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ABSTRACT

The issues of bribery and corruption have taken a central stage in the polity as a matter of grave concern to all well-meaning citizens and Nigerian government. This is in view of the endemic nature of the phenomenon in our society which hinders growth and indeed development. Concerned with the issue of bribery and corruption, the Nigeria government has set up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other institutions designed to combat the malaise and to promote good governance and transparency.

The major objective of the research work is to assess the performance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its fighting against bribery and corruption in Nigeria. Data for the study were generated from both primary and secondary sources. The instrument for primary data collection is questionnaires, while for the secondary data collection includes published and unpublished text. Well frame hypotheses are stated for the purpose of this research. The study also revealed that irrespective of the fact that, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has succeeded in reducing corruption in the country to some degree, the same Act that created the Commission has, on the other hand, constituted hindrance to the Commission by creating undue interference from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Presidency, hence vitiating the autonomy of the Commission. The inability of other institutions in the temple of justice like the judiciary to apportioned appropriate punishment to the perpetrators of corruption. The research work recommends the independence of Economic and financial Crimes commission (EFCC), removal of immunity clause, improvement in educational infrastructural facilities and speedy dispensation of justice.

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:

Corruption has been the major problem bedeviling this country. It has virtually defied all solutions so far. In Nigeria bribery and corruption have assumed an alarming rate, established stronghold that the weekly star of 15th May, 1983, quoted in Achebe (1983.43), unequivocally maintains “that keeping an average Nigerian from being corrupt is like keeping a goat from eating yam” Corruption has been recognized as the major enemy of man, it is however, lack of political will to begin to tackle this problem, except for Buhari /Idiagbon regime (1983-1985) and Obasanjo regime (1999-2007). Past futile intervention against corruption include the corrupt practices Decree of 1975, the public officer (investigation of Assets) Decree No 5 of 1976, supplemented by the code of conduct Bureau and code of conduct tribunal as provided for in the 1979 constitution. Shehu Shagari ethical revolution (1979-1983), with a minister of cabinet rank in charge of “national guidance”, the “war against indiscipline” campaign under the Buhari and Idiagbon junta which was to some extent the only serious intervention and the National committee on corruption and other Economics crimes under Ibrahim Babangida (1985-93). The IBB regime also came up with the corrupt practice and Economic crime Decree of 1990. Even the Sani Abacha regime (1994-98) came up with its own anti-corruption Decree, the “Indiscipline, corrupt practices and Economic crime (prohibition) Decree 1994” which was a replica of IBB Decree of 1990.

However, it is regrettable to note that inspite of interventions by past regimes to stamp out corruption, the evil monster keeps on recurring. According to Okonkwo (2005: 85): A historical view of bribery and corruption in Nigeria shows that rhetoric against corruption does not end corruption. All the inspiring words of our leaders and journalists have not changed anyone. Against this background, it has become unavoidably important to critically assess the performance of EFCC in fighting against bribery and corruption in Nigeria.

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