Nigeria’s Compliance With The United Nations Convention on Corruption
The study evaluated Nigeria’s level of compliance with the United Nations Convention on Corruption (UNCAC) framework; investigated the relevance of the convention in the effective fight against corruption in Nigeria; examined the position of government anti-corruption institutions in the reduction of corruption; and identified issues and challenges in the reduction of corruption in Nigeria. These were with the view to providing insight into the relevance of UNCAC and the level of Nigeria’s compliance with its provisions. Data for this study were drawn from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data was obtained through the conduct of in-depth interviews to purposively selected respondents. A total number of 15 respondents were interviewed for the study. Two of the respondents were scholars who had worked extensively on corruption, cooperation, democracy and good governance in Nigeria. An official from each of the following government agencies was also interviewed: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); and Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP). These were the agencies established by the Nigerian government to fight corruption. In addition, an official each was interviewed from the following International Agencies, Civil Society Organizations and Human Rights Organizations in Nigeria: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nation Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC); Transparency International (TI); Human Rights Watch (HRW); Save Nigeria Group (SNG); and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). These organisations are partners with government in the crusade against corruption and promotion of transparency and accountability in governance. Furthermore, two human rights lawyers from Ile-Ife and a human rights activist from Lagos were purposively selected for interviews based on their active roles in the campaign against corruption in Nigeria. Secondary data were obtained from published and unpublished scholarly works available in books, journals, seminar papers, articles, newspapers, newsmagazines, conference proceedings, internet resources, dissertations, and government publications. Data obtained was analyzed using descriptive and content analysis. The findings of the study revealed that Nigeria’s level of compliance in the implementation of UNCAC framework was relatively low, due to the lack of political will in the fight against corruption. The study also found that the UNCAC was relevant to Nigeria’s anti-corruption crusade, in the area of policy formulation for anti-corruption agencies, investigation and prosecution of corrupt individuals. The study further revealed that the position of anticorruption institutions in fight against corruption was hypocritical and marred by tribalism amongst others, which limited the effectiveness of the anticorruption agencies in the crusade for transparency and accountability. Finally, the study discovered that the issues and challenges in the reduction of corruption in Nigeria were primarily centered on poor implementation of policies on anti-corruption and politicization of the fight against corruption. The study concluded that the UNCAC provisions on anticorruption were relevant for policy formulation and legal framework to fight against corruption. However, the level of compliance to relevant UNCAC provisions in Nigeria was relatively low due to overbearing political interference, inadequate intelligence, corruption in high places and weak compliance with relevant legal provisions to fight corruption.