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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC is a Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigate financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (419 fraud) and money laundering. The EFCC was established in 200, partially in the response to pressure from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) ,which named Nigeria as one of the 23 countries non-cooperative in the international community’s effort to fight money laundering. The agency has its head office in Abuja money laundering and terrorists financing international standards leading to the fight against economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
The preponderance of economic and financial crime like advance fee fraud (419), money laundering, etc. has had sever negative consequences on Nigeria, including decreased foreign direct investment in the country and tainting of Nigerians national image. The menace of these crime and the recognition of the magnitude and gravity of the situation led to the establishment of the EFCC. The legal instrument backing the commission is attached. EFCC (establishment) Act 2002 and the commission has high level support from the presidency, the legislature and key security and law enforcement agency in Nigeria.
Nigeria has been stigmatized by the international community as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. For three consecutive years, 2000, 2001 and 2002, it maintained the unenviable position of being the second most corrupt nation in the world, (Ogiri 2008:2). The rating came up as a consequence of several failed attempts in the past to wipe out corruption or reduce it to a tolerable level in the polity.
From the Jaji Declaration in 1977 by Olusegun Obansanjo; the Ethical Revolution of Shagari in 1981-1983; the War Against Indiscipline by Buhari in 1984; the National Orientation Movement by Babangida in 1986; the Mass Mobilization for Social Justice by Babangida in 1987; the War Against Indiscipline and Corruption in 1996 by Abacha; to the Anti-Corruption Act 2000 again by President Olusegun Obansanjo, this is the First time in the series of several efforts to fight corruption that the attempt has the force of law with severe sanctions, Ayola (2006:5).In the last 20 years, the pervasiveness of corruption in all its ramifications has assumed renewed dimensions of cancerous proportions in Nigeria, to the extent that the Germany-based Transparency International, a respected Independent, universal non-governmental organization ranked Nigeria in the unenviable position of being the most corrupt nation in the world for a consecutive period of more than 7 years. The unpleasant news was published in all national newspapers in Nigeria, according to Ukiro (2008:4).
In foreign countries, Nigerians are regarded and treated as corrupt people. Unlike other nationals, no bank would allow Nigerians to open a bank account as of right. The Nigerian Green Passport is synonymous with corruption. Consequently, at foreign airports, Nigerians with green passports are separated from other nationals. While others are allowed to go freely, Nigerians are subjected to degrading and inhuman treatments and treated as pariahs on the ground that they are Nigerians who hail from the most corrupt country of the world. The recent attempt by a Nigerian, Farouk Mutullab to bomb an American plane on Christmas day, 25th December, 2009 aggravated matters for Nigerians. The former governor of Bayelsa State, DSP Alamieseghe who was detained in London on charges of financial fraud got home here in Nigeria in a mysterious circumstance. National newspapers are filled with stories of looted money stashed in foreign banks. The stolen resources, lost by Nigeria through endemic corruption and abuse of office have had inimical effects on the economy of the country. First, is the issue of inflation and its pressuring effects on the economy as a result of irregular distortions in economic indices and lack of control on monetary and fiscal policy engendered by the availability of such funds of massive proportions outside normal economic activity? Secondly, the inflationary trends has the effect of lowering living standards to stupendous proportions such that what is known as the ‘Middle Class’ was virtually wiped out, so that what hitherto were basic necessities of life became luxuries. In the corresponding period, while inflation rate in the United States of America rose by about 15% in real terms in 23 years, it has risen by about 2000% in Nigeria.
All these stark statistics are induced by all means in no small measure, by illicit capital flight engendered by corruption. The crisis which endemic corruption has triggered off in Nigeria, certainly poses ex-political stability, the National interest and integrity of the Nigerian Nation. This, no doubt, goes beyond local and state concern. The eradication of corruption is therefore a National one, as the perilous effect touches and affects every Nigerian, regardless of tribe, religion and state of origin. Indeed, a Nigerian is not known or lined to a state of origin outside Nigeria”.In March 1997 Edition of Transparency International Newsletter, it was recorded that the United Nations Economic and Social Council adopted a resolution in which it called on “all governments to fight corruption more decisively”. It was then stressed that there was global concerted effort to ensure that the issue of corruption was addressed and tackled universally. There is an international body based in Berlin, Germany, hosting several member countries poised to combat bribery, which is known as theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Chief Afe Babalola quoted from the Supplement to Transparency International Newsletter, September 1994 as follows:
“OECD governments today (Paris, 27th May, 1994) agreed to take collective action to tackle the problem of bribery in international business transactions. The OECD Recommendation on Bribery in International Business Transactions is the first multilateral agreement among governments to combat the bribery of foreign officials and represents a breakthrough in a difficult area. While nearly all countries have laws against the bribery of their own officials, most do not provide legal Sanctions for the bribery of foreign officials by their nationals or their domestic enterprises. Bribery presents moral and political challenges and, in addition, exacts a heavy economic cost, hindering the development of international trade and investment by raising transaction costs and distorting the operation of free markets. It is especially damaging to developing countries since it diverts needed assistance and increase the cost of that assistance.
1.1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigate crimes such as advance fee fraud (419 fraud) and money laundering. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was established in 2003, partially in response to pressure from the Financial Action Task force on Money Laundering (FATF), which named Nigeria as one of 23 countries non-cooperative in the international community’s effort to fight money laundering. The agency has its head office in Abuja.
The agency under the previous chairman Nuhu Ribadu has addressed financial corruption by persecuting and convicting a number of high-profile corrupt individuals, ranging from Nigerian’s former chief law enforcement officer to several bank chief executives. By 2005, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested government arrested government officials including, Depreye Alamieyeseigha. In September 2006, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had 31 of Nigerian’s 36 state governors under investigation for corruption. In December 2007, the Nigerian Federal Government, after extensive investigations by EFCC and other organizations, cleared the Vaswani brothers of any wrong doing and invited them back into the country. Leading Nigerians daily “This day” and other major newspapers reported the facts of their clearance quoting text from FG issued directives. In April 2008,the EFCC began an investigation of the very influential daughter of the former Nigerian President, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello for receiving #10 million ($100,000), stolen from the Ministry of Health.the former Health Minister and her deputy are currently receiving trial for stealing over #30,000,000 ($300,000) from the Ministry’s unspent funds last year.
On June 6, 2008, Chief (Mrs) Farida Mzamber Waziri was sworn in as the new chairperson of the Economic and financial crimes Commission (EFCC). Then on the 6 of August 2008, the former chairman Nuhu Ribado was demoted from Assistant Inspector General (AIG) to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP). Waziri was dismissed by President Goodluck Jonathan on 23 November 2011 and replaced by Ibrahim Lamorde as acting Chairman, who has since be confirmed on the 15 February 2012 by the Nigerian Senate.
MISSIONS OF THE ANTI-GRAFT COMMISSIONS
The missions of the commission is to employ all available legal means to rid Nigeria of all forms of economic and financial crimes and to effectively coordinate the domestic effort of the global fight against money laundering and terrorists financing while the visions is to be an agency operating to the best international standards and leading the fight against economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
OPERATIONAL STRCUTURES OF THE COMMISSION
The operation department is the hub of all investigation activities of the commission. It has responsibility for the investigation of all cases that fall within the mandate of the commission. Such cases Include interactions that are contrary to the provisions of the Commissions enabling law; The EFCC act 2004 as well as a posse of other laws which the Commission has direct responsibility for their enforcement. Some of the law includes the money related offences act 2006, The failed banks (recovery of miscellaneous offences act) The operations of the department comprises of the following sections:
a) Advance fee fraud
b) Bank fraud
c) Economic Governance
The department is headed by the director of operations, who reports directly to the executive chairman .all the heads of operation in the zonal Offices report to the director of operations. Functions of EFCC as outline above have been broadly classified into operational and service duties. The activities of the Commission are carried out under the various departments, sections and units which are the implementing organs of the commission’s programmes. The commission has the following departments and units: office of the chairman, investigations department, Prosecution department, planning, research and review department, public enlightenment department, education department, finance and accounts department, administration department, special duties department, chairman’s special unit, special investigation team (SIT), petitions registry, audit unit, publications unit and the clinic, (Ayola 2006:5).
FUNCTIONS OF THE ANTI-GRAFT AGENCY
The major functions as set out in the enabling act include:
a) Entertainment and due administration of the provision of this act.
b) Investigations of all financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (otherwise known as 419), money laundry, counterfeiting, illegal charge transfer, futures market fraud, fraudulent encashment of negotiable instruments of fraudulent diversion of funds, computer credit fraud contract scam, forgery of financial instruments, issuance of dud cheques etc.
c) Adoptions of measures to identify, trace, freeze confiscate, or seize proceeds derived from terrorist activities, economic and financial crimes related offences or the properties, the value of which corresponds to such proceeds.
d) Adoption of the measures to eradicate and prevent the commission of economic and financial crimes with a view to identify individuals, corporate bodies or group involved.
e) To facilitate and rapid exchange of scientific and technical information geared towards the eradication of economic and financial crimes.
f) Determination of the extent of financial loss and such other losses by government, private individuals or organization;
g) Collaboration with government bodies within and outside Nigeria. Carrying out the functions wholly or in part analogous with those of the commission;
h) Dealing with matters connected with extradition, deportation and mutual legal or other assistance between Nigeria and any other country involving economic and financial crimes;
i) carrying out and sustaining rigorous public enlightenment campaign against economic and financial crimes within and outside Nigeria;
j) Maintaining liaison with office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Prison Service Board, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Drug Law Enforcement agency (NDLEA), All Government Security and Law enforcement Agencies and such other financial supervisory institution, in the eradication of economic and financial crime.
k) The collection of all reports relating to suspicious financial transactions, analyze and disseminate to all relevant government agencies;
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There are growing concerns about the deplorable condition of the economy aggravated by corruption in Nigeria. Nigerians and the government alike have expressed considerable worry about the state of the economy, poor growth, and development in all sectors due to the presence of hydra-headed monster called corruption, (Okoduwa, 2008:6). There are frequent incidents of corruptions in Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies and in Federal, State and Local government areas of the country. All these nefarious activities have led to poor governance, poor performance, and diversion of public funds while ethical values are undermined. This issue of monumental corruption has made President Olusegun Obasanjo to inaugurate the anti-graft agency Economic and Financial Crime Commissions (EFCC) in 2003.
The mandates are for the agencies to fight corruption to a standstill, have zero-tolerance for corruption. The crisis which endemic corruption has triggered off in Nigeria, certainly poses political stability, the National interest and integrity of the Nigerian Nation. This, no doubt, goes beyond local and state concern. The eradication of corruption is therefore a National one as the perilous effect touches and affects every Nigerian regardless of tribe, religion and state of origin. In very clear and unequivocal terms, Transparency International declares “that corruption fuels poverty and injustice for millions of ordinary citizens”.
The development assistance aimed to reduce poverty and to support equitable economic and social development; both the recipients and donors must ensure that development resources are used for their intended purposes and not diverted through corruption, wastes or abuse, that respected body further stated. Not only does corruption undermine international effects to reduce poverty, it also further compromises the welfare of the most marginalized communities.
Furthermore, corruption also skews the playing field when it comes to access to key public services such as education, health, water and market for goods and services. It undermines political processes and political plurality while in post conflict areas and fragile states, corruption amplifies and inflames existing tension (Ukiros2008:7). Today in South Africa, former African National Congress president, Nelson Mandela is known for his legacies in getting Independence. Martin Luther Junior is remembered for his reform legacies in America after many years he passed on. In Nigeria, the reverse is the case. Many Nigerian leaders and their citizens are corrupt. In view of the foregoing dangers of corruption, the former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo succinctly observed that: “Corruption has been responsible for the instability of successive governments since the first Republic. Every coup since then has been in the name of stamping out the disease called corruption. Unfortunately, the cure often turned out to be worse than the disease and Nigeria’s external image took a serious bashing, as our beloved country began to feature on top of every corruption index”.
Over the years, there have been studies and activities to stamp out corruption from such agencies like the police, customs, code of conduct bureau, Civil Defence, but all to no avail. From 2003 onwards EFCC was inaugurated and the researcher deemed it fit to find out how the functions, challenges, and prospects of the anti-graft agency EFCC have impacted in tackling the debilitating monster called corruption, so as to better our country – Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are to;
1. Examine the causes of corruption in Nigeria.
2. Ascertain the impact of corruption on the prudent financial management in Nigeria of the public sector.
3. Determine the effectiveness of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in combating corruption in Nigeria.
4. Identify the possible problems militating against the effective fight against corruption by the Anti-graft commission in Nigeria.
1.4 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1. The study is significant because of its usefulness to the captains of Business organizations (both publicly and privately owned), the government regulatory agencies, research groups, the general public and for the survival of our country, Nigeria.
2. The captains of the industry: The captains of industries whoseresponsibility it is to make those decisions that affect both the internal and external policies of their organizations will have the benefit of better understanding of the importance of fighting corruption to enhance their organizational performances.
3. The government: The government unquestionably is responsiblefor developing those policies, frameworks that will eradicate corruption and consequently the study from the research will bring more awareness to the Government, on further ways to fight corruption.
4. Anti-graft agency: The staff will be in a better position tostrategize more, articulate issues and develop a more radical holistic approach in fighting corruption.
5. The fight against corruption cannot be over-emphasized as such efforts will help in prudent management of the resources available to the nation and in equitable allocation of these resources to the masses.
6. Regulatory agencies: The regulatory agencies of businessesare as well exposed more on issues of corruption and the research will help such agencies to check mate corruption in their establishments.
7. Research groups: Those who wish to carry out further researchin this area or in related area will find the research work very useful as it will provide them with the required information.
8. General public: Every Nigerian is a stakeholder in NigerianProject and will benefit from this noble study.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(1) What are the causes of corruption in different establishments in Nigeria?
(2) What are the impacts of corruption on financial management, of the Nigeria public sector?
(3) How effective is EFCC in combating corruption in Nigeria?
(4) What are the possible problems or challenges militating against anti corruption crusade by the anti-graft agencies and in Nigeria?
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The research study is intended to cover all spheres of human endeavor in Nigeria, most especially ministries, departments, agencies, banks, public institutions, federal, state and local government offices, but for reasons of constraints such as limited time, limited finance, the largeness of the area which presumably will be difficult to cover etc, the Study was limited to the activities of the anti-graft agencies and their bid in fighting corruption in Nigeria.
In the course of conducting this research work, some limitations were encountered by the researcher. These include:
a. The reluctance of some of the respondents in giving out relevant information needed for the research work.
b. Other limitations encountered in the course of the research include limited finance for runnin
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