A Wholesome Comparison Of The Effectiveness Between ICPC And EFCC As Anti-Corruption Agencies In Nigeria

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A Wholesome Comparison Of The Effectiveness Between ICPC And EFCC As Anti-Corruption Agencies In Nigeria


One of the major challenges of governance in Nigeria is corruption especially in the public service. In response to this challenge, the Federal Government established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to combat corruption and promote transparency and accountability. Over the years however, the fight against corruption seems not to have achieved the desired result. The general objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness between ICPC and EFCC as anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria. Data were sourced using secondary methods. These were presented and analyzed using both analytic methods. The study revealed inter alia that; the activities of the institutions, especially the EFCC were severely constrained by undue political interference. Both the ICPC and CCB were not adequately funded and that they all lacked financial autonomy. The study also discovered that punishments for corruption offences were not severe enough to serve deterrence. The study concludes that an increase in the level of autonomy of the anti-corruption institutions and an increase in the level of enforcement of punishments for corruption offences will among other things improve the level of effectiveness of the anti-corruption institutions. The study recommended that the anti-corruption institutions need to be free from political interference and be adequately funded including giving severe punishments for corruption offences

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Concepts
  • 1.8 Organization of Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 Types of Corruption
  • 2.3 The Perceived Causes of Corruption
  • 2.4 Strategies for Combating Corruption
  • 2.4.1 Concept of Whistle-Blowing Policy
  • 2.4.2 Concept of Plea Bargaining
  • 2.4.3 Reporting Corruption
  • 2.4.4 Enforcement of Punishments for Corruption Offences
  • 2.5 Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Data and Sources
  • 3.3 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Nigeria’s Corruption Profile
  • 4.2 Wholesome Comparison Of Anti-Corruption Agencies: EFCC And ICPC

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

One of the major challenges to governance particularly in the twilight of the twentieth and dawn of the twenty-first centuries is corruption. The dimension of the vice has over the years attracted attention of globally. This has placed the fight against corruption as a priority on most governments’ reform agenda. The significance of corruption as a factor that adversely affects the quality of governance has been universally recognised (Vitta, 2000). It is for this reason that the focus and tenor of the fight against corruption has attracted renewed vigor and come under fresh scrutiny as part of a broader good governance agenda. This is partly due to the rise in the incidence of corruption with impunity and mounting evidence of its multi-dimensional impact (African Development Bank (AfDB) 2006).
As a global malaise corruption which has been known to spare no country in the world. Its alarming pervasiveness in Nigeria has been militating against the country’s quest for accelerated socio-economic and political development, thus becoming a matter of public concern. Corruption has also been contributing towards the degrading of socio-economic and political bases of the country. Moreover, corruption is undermining our nascent democracy and legitimacy of government by subverting formal processes of governance. This has reduced peoples trust in their institutions and leaders. Similarly, corruption in elections and in electoral bodies has reduced accountability and representation in policy making. In public administration, it has resulted to ineffective service delivery (African Diaspora Initiative, 2007).

Corruption is manifested in different sections of the Public Service. These include inter-alia electoral malpractices, poor service delivery, contract inflations, bribery scandals, money laundering, ghost workers syndrome, and outright looting of the public treasury. For instance, while the country has been in darkness due to epileptic electric power supply over the years, political office holders in connivance with career civil servants were alleged to have diverted the sum of N5.2 billion meant for Rural Electrification Agency in a Contract Scam (Tell Magazine, June and July, 2009).

The Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, section 15(5) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended provides that, “the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.” Prior to the Fourth Republic, successive administration in Nigeria established either permanent or ad hoc institutional mechanisms for fighting corruption. These include inter-alia; the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree of 1966 which was succeeded by the Corrupt Practices Decree of 1975; the establishment of the Code of Conduct Bureau in the Second Republic, the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) of 1983, and the War Against Indiscipline and Corruption (Bello – Imam, 2005).

The Federal Public Service also has self-regulating provisions for checking corruption. These include; the Civil Service Rules and Financial Regulations. Others are the Civil Service Hierarchy, the Legislature; the Judiciary; the Public Complaints Commission, the AuditorGenerals Report and the Public Accounts Committee Report among others (Adamolekun, 2006). However, since corruption in the Federal Public Service has become systemic and endemic, these conventional mechanisms have proven to be ineffective in fighting corruption.

After the return to democratic governance in 1999 and the persistent quest by people to fighting corruption in the Federal Public Service, the government in response established some institutions and mechanisms such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) established in 2000 and 2002 respectively. Others were the Public Procurement Act 2007, the
Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, and the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Act 2007. This is in addition to earlier existing institutions such as the Code of Conduct Bureau and its Tribunal.

The ICPC was established vide the ICPC Act of 13 June, 2000 with the major objective of prohibiting and prescribing punishments for corrupt practices and other related offences. Specifically, the agency is to banish impunity for corrupt practices and other related offences through system study, education, public enlightenment and mobilisation. The EFCC was established in 2002 by an Act of National Assembly and Amended in 2004 vide the EFCC Act, 2004. The agency was established with the objective of sanitising the national economic environment by enforcing all economic and financial crime laws.

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was established through Decree No. 1 of 1989 and entrench and in section 153 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as one of the Federal Executive Agencies. The CCB was established to establish and maintain a high standard of morality in the conduct of government business and to ensure that the actions and behaviors of public officers conform with the highest standard of public morality and accountability.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Historically, most regime changes especially by the military were ostensibly necessitated by the need to combat corruption. Despite these regime changes, not much success has ever been recorded at fighting corruption in the country (Njoku, 2007). The return to democratic governance in the country in 1999 more than ever before aroused the citizen’s quest to combating corruption and instituting accountability and transparency in governance. Consequently, the ICPC and EFCC were established among other institutions through enabling laws. This is in addition to already existing institutions such as the (CCB) and its Tribunal. In spite of all these, Ali (2007) reiterating the view of Mier (2000) observes that, corruption still remains the fastest way of getting anything done in Nigeria.

The anti-corruption institutions established appeared to be suffering from political intervention and inadequate autonomy. This is clear, with the unceremonious removal of most of the former Chairmen of the EFCC, namely; Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri and very recently, Ibrahim Magu. Laws establishing the anticorruption institutions could not be upheld due to institutional weaknesses (Aduda, 2007). Furthermore, corrupt public officials seemed to be immune from the activities of the anti-corruption institutions as long as the presidents wished while perceived nonloyalist are hunted such as in the case of the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori (Shettima, 2010).

There seemed to be excessive secrecy in the business of government. Little is known about public servants and the business of governance. There seemed to be asymmetrical information and a lack of transparency leading to sub-optimal performance by anti-corruption institutions due to weak corruption reporting systems (FRN; 2003; Aduda, 2007). Most public servants tend to be unwilling to declare their assets and prefer to run the affairs of the public in secrecy.

This has brought the effectiveness of the institutional mechanisms of anti-corruption to question. Because, it has clearly shown that the provisions of the laws establishing them cannot be enforced. For instance, according to Ribadu as enunciated by Buhari in Zero Tolerance (2007), thirty-one out of the thirty-six former state chief executives between 1999 – 2007 were alleged to be corrupt. However, only the former Bayelsa State Governor (DSP Alamieyesiegha) was convicted on 26 July, 2006 but freed in 2008. Corruption charges against high profile persons drag on for years. The Chairmen of the EFCC and the ICPC have become disgusted with the way the judiciary handles corruption cases that they have called for special anti-corruption courts to be set up (Akinyemi, 2010). Nigerians do not believe that enough sanctions exist to deter people from corruption (FRN; 2003). In an empirical study, Aduda (2007) observes that majority (83%) of the respondents perceived the level of corruption in the public sector to be very high. Transparency International’s (TIs) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for Nigeria staggers between the lowest of 1.0 in 2001 to the highest of 2.7 in 2008 only to slip back to 2.5 in 2009 only for it to go higher in 2012 to 27 and 2015 it dropped to 26.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this study is to carry out a wholesome comparison of the effectiveness between ICPC and EFCC as anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.

The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Examine the level of effectiveness of the anti-corruption institutions (ICPC and EFCC) in combating corruption in Nigeria
  2. Identify the problems facing the anti-corruption institutions (ICPC and EFCC) in fighting corruption in the Nigeria
  3. Suggests ways to make the anti-corruptions institutions (ICPC and EFCC) more effective in Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How effective are the anti-corruption institutions (ICPC and EFCC) for combating corruption in Nigeria?
  2. What are the problems associated with the effective functioning of these mechanisms?
  3. What can be done to make the Anti-corruption institutions (ICPC and EFCC) more effective in Nigeria?

1.5 Hypothesis

HO1: Anti-corruption institutions(ICPC and EFCC) are not effective in combating corruption in Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and empirical significance. Theoretically, the literature is largely recent. The data generated will certainly provide useful information to researchers. The findings of the study will likely challenge earlier researches and thus, provoke further research on how to make the anti-corruption institutions more effective. To the staff of these anti-corruption institutions and other administrators, the findings of this study will provide them with more insight on the challenges of these institutions with a view to readjusting their skills and methods of operation.

Empirically, policy makers will gain from the study as it will enable them identify present policy lapses and loop holes in the existing mechanisms with a view to fine-tuning them.

Finally, though not exhaustively, the citizenry who are often the victims of corrupt practices in the public service and who are most desirous of fighting against the vice to ensure transparency and accountability entrenched in the Federal Public Service will equally find this study interesting. This is because it will provide them with more information and enlightenment about the workings of the anti-corruption institutions. It will also place them in a better position of contribution because, the fight against corruption is a fight for all. Stakeholders can thus access the study on internet, libraries and possibly have copies from the researcher as he is likely to relate and create a rapport with some staff of the institutions in the course of the study.

1.7 Definition of Concepts


Although, corruption is a very common term, it is any act or omission perpetrated contrary to existing rules or procedures with the intention to defraud.

Corruption Reporting System:

It refers to the ability of the people to understand what constitute corruption and have knowledge of the channel through which at can be brought to the attention of the institution charged with the responsibility of dealing with such matters.


It refers to the extent a measure or measures put in place to achieve certain objective or purpose lives up to expectation. With regards to dealing with corruption, the effectiveness of anticorruption institute depends on its ability to deal with corruption cases brought before up to the level of successful trial and conviction. To some extent the ability of the institution to serve as a deterrence is a measure of effectiveness.


It refers to the steps or action taken to ensure the implementation of punishment in execution of law.
Institutional Autonomy: It is the freedom of an organization to pursue its objectives and function without outside interference.

Anti-Corruption Institutions:

This are establishment created by government, to investigate or adjudicate on matter of corruption or investigate public and private affair e.g. EFCC, ICPC and CCB.

Public Service:

It refers to all the administrative institutions including personnel that perform government activities. They are involved in day to day formulation of polices and strategies of governmental and execution toward achieving the desired goals.


It can be defined as importance of hardship or some sort of restraint link to violation laws or regulations. In dealing with corruption cases punishment is expected to be commensurate with the nature of offence. It could be jail term, payment or both.


It refers to people having unfettered access to information on most of the activities of the government. The access should include but not limited to government finances, procurement, issues of electoral process and empowerment opportunities. There measure of transparency when people can report corruption cases to anti-corruption institutions with fear of molestation or any form of hindrance.

1.8 Organization of Study

The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

A review of the various anti-corruption laws existing in Nigeria reveals that the country has demonstrated concern for curbing corruption through diverse legislation. These laws also established many institutions and agencies for the implementation and enforcement of anti-corruption measures. But there are varied conflicts surrounding these laws, agencies and the institutions for the enforcement of anti –corruption laws. And these conflicts must be resolved if the anti-corruption crusade is to continue beneficially.

As a matter of urgency, the issue of streamlining the operations of the agencies must be addressed. It is suggested that the number of the agencies be reduced to make supervision and control easier. If there is no control, the excesses or problems of the agencies like human rights abuses, disobedience to court orders, manipulations through function-switching by the executive, lack of coordination about anti-corruption activities among the agencies would rather exacerbate than abate. The government should initiate the long-term process of repairing the battered judiciary, reforming federal criminal procedure and evidence rules, and examine ways to establish special courts or assigning specific judges to hear only corruption cases.

With specific reference to the ICPC and the EFCC, it is recommended that no fusion is necessary; rather, the abilities of both agencies should be strengthened through improved funding and support from the government to enable optimal performance of both agencies. Both agencies should also make untiring efforts to enjoy a seamless and rancour-free relationship with the office of the Attorney General of the federation in order to improve the efficiency of the anti-corruption drive of the Nigerian Government.

5.2 Recommendations

In view of the findings made in chapter four, the study recommends that;

  1. The federal government should be committed to the sincere translation of the expressed political will of fighting corruption into reality by allowing the anti-corruption institutions to operate without political intervention in order not to compromise with their statutorily assigned responsibilities. This can be achieved through guaranteed tenure of the chairmen of the institutions especially the EFCC.
  2. The adequate funding of the EFCC should be sustained and possibly improved upon in view of increasing incidence of corruption. The ICPC should be adequately funded to enable it also to establish more state offices and employ more staff. This will enable the agency ease its operations through decentralisation. Adequate funding of the CCB will enable it employ more staff, make its presence felt at the level of senatorial districts and later at all local government headquarters in Nigeria in view of the enormous responsibilities of the agency. The anticorruption institutions should be directly funded rather than through the Presidency in order to ensure their financial autonomy.
  3. The laws establishing the institutions should be strengthened by according them greater operational autonomy to enable them perform their responsibilities without hindrance. Parts of the laws subjugating the institutions to other institutions should be repealed. A typical example is the provision of section 39 of the EFCC Act which empowers the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to act as supervisory Ministry and to make rules and regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions and powers of the commission. This powers should be entrusted on the National Assembly as the judiciary abused such powers in certain trials of corrupt public officials.

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