In response to the persistent issue of corruption in Nigeria, the government is contemplating the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC). Lateef Fagbemi, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has emphasized the potential advantages of this initiative for Nigeria, as it would offer a dedicated platform for addressing cases involving individuals and assets located outside the country.
In a speech in Abuja on Tuesday, Fagbemi said “The corrosive impact of corruption on Nigeria’s development, stability, and prosperity cannot be overstated.”
The establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) would represent a major stride in Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts. Nonetheless, the hurdles related to logistics and political considerations that the government must surmount to create such a court remain uncertain.
The increase in corruption cases
Beyond the well-known cases mentioned earlier, corruption permeates the lower echelons of both the Nigerian government and the private sector. In a 2022 report by Transparency International, Nigeria’s ranking on the Corruption Perception Index was 154th out of 180 countries. The report highlights that corruption is notably widespread in areas such as public procurement, the oil and gas sector, and the judiciary.
The deleterious effects of corruption on Nigeria’s economy and society are profound. It siphons resources away from critical services like education and healthcare while eroding public confidence in the government.
EFCC and ICPC to tackle corruption
While the Nigerian government has shown some recent progress in its anti-corruption endeavors, there remains a substantial amount of work to be accomplished.
Enhancing the efficacy of anti-corruption bodies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is paramount. Additionally, fostering greater transparency and accountability within the government is crucial.
The prospective establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) would be a valuable addition to Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to recognize that such a court isn’t a panacea. Addressing the foundational factors of corruption in Nigeria, including weak institutions and a lack of political will to combat corruption, is equally imperative.
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