of the federation.
Under Section 3 12 of the Act, ICPC is conferred with the powers to appoint, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over its staff These raged from the vital question of how and from where to pool its foundation staff to the issue of office and residential accommodation of its key staff and finance.
To enable it commence operations immediately, it had to make do with skeletal staff deployed from other public institutions The unavoidable dependence on the services of staff of these institutions, some of which had been grossly tainted with corruption of the past, especially the Nigerian Police, became a source of concern for the Public However, the commission has in the last three years moved to effect the recruitment of its own workforce, based on its need and the level of resources available to it.
These included:. The Criminal Code applicable in the Southern states. The Penal Code applicable in the Northern states. Dealing with these modem methods, it was thought, required a modem legislation. Further more, they were said to be scattered, rather than grouped together conveniently and were not comprehensive The Act, therefore aims to bring about some orderliness in the laws, by putting them in a more comprehensive document and to fill the lacuna created by the inadequacy of existing laws It however recognised the existing laws ICPC is empowered to:.
Each committee hasamember of the commission as its chairman. Others are offences committed through postal systems, deliberate frustration of investigation by the Commission, making false statement or return, gratification by and through agents, bribery of public officers, offence of using office or position for gratification, bribery in relation to auction, bribery for giving assistance etc, in regard to contracts, failure to report bribery transactions, dealing with, using, holding, receiving or concealing gratification, making of statements which is false or intended to mislead and attempted conspiracy.
Penalties for these offences range between 10 years and 1 year imprisonment with the option of a fine. ICPC enjoys wide powers to enforce these provisions, including the powers to investigate, search, seize any property which is the subject of investigation and arrest, if it deems that to be necessary or can facilitate its work 55 and its officials investigating cases enjoy some immunity, and are conferred with special powers These twelve included some well placed people, like a High Court Judge, a prominent lawyer SAN , a multi-millionaire and chief executive of an insurance firm, permanent secretaries and directors, as well as state commissioners By March 28, , the number rose to 39 accused persons standing trials in 17 criminal matters pending in various designated courts.
The trials emanated from the over petitions before the commission then Unfortunately, virtually all of these cases have been politicised or stalled in the courts, because of the frequent adjournments and the interlocutory orders and injunctions normally granted accused persons by the courts. More disappointing, some were in fact thrown out on technical grounds. The trio were said to have conspired to offer the sum through Omowunmi, to one Mika Anache, a member of the Justice Nwazota panel The goal, according to the receiver Anache , who admitted Omowunmi brought the money which he claimed was from his boss, Olafisoye, for him and other members of the Justice Nwazota panel of inquiry, was to wrest a favourable report from the panel, 63 which for over nine months unravelled the decades of wroth in the NAL This constitutes an offence under the Act.
Unfortunately however, this promising trial, like others which followed, has remained stalled in the court process till date. The property was allegedly acquired for million naira in a very questionable deal. The said ex-commissioner, who was privy to the transaction which took place while he was still in the cabinet, later made available to the PDP a rival political party which he later joined leadership in the state certain documents which he claimed represented the State Executive Council conclusion on the purchase of plot Initially, the trials were halted as a resuit of the legal action against the commission at the Supreme Court, to which Ondo State was also a principle party But even after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in favour of ICPC, this case, like others, have remained stalled in the an endless court process.
These included the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives and some state governors spread across the then three political parties. This development aroused tremendous interest among the public, who had almost lost confidence in the ICPC. Any successful prosecution of officials of such calibre in Nigeria, would have undoubtedly sent the appropriate signais and help convince the cynical public that the commission was still on track.
Indeed, the scenario in the Senate, since the removal of its first president on November 19, , has painted a clear picture of a chamber polarized by greed.
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No sooner would a president and his team be removed on allegations of corruption sometimes substantiated by documents than the next leadership would be mired in allegations of fmancial recklessness This incident took place during a period when the legislature was considering a motion to impeach President Obasanjo, fuelling suspicion that the money may have emanated from the Presidency or sources close to it Before the ICPC could conclude preliminary investigations on the petition, the Speaker headed to court and obtained an order restraining the Commission from investigating him, once the ICPC indicated that.
During his interrogation, he promised to show ICPC officials the houses he mentioned in his petition. When ICPC officials, armed with sophisticated video cameras, arrived at the site of one of the houses in question, in company of some aides of the petitioner, they were held hostage for several hours and prevented from carrying out their duties by security men attached to the Senate President. The incident almost degenerated into a violent conflict, but for the timely intervention of the Inspector-General of Police.
Anyim contended in his petition that it was illegal for ICPC officials to enter the premises of his property without his knowledge or any form of search warrant, sighting Section 36 1 and 2 of the ICPC Act He also drew the attention of the President to sections of the Act which forbid public disclosures of reports He was also not happy that ICPC officials were in company of three aides of the petitioner, who was considered a sworn enemy of Anyim, but a close associate of President Obasanjo, wondering why ICPC has not prosecuted Nzeribe, who himself had on several occasions openly confessed giving and accepting bribes Surprisingly, Anyim, unlike his predecessors, got the backing of most of his colleagues in the Senate and even the House of Representatives, in what later turned out to be a war of attrition between the three arms of govemment.
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Following a request from the leadership of the PDP, it announced, three months to the highly awaited April elections, that investigations on alleged corrupt practices involving at least 15 state governors all of whom where seeking re-elections , mainly from the ruling PDP, had almost been concluded and that those who are found wanting will face the music. It later announced that it had forwarded requests to the Chief Justice ofthe Federation, CJF, to constitute independent council to probe those who have cases to answer, in line with Section 52 of the Act The question became, why did the ICPC suddenly decide to wake up from its slumber in the midst of electoral campaigns?
Alamieyeseigha, of Bayelsa State, one of those indicted by the ICPC report, went to court to stop the CJF, from appointing an independent council to complement the investigation by ICPC of charges of corruption levelled against him, which he vehemently denied. The State Tenders Board also allegedly issued contracts worth , million naira to other fake companies. The petitioner alleged that the governor corruptly enriched himself by using govemment funds to acquire eight properties, including a five star hotel in the country, while also usingtwo local banks as conduit pipes to move billions of state funds to private accounts.
These companies subsequently headed to the court and got injunctions restraining ICPC from prosecuting them based on the allrgations made against them Though these rumours have not been proved or even disproved , considering the type of allrgations made against Alamieyeseigha, as contained in the ICPC report, at a time when he was struggling to keep the gubernatorial nomination he had earlier won in a keenly contested govemorship primaries and the manner the report was leaked to the press and the governor himself, there can be no greater confirmation of either the unwholesomeness or lapses in the ICPC investigations.
Worst still, the cases have remained unresolved and stalled, like the others, in the Courts. By this amendment, the president was effectiveiy stripped of his powers to appoint officers of ICPC. With the amendment also, the present Chairman of the Commission, who has been having a running battle with some political office holders including the legislators, over allegations of corruption, will have to give way to a serving judge to head the Commission.
The amendment also affected the powers of ICPC, the procedure of its investigations and scope of punishment it could met out to those found guilty under the law. Most importantly, it restored the right ofthe citizens to know that they are under investigation To demonstrate their seriousness to effect the changes, the bill was made to pass the first and second readings on the same day, a clear departure from parliamentary tradition The President who had earlier wrote the leadership of the National Assembly asking it avoid taking any further action on the new bill, in line with a High Court order which directed all parties to halt proceedings on the passage of the law, haven been ignored by the lawmakers, withheld his assent to the bill.
This crisis was however resolved by the same court, which declared the Act null and void, on May 21, , while directing that the version of the law should continue to operate until it is amended by due process of law Rather than secure the conviction of these corrupt officials, the reason for why it was established, ICPC have become politicised and neck-deep in damaging controversies, losing its credibility in the process.
So that it is now seen by some as a mere instrument for witch-hunting political enemies. Its dismal performance has been partly due to its own many internal contradictions and administrative problems, but more fondamentally, to systemic factors outside its control, i. This has destroyed public confidence in the ongoing efforts to fight corruption, and eroded the legitimacy of the principal agency for the war against graft. Several state governments also registered their opposition to the anti-corruption law which they said was a violation of the constitution.
These challenges foretold the kind of opposition which ICPC was to confront.
Corruption in Nigeria: Review, Causes, Effects, and Solutions | Soapboxie
In order to win public confidence, support and participation, which are necessary conditions for any successful struggle against corruption, the appointment of the top echelon of the commission would need to be opened up to some form of public participation. It will be helpfol in this regard if the govemment, involve at least a significant section of the civil society, including opposition parties. Monitor potential sources of corruption and investigate individuals on grounds of reasonable suspicion, as against the present practice, where the commission can not probe anyone, irrespective of the amount of evidence available to it, except upon the receipt of a petition.
Probe cases of corruption irrespective of the date of the offence. One way of doing this, is to empower the commission to prosecute such individuals where strong grounds exist in its opinion, but on the basis of previously existing laws. Receive sufficient independent funding, to lessen its dependence on the whims and caprices of the executive and legislature.
Leadership and Corruption in Nigeria Essay
It could draw its funding from a Consolidated Revenue Fund, as applicable to the judiciary. Experience has shown that the police and the Judiciary are key institutions which require urgent reforms, in the battle against corruption and other crimes. An impartial and non-political body, charged with the responsibility of supervising its operations, to ensure that its operations are done within the limit of its enabling statute will be useful. The Office of the Auditor General and the Code of Conduct Bureau are relevant institutions and finally f There is need to sensitise and mobilize the civil society to assume its role of watchdog.
The political class can be forced by a well mobilized civil society, to demonstrate absolute commitmentto transparency and accountability and the required political will to lead the struggle, by shunning corruption and leading by example. BACH, D. London: Macmillan Press Ltd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. C eds.
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