Posted by News Express | 6 May 2018 | 1,937 times
The latest rating of Nigeria by the Transparency International showed that the country has not fared better in the global corruption index. This is despite the existence of many legislations and regulatory agencies saddled with the responsibility to fight corruption.
The development is a great concern to Barrister Iduma Igariwey Enwo, a serving member of the Federal House of Representative.
Honourable Igariwey believes that the country’s reliance on legislation alone as a weapon against corruption was a waste of effort that had not produced any positive result.
Hon Igariwey shared his thoughts at the just concluded International Conference of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Igariwey, who represents Afikpo in the green carpet chamber, noted that post-colonial administrations in Nigeria had adopted different legal approaches to curb corruption to no avail.
He highlighted some of the measures taken so far to include: the enactment of the Criminal and Penal Codes, Public officers (investigation of Assets) Decree No 5 of 1966; Corrupt Practices Decree No 38 of 1975; The code of Conduct under the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions; Recovery of Public Property (Special Military Tribunals) Decree of 1983; and the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act of 2000.
Other existing anti-corruption legislation, according to the legislature included: the Economic and Financial Crimes Act of 2002; Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act of 2011, repealed and re-enacted in 2016 and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill of 2016.
“In spite of all efforts,” he said that “it is a fundamental truth that corruption has refused to retreat an inch, but has rather become more endemic and entrenched.”
The representative who spoke on the topic: “Corruption and Governance in Nigeria: the Bankruptcy, Problematic and Limitations of the Legislative Tool”, blamed Nigerian case of corruption on colonial experience, which eroded Nigeria’s value of honest hard work.
“The reality of our colonial experience is that we have been reduced to a people who have lost their values,” he said.
Accessing the performance of President Buhari’s anti-corruption approach, Igariwey said nothing has changed; rather the situation had gone from bad to worse.
“It is business as usual as corruption cases are prosecuted more in the media than in the law courts,” he said
Igariwey further noted that “Nigeria’s institutional fight against corruption has degenerated to the sordid, despicable show of shame as typified by the blame game ‘you too’ publication of APC and PDP Looters’ Lists”.
Hon Igariwey suggested a paradigm shift from the current legalistic approach to sociological approach to tackling the menace.
Part of the sociological solution proffered by Hon Igariwey included the development and promotion of a shared national value based on honesty.
He maintained that honest means of livelihood should not only be emphasised in legislation but should also be implemented in Nigeria’s educational system.
According to him, honesty as a national value system should be “a condition precedent to the efficacy of extant legislative/legalistic approach in the fight against corruption”.
Igariwey further noted that the culture of general acceptance and permission of dishonest means of livelihood and acquisition of wealth in Nigeria is the cause of institutional corruption as a way of life and cronyism, nepotism, prebendalism within the government and governance in general.
The representative insisted that the phenomenon of corruption in Nigeria is a social problem that could only be tackled by a harmonious and symbiotic interaction between the legal and the social systems.
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