Due Process As A Mechanism For Curtailing Corruption In Nigeria

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Due Process As A Mechanism For Curtailing Corruption In Nigeria


Abstract


This study empirically examined whether due process mechanism serve as an antidote for fraudulent practices in the Nigerian public sector. Using 875 subjects in the public sector, the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation statistical tool was employed in order to establish whether due process mechanism is an antidote for fraudulent practices and also to see if due process ensures transparency in the public sector. The study found that due process ensures transparency and is an antidote for fraudulent practices. Another interesting finding from extant literature was that weak internal control system encourages fraudulent practices in the public sector. Thus, the need to re-embark upon moral, religious, ethical and social re-orientation in the public sector on the path of economic progress and development and not for political advantages is eminent as well as rigorous campaigns to awaken the conscious and re-orientate public servants and the general society on the need to refrain from fraud or abetting it. The internal control system operating in the public sector needs to be strengthened. Also, there is need for institutionalizing, internalizing and building ownership for the multitude of reforms within the public sector so as to ensure that it sustains the changes in the anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria. These trends need to continue for the dividends of due process to be fully realized in the Nigerian public sector.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

There is no question about the existence of fraudulent practices in developing countries public sector which Nigeria is a part of. Fraudulent practice reflects a democracy, human rights and governance deficit that negatively impact on public sector development. It endangers the stability of democratic institutions, discriminates the delivery of governance services and thus results in lack of confidence by the people. UNDP (2005) points that fraudulent practice pose a major obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Thus, one of such crucial issue is to decide on the institutional arrangements for combating fraudulent practices i.e., the choice regarding the kind of framework that need to be established in order to ensure a successful fight against fraudulent practices in the public sector – ‘the due process mechanism’. Due process implies that governmental activities and businesses should be carried out openly, economically and transparently without favoritism and corruptible tendencies (Ezekwesili, 2005). Sabo (2003) opine that public demands and expectations at the grassroots for the provision of essential social and basic services using government resources have continued to be astronomically high, manifested by rising pressure on the resources with which to satisfy these. He further reiterated that the strength of any government depends on the success of its development programmes, which largely depend on an effective implementation of its policies. Thus, the government exists to serve the interest of the citizens.

Over the years, fraudulent practices in the public sector is on the increase largely due to weaknesses associated with the internal control system and other criminal temptations, which to say the least, taps the nation’s resources with its far-reaching and attendant consequences on socio-economic development. Cases of fraudulent practices in the public sector are so pronounced that everyone in every segment of the public service could seem to be involved in one way or the other in some of these nasty acts (Ekpo, 2004). This assertion is not difficult to appreciate if we accept and adopt the simple definition of fraud as “any deliberate false act aimed at deceiving or harming any party, individual or corporate body, in any manner”. Halidu (1991) observe that the bane of financial administration in Nigeria since the oil boom years a period under which the foregoing observation becomes relevant, has been the existences of structurally weak control mechanism, which create a variety of loopholes that have tended to facilitate and sustain fraudulent practices. This is coupled, of course, with the fact that there is a near total absence of due process in the conduct of public affairs.


Due Process As A Mechanism For Curtailing Corruption In Nigeria


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