THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION: A TRUE COURSE OR REPRAISAL

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The word “corrupt” when used as an adjective literally means “utterly broken”. It was coined by Aristotle, who later added the terms bribe and abandonment of good habit. Corruption is a type of dishonest and unethical behavior by someone in a position of authority, often for personal gain. Wikipedia (Wikipedia, 2015). In an attempt to distinguish between ‘corrupt act’ and ‘corruption’, Amundsen (1999) summits that “corruption is when individuals misuse the public power they are bestowed with for private benefit” while corrupt act occurs “when a responsible person accepts money or some other forms of reward, and then proceed to misuse his official power by returning undue favours”. Corruption, according to Nye, is defined as behavior that deviates from one’s normal duties.

As a result of a private relationship, he or she is in a public role. This includes bribery (the use of a reward to pervert the judgment of a person in a position of trust); nepotism (the bestowal of patronage for reasons other than merit); and misappropriation (the illegal appropriation of public resources for private – regarding uses) (Nye cited in Onuigbo & Eme, 2015).

Khan defines corruption as an act that deviates from the rules of conduct that govern the actions of someone in a position of public authority for private reasons such as wealth, power, or status (Khan cited in Amundsen, 1996). Corruption can also be defined as the pervasion of integrity or a state of affairs through bribery, favor, or depravity (Otite, 2000).

In a more comprehensive view, the Corruption is defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an abuse of office or trust for private gain, and it is a temptation shared not only by public officials, but also by those in positions of trust and authority in private enterprise or non-profit organizations (IMF, 1998). Transparency International defines corruption as the use of entrusted power for personal gain, and it is classified as grand, petty, or political based on the amount of money lost and the sector in which it occurs. Grand corruption is defined as acts committed at a high level of government that distort polity or the central functioning of the state, allowing leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good; Petty corruption is defined as everyday abuse of entrusted power by low-level officials.

Political corruption entails the manipulation of policies, institutions, and rules of procedures in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers who abuse their position in order to maintain their power, status, and wealth (Transparency International, 2015 ).

According to Lawal (2012), the following types of corruption exist: moral corruption manifested in sexual pervasiveness, greed, particularly in interpersonal relationships, a loose tongue, indecent dressing, and so on. Economic corruption examples include the production of counterfeit drugs, the adulteration of beverages, piracy, plagiarism, and fraud at all levels. Political and bureaucratic corruption is defined as the illegal, unethical, and unauthorized use of one’s political or official position for personal gain. Electoral corruption refers to electoral frauds such as election rigging, manipulations, ballot stuffing, underage registration, and so on.

(Lawal, 2012).

Bribery, smuggling, fraud, illegal payment, money laundering, drug trafficking, falsification of documents and records, window dressing, false declaration, evasion, underpayment, deceit, forgery, concealment, and any other form of aiding and abetting to the detriment of another person, community, society, or nation are all examples of corruption (Mathew et. al., 2013).

The authors’ arguments and definitions affirm that corruption manifests for personal gratification, self-preservation, and glory at the expense of a specific state’s, an organization’s, or any establishment’s general political and economic growth.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Corruption is widely acknowledged to be an evil wind that affects everyone and stifles societal progress. While there are several theories as to why it is so prevalent in society, the important point to remember is that it has become a way of life in Nigeria. This explains why combating its rising profile has been difficult.

Despite the fact that the country has one of the most resourceful citizenries and natural endowments in the world, these potentials are frequently wasted due to corruption and mismanagement. Olugbade (1992) quoting Diamond argued that the Nigerian state “can command and expend vast resources, but it cannot get things done. As a result, the state has become the primary means of accumulating personal wealth”. It has It has been argued that the “politics of competition over resource allocation, or what in Nigeria is known as “the national cake,” has its most dire consequences in the transformation of state offices into prebends” (Joseph, 1987). However, successive Nigerian governments have made concerted efforts to combat corruption. However, when applied, their antidotes have frequently fallen short of the required impact to permanently reverse the state of corruption (Akhakpe, 2014). The nature of Nigerian society appears to make corruption a persistent and lucrative business. Stealing from the government, for example, was celebrated during the colonial administration. Nonetheless, years of military autocracies made accountability by public officials difficult, if not impossible. The outcome of this development is a cynosure of all eyes; virtually every sector of the economy is decaying to varying degrees.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The study sought to comprehend the motivation behind Nigeria’s fight against corruption.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTION

Based on the study’s objective, the question that arises is, “Is Nigeria’s fight against corruption a genuine course or a retaliation?”

1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

Ho: The fight against corruption in Nigeria is a retaliatory measure.

Hi: The fight against corruption in Nigeria is on the right track.

1.6  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be extremely useful to other researchers who want to learn more about this topic, and it can also be used by non-researchers to expand on their work. This study adds to knowledge and could be used as a benchmark or guide for future work or study.

1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study on the fight against corruption aims to learn about the causes of corruption in Nigeria today in order to find a long-term solution to the problem.

1.8   LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

1.         Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

2.         Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS

Corruption: Corruption is a type of dishonest or unethical behavior by someone in a position of authority, often for personal gain. Corruption can encompass a wide range of activities, including bribery and embezzlement, but it can also include legal practices in many countries.

Fight: To use blows or weapons to harm or gain power over an opponent.

 

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