Public Perception Of The Activities Of Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) In Curbing Corruption
The major objective of (EFCC) Economic Financial Crime Commission is the issue of upsurge of corruption in Nigeria. Nigeria law enforcement agency fight against financial crime such as Fraud (419) and money laundry the research examined the impact of (EFCC) the pressing of resolved problem facing Nigeria is corruption practice among the leaders.
As a case study it’s also examined the challenges of corruption as a development institution and legal change. Political corruptions I the abuse of entrusted power by political leaders for private gain and take user of illent fund to the sale of appointment and abuse or state resources. Not all are illegal, legal donation to political parties usually abuse the office such as embezzlement.
The questionnaire, research the design used to collect data report from the people of Ikeja how Nigeria society establish various anti-corruption bodies to cubit corruption with a positive result through the use of (EFCC) to achieve criticized fact that arrest persecutor.
EFCC operation is antithetical to the ideal norm and value of democracy. EFCC in combating corruption as a necessary step to consolidate political leader in Nigeria by the way extension. Guiding the hypothesis of the research, the consolidation of democracy and constitution measure and process against political corruption as an act committed by public offices goes beyond the issue of receive and giving bribe alone. Its also law makers who receives Ghana-must-go bags of Naira to foreign bank account significant relations political corruption, cripple and violates which accentual the major treats to the sustainability of political corruption has even made the issue more complex.
A careful examination of the nature of operation and activities of the agency reveals that EFCC instead of lawfully addressing the political corruption in Nigeria has become a very powerful and vital weapons in the hands of presidency and ruling party to black mal harass and intimidate political foes in other words the anti corruption agency (EFCC) has become a patient of the very disease it has set out to be cure by EFCC has become a treat to the politician.
1.0 Background to the Study
The issue of the upsurge of corruption in Nigeria undoubtedly remains one of the most pressing and unresolved problems facing Nigeria as a nation. The prevalence of corruption and corrupt practices in Nigeria particularly among the leaders is absolutely deplorable and troubling, considering its astronomical damages on Nigerian polity (Dike, 2002). The peril of corruption could be felt from the slow movement of files in offices, police perennial extortion points along our major and indoor roads and tollgates, slow traffics on the highways, port congestion, queues at the passport offices and gas stations, ghost workers syndrome and election irregularities. The chaos caused by corruption in this country could be recognized even by a newly born baby (Obayelu, 2007). The funds allocated for their welfare disappear into the thin air. Thus, it is believed by many that in the society that corruption is a bane of Nigeria.
Consequently, the issue keeps reoccurring in every academic and informal discussion in Nigeria. Some writers on corruption argued that corruption is endemic in all governments, and that it is not peculiar to any continent, region, ethnic and racial group. In a statement made by Dike, (2002) and Obuah (2004), corruption cuts across faiths, religious denominations and political systems affecting both the young, the old, man and woman alike.
Corruption is found in democratic and dictatorial politics; feudal, capitalist and socialist economies. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures are equally bedeviled by corruption. Corruption and corrupt practices did not begin today; the history is as old as the world history. Ancient civilizations have traces of widespread illegality and corruption (Lotterman, 2002). Thus, corruption has been ubiquitous in complex societies from ancient Egypt, Israel, Rome, and Greece down to the present (Lipset and Lenz, 2000). This does not, however, mean that the magnitude of corruption is equal in every society; some countries are more corrupt than others.
Since corruption is not new, and since it is a global phenomenon, it is not peculiar to Nigeria. However, corruption is pandemic in Nigeria as well as in several other African, and Asian nations; the leaders as well as the followers are equally corrupt. Consequently, it has defied all the necessary medicines. It is however, against the background of this study that an attempt is being made to investigate the public perception of the role of EFCC in curbing corruption among political leaders in Ikeja local government area of Lagos State.
1.1 Statement of Problem
The quest to curb corruption and corrupt practices in order to achieve improved economic discipline in Nigeria remains a daunting task which requires strong political will, institutional reforms, and formation of international partnerships. Several arrest, prosecution and recovery of public properties have been made and yet corruption goes on as if nothing has happened. However, the policy of preventing or protecting public sector corruption is better than the curative approach of curbing the problem posed by corruption.
Many Nigerians were of the view that the fighting corruption in Nigeria seems to be selective while some other individuals believed that officials of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) shield some criminals from arrest while others believe that some people can perpetrate corruption without being detected. Some political leaders of the country dodge prosecution in order not to be tamed besides; these officials of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) are perceived as being unethical by many in the society making the public lose confidence in the quest to curb corruption and corrupt practices by EFCC (Obuah, 2004).
The political will to tackle corruption is best demonstrated through leadership by example, enforcement of leadership of conduct/ethics, and whenever the occasion presents itself, willingness to prosecute and punish those leaders who are guilty of corruption and or proactively protest and empower those who blow the whistle on corrupt insiders and key political allies is often swept under the carpet. There were incidences of bribery scandals among the officials of the EFCC all which constitute problem to the success of the team.
However, it is for this seeming fact that this study attempts to investigate the following; what is the societal perception of the role of the EFCC in curbing corruption among our leaders? What is the rationale behind the establishment of the anti-corruption institution (EFCC) in Nigeria? Why the quest to curb corruption in Nigeria as a whole is problematic? How ethical are the EFCC officials in the course of their duties? What are the challenges facing EFCC in curbing corruption? What efforts are being put in place by the State Government to intensify the effectiveness of the EFCC in Ikeja area of Lagos State?
1.2 Research Questions
This study is guided by the following research questions:
- Why is corruption and corrupt practices among political leaders endemic?
- How efficient and effective is the EFCC in the quest to curb corruption among the political leaders?
- What challenges the EFCC officials face in curbing among political leaders in Ikeja area of Lagos State?
- What role does the Lagos State government play in assisting the EFCC in bringing the leaders to book in Ikeja local government area and Lagos State?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study aims at investigating the public perception of the role of the EFCC in curbing corruption in Ikeja local government area of Lagos state. To achieve this primary objective, the researcher therefore sets the following as the specific objectives of the study, and they are:
- To examine why corruption and corrupt practices are endemic issues in Ikeja area of Lagos state.
- To investigate how efficient and effective is the EFCC in the quest to curb corruption and corrupt practices in Lagos State.
- To highlight some of the challenges of the EFCC in curbing corruption and corrupt practices in Ikeja area and Lagos State as a whole.
- To assess the various State government efforts made in assisting the EFCC officials in carrying out their official tasks/duties of combating crime in Lagos State.
1.4 Significance of Study
Research and every other academic endeavours of this nature are expected not only to provide additional facts and ideas to the existing facts and ideas in order to further update our knowledge about the state of phenomenon under investigation or study such as the public perception of the role of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission in curbing corruption among political leaders in Ikeja local government area of Lagos State, but also, providing additional information, knowledge as well as alternative solution to the endemic problem of corruption in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
It is in this direction that this study becomes significant as it hopes to reveal to its readers the extent of corruption and corrupt practices among political leaders in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State and Nigeria. Also, the study shall highlight some of the several of the State government efforts in combating corruption in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
More so, this study would bring to limelight some of the crucial challenges in fighting corruption in Lagos State as well as in Nigeria and the various matter arising as it relate to corruption and corrupt practices.
In addition, this study would aid in securing the needs of prospective researchers or students in the areas of secondary data collection and also would serve as reference in their research activities.
1.5 Scope and Limitations of Study
The scope of the study is limited to Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. The data required for this study would be obtained from Ikeja Local Government Council Secretariat. Inference for generalization could therefore be made from the outcome of this study beyond Ikeja local government area and relating it to other local government area in Lagos State.
1.6 Definition of Terms
This is defined as a perversion or a change from good to bad. Specifically, corruption or corrupt behaviour involves the violation of established rules for personal gain and profit. Its effort is to secure wealth or power through illegal means. It is a private gain at the public expense; or a misuse of public power for private benefits.
This refers to the societal view, evaluation, discernment or opinion about an event or happening in the society.
Economic And Financial Crime Commission (EFCC):
This is a commission or agency established in 2002 and mandated to combat all economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The research centered on the public perception of the activities of Economic Financial Crime Commission (Efcc) In Curbing Corruption using Ikeja Local Government Area as case study. it investigated how efficient and effective is the EFCC in the quest to curb corruption and corrupt practices in Lagos State. it highlighted some of the challenges of the EFCC in curbing corruption and corrupt practices in Ikeja area and Lagos State as a whole. it assessed the various State government efforts made in assisting the EFCC officials in carrying out their official tasks/duties of combating crime in Lagos State.
The study adopted a survey research design and with the aid of convenient sampling techniques, eighty (80) participants who are resident of Ikeja Local Government was enrolled for the study. A well structured questionnaire was issued to the respondent of which a total of seventy-seven (77) responses were received and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using simple percentage as well as frequencies and table.
Corruption has proven difficult to fight and address in Nigeria even though an anti-graft agency has been set up through the EFCC to combat it. Although at the initial stage the commission was doing fine in recovering looted funds from past corrupt public official, in recent time have been bedeviled with politicization and acclimatize itself with corrupt practices. The overbearing influence of government presence in the activities of the EFCC has waterloo the performance of the commission and affected the administration of criminal justice fight against corruption..
Findings from the study revealed that some of the challenges the EFCC officials face in curbing among political leaders includes immunity of most polticians, economic power of most politicians via the ability to buy the court decisions in favor to themselves, Lack of focus of the agency personnel as they go after common people in the society and oppress them without evidence and Misplaced priority of the agents as they after youth and indicting them of mere crime which is not as grievous as that of politicians. A careful examination of the nature of operation and activities of the agency reveals that EFCC instead of lawfully addressing the political corruption in Nigeria has become a very powerful and vital weapons in the hands of presidency and ruling party to black mal harass and intimidate political foes in other words the anti corruption agency (EFCC) has become a patient of the very disease it has set out to be cure by EFCC has become a treat to the politician.
Findings from the study also revealed that the ways in which the EFCC can win their fight against corruption include The autonomy of the commission should be enacted without undue interference from federal and state political heads; There should be proper and a more convincing explanation by the EFCC on who is in charge of or where the recovered loots are being channeled to so as to correct the notion of the agency “relooting the loot”. More so the EFCC ought to be ultra-careful during raids to avoid apprehending the “innocent” alongside the culprit(s).
From the findings of the study, the researcher recommends thus:
- For the EFCC to achieved and surpass her current achievements, some level of independence is required for the commission. Laws guiding the judicial process of the EFCC and preventing the interference of political elite in the activities of the commission should be enacted.
- The government, at both federal and state levels, should stare clear off the activities of the EFCC in order for the agency to be fully independent and to be able to fight corruption with a mind devoid of prejudice.
- The EFCC should try not to renege any of its promise especially as it regards rewarding whistleblowers. This will further motivate the people to expose corruption and unscrupulous elements in the country.
- There should be proper and a more convincing explanation by the EFCC on who is in charge of or where the recovered loots are being channeled to so as to correct the notion of the agency “relooting the loot”.
- The EFCC ought to be ultra-careful during raids to avoid apprehending the “innocent” alongside the culprit(s).
- The non-conviction based assets forfeiture law should also be enacted because the nation needs to recoup her stolen fund to help revive her growth and development;
- Nigerian Judicial Process should also allow the administration of justice of the EFCC been fast and effective through attending to cases brought before the court on a timely basis with unnecessary delay and adjournments.
- The anti-graft agency of Nigeria i.e. the EFCC, ICPC, and CCB have grown to the stage of having a separate or special court system in order to achieve the desired goal of fighting corruption and financial crime. The Judicial system and the government should encourage the establishment of the special court.
- Anti- corruption agency should immediately work to repeal the IMMUNITY CLAUSE in the 1999 constitution. The clause tends to encourage corruption, both at the federal and state levels. Public officials, especially representatives and state governors have been openly corrupt because they know that they cannot be prosecuted while they are still in office.
- The EFCC or judicial commission should be set up to investigate the judicial system in order to find out why cases go through the Nigerian court system in a snail–like speed. There are too many delays and adjournments in the trial of cases. As a result, unfortunate suspects are sometimes locked up in detention for years awaiting trial. A law should be passed which states that if a case is not tried after a certain time period, the suspects in detention should be released. The delays and unnecessary postponements amount to corruption of Justice.
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