The Role Of The Economic And Financial Crime Commission In The Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Some Selected MDAs)

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

The Role Of The Economic And Financial Crime Commission In The Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Some Selected MDAs)


Abstract


The main focus of this study is to assess the role of the economic and financial crime commission in the fight against corruption in nigeria (a case study of some selected MDAS). The research adopted the survey descriptive design and with the aid of convenience sampling method, the researcher conveniently selected eighty (80) participant who are staff of some selected MDAS in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Self- structure questionnaire was issued to the respondent of which seventy-seven (77) responses were retrieved and validated for the study. The study made use of of descriptive analysis and inferential statistics where data from field survey was analyzed using simple percentage, mean and standard deviation presented in frequencies and tables. Finding of the study reveals that EFCC since its establishment has recorded tremendous achievements in successfully recovering billions of naira and prosecuting a number of corrupt people in the country. This study also proved that despite these achievements, EFCC has failed to win at least half of its cases in the courts of justice, the commission was also been accused of itself being corrupt and partiality in its activities. Most of the cases won by the commission were small and intermediate cases, while grand corruption cases involving politicians are hardly finished within three years. The study therefore recommends that EFCC should be given adequate autonomy to effectively perform its functions without government interference as they agency need to be more sophisticated in its investigation and prosecution of corruption cases rather than misplaced priority of hunting common men. More so, 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”.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The issue of rising corruption in Nigeria is undeniably one of the most important and unaddressed issues confronting the country. The prevalence of corruption and unscrupulous practices in Nigeria, particularly among politicians, is totally reprehensible and disturbing, given the colossal costs to the Nigerian democracy (Chuta. 2018). Sluggish file movement in offices, police extortion points along our main and interior roads and tollgates, slow traffic on highways, port congestion, lineups at passport offices and petrol stations, phantom employees syndrome, and election anomalies are all signs of corruption. According to Enweremadu (2016), the turmoil created by corruption in this country is visible even to a newborn infant. This is clear when monies designated for public benefit either vanish into thin air or are devoured by animals. As a result, many in the community feel that corruption is a scourge in Nigeria.

Consequently, many in the community feel that corruption is a scourge in Nigeria. , the subject keeps coming up in every academic and informal debate in Nigeria. Some writers on corruption suggested that corruption is prevalent in all countries and is not exclusive to any continent, region, ethnic or racial group. Corruption, according to Girling (2017), spans across faiths, religious divisions, and political systems, hurting both the young and the old, men and women. Corruption, according to Girling, may be found in democratic and authoritarian regimes, as well as feudal, capitalist, and socialist economies. Corruption plagues Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist societies equally. As a result, he concluded that corruption and corrupt activities are not new; they have a long history dating back to the dawn of time. According to Mauro (2017), ancient civilizations had rampant criminality and corruption. However, corruption has been prevalent in complex civilizations since ancient Egypt, Israel, Rome, and Greece, and this does not imply that the amount of corruption is similar in every culture; some countries are more corrupt than others.
Surprisingly, Nigeria’s restoration to democratic governance in 1999 heralded a new era of anti-corruption fight. Excessive corruption was one of the most severe difficulties that the Nigerian democratic government faced when it took office in 1999. Nigeria is endowed with enormous resources that may be used to accelerate development, but a sizable portion of the country’s population lives in abject poverty as a result of widespread corruption. Corruption has made it extremely difficult for the Nigerian government to make use of its enormous resources and raise the level of living for its common inhabitants. Though corruption is a universal concern, it has been designated as the most pandemic global problem, wreaking havoc on both rich and developing countries (Adebayo & Seun, 2015). However, its long-term impacts on the Nigerian economy have been substantial and widespread.

Corruption occurs at an alarming rate in Nigeria, to the point that Nigeria was ranked 52 as the least corrupt nation out of 175 countries in 1997, but ranked 152 in 2005. Out of 180 nations, the country was rated 144 in 2018 and 146 in 2019. Nigeria is currently the second most corrupt ECOWAS country, according to the 2019 list (Transparency International, 2018 and 2019). As a result, Nigeria has been labeled as one of the world’s most corrupt countries. In response, successive governments have made several efforts to reduce the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, including the establishment of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) in 2000, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2003, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act in 1991, the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offenses Act in 2005, and the Money Laundering Prohibition Act in 2011. This research will focus solely on the function of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in combating corruption in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In recent years, Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign has resembled a gun-war fought with bows and arrows; it is a struggle that may transform its warriors into victims and those being fought into heroes. According to Onyema (2018), it is a “world” of controversies, politics, long discussions, and high public expectations, and it is a “war” that both sides use to win personal and political points.

Recognized is the fact that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is the principal entity charged with waging Nigeria’s anti-corruption battle. Despite tremendous progress by anti-corruption organizations in investigating and convicting prominent public employees and political figures, as well as recovering and repatriating large stolen Nigerian funds. However, research (Ibraheem, 2017; Transparency International, 2018 and 2019) show that the rate of corruption in Nigeria has risen significantly over the years.

Surprisingly, corruption in Nigeria has become systematic and chronic, implying that the techniques for combating it in Nigeria are either inefficient or that the institutional structures for the anti-corruption crusade are ineffectual in light of the enormity of corruption in Nigeria.

According to Idris (2021), the fight against corruption and corrupt practices in order to achieve enhanced economic discipline in Nigeria remains a difficult challenge that needs strong political will, institutional changes, and the establishment of international collaborations. Furthermore, several arrests, prosecutions, and recoveries of public property have occurred, but corruption continues as if nothing has happened; thus, Idris argued that a policy of preventing or protecting public sector corruption is preferable to a curative approach to addressing the problem of corruption. Some scholars believe that the fight against corruption in Nigeria appears to be selective, while others believe that officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) shield some criminals from arrest, such as political leaders who avoid prosecution in order not to be tamed, and thus the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are perceived as unethical by many in society, causing the public to lose trust in the quango (Obuah, 2014).

Owing to variance in the opinion of scholars on the perceptions of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in fighting corruption, upon this premise the researcher seeks to ascertain the role of EFCC in combating corruption in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The broad objectives of this study is to examine the role of the economic and financial crime commission in the fight against corruption in Nigeria (a case study of some selected MDAS). Other specific objective guiding the study is set :

  1. To examine why corruption and corrupt practices are endemic issues in Nigeria.
  2. To determine the effectiveness of EFCC in fighting against corruption in Nigeria.
  3. To ascertain factors responsible for EFCC and their fight against corruption in Nigeria.
  4. To investigate the challenges EFCC officials face in their bid of curbing corruption in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Question

The following question are designed to guide the the study in line with the research objectives:

  1. What reasons contributes to the endemic issues of corruption and corrupt practices in Nigeria?
  2. How efficient and effective is the EFCC in the quest to curb corruption in Nigeria?
  3. What are the factors responsible for EFCC and their fight against corruption in Nigeria?
  4. What are the challenges EFCC officials face in their bid of curbing corruption in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: The economic and financial crime commission is not effective in fighting against corruption in Nigeria.
  • Ha: The economic and financial crime commission is effective in fighting against corruption in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study or research cannot be over emphasized because of the immense contribution. It is supposed to offer in the area of development of knowledge in fighting corruption in Nigeria. It is therefore hoped that this study will highlight the effect of Corruption, dimensions of corruption and roles so far performed by EFCC to combat bribery and corruption in Nigeria. This study will also serve as a very relevant and important material for further research on activities of EFCC in war against bribery and corruption in Nigeria. Furthermore, it will also increase the literature that exist on corruption among nations in the world.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.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the role of the economic and financial crime commission in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, the study made more emphasis on the activities of EFCC. The choice of EFCC is mainly due to its efforts in probing and prosecuting cases of economic and financial crimes in Nigeria. The study is delimited to some selected Ministries, Departments & Agencies in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that corruption discourse is vast thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only EFCC officials in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful


1.9 Definition of Terms

Anti- Corruption:

This refers to the laws enacted for the operation of institutional mechanism for the fight against corruption in Nigeria, which are Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), public Complaints Commission (PCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), etc.

Corruption:

This is the use of public power for private profit or benefit of a group or class, in such a way that constitutes a breach of law or of standards of high moral conduct.

Bribery:

This is the payment (in money or kind) that is given or taken in a corrupt relationship to pay or receive a bribe is corruption and should be understood as the essence of corruption. A bribe is a fixed sum, a certain percentage of a contract or any other favour in money, kind usually paid to a state official who can make contracts on behalf of the state or otherwise distribute benefits to companies or individuals, businessmen and clients.

Embezzlement:

This is theft of resources by people who are put to administer it; it is when disloyal employees steal from their employers. This a serious offence when public officials are misappropriating public resources, when state officials steal from the public institutions in which he or she is employed and from resources he is supposed to administer on behalf of the public.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

The main focus of this study is to assess the role of the economic and financial crime commission in the fight against corruption in Nigeria (a case study of some selected MDAS). The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for further studies.


5.2 Summary of the Findings

The study’s overall objective is to assess the role of the economic and financial crime commission in the fight against corruption in Nigeria (a case study of some selected MDAS). The study further examined why corruption and corrupt practices are endemic issues in Nigeria, determined the effectiveness of EFCC in fighting corruption in Nigeria, ascertained factors responsible for EFCC and their fight against corruption in Nigeria and investigated the challenges EFCC officials face in their bid of curbing corruption in Nigeria.

The research adopted the survey descriptive design and with the aid of convenience sampling method, the researcher conveniently selected eighty (80) participant who are staff of some selected MDAS in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Self- structure questionnaire was issued to the respondent of which seventy-seven (77) responses were retrieved and validated for the study. The study made use of descriptive analysis and inferential statistics where data from field survey was analyzed using simple percentage, mean and standard deviation presented in frequencies and tables.

This research is reported in five distinct yet interrelated chapters. In the chapter one we describes the study objectives clearly by stating the motive behind this study. Research hypotheses were developed for testing while the scope of this research was defined as well.

In the chapter two, the first outlined stipulated the conceptual framework which discussed major concepts like corruption, types of corruption, forms of corruption in Nigerian public sector, the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, establishment of Economic and Financial Crime Commission, functions of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) achievements in mitigating corruption in Nigeria and challenges of EFCC in fighting corruption in Nigeria .

Followed by the conceptual review is the theoretical framework guiding the study of which the study is anchored on two major theories reflecting both the dependent and independent variable. Thus the framework guiding the study were corruption theory and Structural Functionalist theory explain the relationship between the dependent and independent variable respectively. Related empirical studies conducted on this topic were also reviewed. Followed by the theoretical framework is empirical review. Notable works of Idris (2021) and Onyeama et’al (2021) were recognized.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. Reasons contributing to the endemic issues of corruption and corrupt practices in Nigeria includes poor public institutional framework and lack of accountability, poor professional ethics and Materialistic nature of public representatives and officials, the lack of integrity among the bench and judiciary, choosing to give fair judgement, poor incentive and reward system of civil servant and immunity of political representatives and greed to sustain wealth even after their tenure.
  2. Since its establishment, EFCC has recorded tremendous achievements in successfully recovering billions of Naira and prosecuting a number of corrupt people in the country. This study also proved that despite these achievements EFCC has failed to win at least half of its cases in the courts of justice, the commission was also been accused of itself being corrupt and partiality in its activities. Most of the cases won by the commission were small and intermediate cases, while grand corruption cases involving politicians are hardly finished within three years.
  3. Factors responsible for EFCC and their fight against corruption in Nigeria includes to investigate and prosecute money laundering and other financial crimes, investigate people in all sectors who appear to be living above their means, employ all available legal means to rid Nigerian of greed, avarice and all vestiges of corruption and to promote transparency, property, accountability and integrity in the public and private lives of all Nigerians.
  4. EFCC officials face challenges in their bid of curbing corruption in Nigeria such as lack of independence and autonomy, undue resistance of political heads and the immunity of office of those in leadership, economic power of politician to buy the court decisions in favor to themselves and corrupt judiciary as well as lack of focus and misplaced priority of the agency personnel as they go after common people in the society and oppress them without evidence.

5.4 Recommendations

From the findings of the study, the researcher recommends thus:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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”.
  5. The EFCC ought to be ultra-careful during raids to avoid apprehending the “innocent” alongside the culprit(s).
  6. 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;
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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