1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Corruption is conscious attempt to secure wealth, power and misuse of public power through illicit means to satisfy a selfish interest at public expense. Corruption like insects has lived with human society for a very long time and has remaineda major problem in many of the world’s developing economies with harmful consequences.Corruption as a popular event and a severe challenge facing every country.It exists and functions in different degrees in various countries. It is not only found in democratic and dictatorial politics, but also in feudal, capitalist and socialist economies. The practice of corruption is not an issue that just begins today; but the history is as old as the world.
Corruption is a critical issue in Nigeria. President MuhammaduBuhari launched an anti-corruption drive after taking office in May, 2015. Corruption affects the public finances, business investment and also the standard of living. Presently, corruption scandals have pointed out the large amounts that have been stolen by people of different calibers in the country and outside the country. But little if not nothing, has been done to carefully investigate the vigorouseffects of corruption that affect the countries capacity to achieve its potentials in the long run.
The dishonesty, conversion, diversion and theft of peoples funds and resources, has done more harm than good in the country, leaving us (Nigerians) with a bad reputation and a negative perception of being a mistrusted and dysfunctional country. This fact have been seen to be beyond human understandingthat Nigeria, the giant of Africa, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and a country with numerous natural resources till date has 70 percent of its population living below the poverty line, as an outcome of corruption and economic mismanagement. Majority of Nigerians appear to have no other choice than to approve and accept corruption as a conventional way of life; it is now like the food that nourishes the body in the country. Irrespective of the hardship begotten by corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s resources, the relationship between corruption and underdevelopment is infrequently made by the citizenry and this makes the suspended hangingwar against corruption more difficult to tackle. Corruption is a very disgusting violation of citizens’ human rights and needs to be looked into as such. Calls have been made for a completely look into the judicial system; enactment of very strict, productive laws and the reinvestment of proceeds recovered from corrupt individuals in the development of much needed infrastructure to foster the nation’s economy. It is obvious that public officials need to be promoted to a higher level of accountability and the infliction of punitive measures that providedeterrence need to become strict in the system.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is known to be one of the most acknowledged anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria in charge of fighting and reducing the high rate of political corruption and financial crimes in Nigeria. In recent times, their activities and performance have aroused the people’s curiosity and also heightened endless debate and intellectual disputes on whether they have actually carried out their duties or not based on the achievement of their statutory mandate since their creation. For this reason, there is no agreement among scholars and commentators on the performance of EFCC when it comes to fighting corruption (war against corruption).