Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study:

Political corruption in its various forms is generally believed to be the bane of Nigeria development and it has been devastating the country and destroys its image among the comity of nations. It is now fast becoming a way of life in the country as integrity is now being eroded. Little wonder why in recent times, both the past and present government in the country made the fight against corruption a top priority. But none seems to have made a considerable headway.

The reflections of their efforts were made manifest in the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Corruption is found and practiced in every sectors of the public office in Nigeria and it is entrenched in nearly all sections of the society with many people deeply involved in it. Although, it is a global phenomenon but it is more prevalent in one environment than the other and Nigeria is a typical example of such. Iyanda (2012) argued that it is a plague that has eaten so deep into the entire fabric of the Nigerian society; it confers undue benefits on few people contrary to legal and moral norms of the society. It undermines authorities’ effort to provide suitable welfare for all citizens as the resources to do this are in the hands or at the reach of few of the populace, prior to its contagious and incurable infection.  

In the words of Chinua Achebe as cited in Keeper (2012) that anyone who can say that corruption in Nigeria has not yet been alarming is either a fool; a crook or else does not live in this country. The situation has become bad to the extent that as far back as 1993, keeping an average Nigeria from being corrupt is like keeping  a goat from eating yam (Achebe, 1988).This brilliantly explains the state of corruption among Nigerians and why all efforts to establish a just and egalitarian society in the country failed ever since. Corruption made development to be stunted in Nigeria. There is no effective and efficient administration in Nigeria that has not been frustrated by this evil. People bribe to get almost everything done in the country. For instance, Tokunbo (1992) alludes to the fact that you bribe to get your child into a school, you pay to secure a job and you also continue to pay in some cases to retain it. You pay 10 percent of every contract obtained, you dash the tax officer to avoid paying taxes, you pay the hospital doctor and nurse to get proper attention, and you pay the policemen to evade arrest, this catalogue of shame can continue without end. Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development. It undermines development by distorting the role of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends (World Bank). It is one of the greatest challenges of the contemporary world. It undermines good government, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to the misallocation of resources, harms the private sector and private sector development and particularly hurts the poor (Transparency International). 

1.2 Statement of the Problem: 

Corruption remains a universal phenomenon, which has been in existence for a very long time and always have adverse effects on the society ever since. Several people involved in it in the pursuit of the specific purpose or interests. It has overtime ruined the hopes for greater tomorrow and destroyed the value system in the country so much so that the world begins to see us as men and women without honour and dignity. 

It has led to slow movement of files in offices, police extortion and slow traffic on the highways, port congestion, and queues at gas stations, ghost workers syndrome, and election irregularities among others. According to Chuta (2004) that the image of the country in the international arena has become so battered that every Nigerian psychologically feel a scorching hurt inflicted on his individual psyche. The dent has gone so far that everywhere in the world, Nigerians are said to be generally dreaded like mad dogs and criminals, cautiously approached like dangerous snakes, and avoided .Corruption is politically destabilizing, that is it has the capacity of engendering political instability, breakdown of law and order, brain drain, inefficient of the public service among others (Lawal, 2006).