The Case Against Corruption: A Cupric Engagement

by Sylvester Fadal

If one sounds out a known name in Nigeria today, there will be some sort of a corruptive edge to them excepting great men that have fought against corruption all their lives (Gani Fawehimi, etc) and held no positions of opportunity. Corruption is a behavioral act often driven by some sort of a psychological reaction to extenuating poverty or in the case of our politicians, greed for excessive wealth.

Corruption among a system could be extensive and deep. The fingers of most past leaders have been soiled one way or another. The fingers of our politicians past and current are stained and contaminated. No exemptions. OBJ may be trying to curtail it but his non-response to the alleged house that was purchased by his son in the United States doesn’t help validate his true intents? He is not excluded from accountability. We have to be balanced in our criticism. If he can’t clearly address his personal integrity issues, why must Atiku be held accountable? Why should NEPA officials be held accountable? Why should the man that tried selling my house in Lagos with false documents be held accountable? The actions of corrupt Nigerians are predictive. It is a looping process that must be cut or else, it will continue to run from one government to another.

Leadership Modeling/Recommendation for Change

Those caught stealing or found to suddenly have excessive wealth with no verifiable source of earnings should be tried. They should be made to lose it all and sentenced to jail for a measurable amount of time or for life based on the severity of their actions. The level of financial violation should dictate the level of consequence. Here is my recommendation:

Option 1: SPTF (Steal, Proven, Tried, and Forfeiture of everything)

Option 2: SPTFJ (Steal, Proven, Tried, Forfeiture and Jail time)

Option 3: SPTFL (Steal, Proven, Tried, Forfeiture and Life in Prison)

Option 4: SPTFE (Steal, Proven, Tried, Forfeiture and Execution)

The above model must be further explored, analyzed and designed in-depth. I made it simple to ensure that all Nigerians understand it. There is no need to design a 500-page corruption eradication strategic plan. A 20-page document will do. I have further segmented the above synopsis into detail and is running close to 15 pages at this time. The model targets accomplices as well as crime committers. The dimensions of application will be formal and informal to ensure that it is (a) concurrent, (b) dependent on violations, and (c) hierarchical and also horizontal in some sort of a matrix system of management. The investigation and operations approaches will follow a mechanism that ensures an ongoing check and balance of the matrix (independent committee) and hierarchical (governmental agency).

To accomplish any kind of corruption curtailment, OBJ has to lead by example. I agree that he is attempting to do just that but continue to fall short in his actions. He can’t sing to the press about his deputy and expect to be respected. Positive feedback can be done in public but if negative, it is recommended that it stays private, specific, gentle and direct.

OBJ needs to address the issue of corruption relating to his clan. He needs to be a true representative of all stakeholders, the citizens.

Analysis of the Recommendation Process

The corruption eradication model can be managed by concurrently running agendas to resolve and curtail corruption at all levels both formally as stated above and informally. For instance, a task force could be established to report to the head of the formal structure, as no government will allow a completely independent structure for fear of self-incrimination. This is clearly indicated by the puppetry EFCC. The informal independent task force will report to an empowered and highly independent panel with an equal level of authority as the head of the formal structure. The Oputa panel comes to mind. However, in this case, the panel will have the power to summon and discipline those that fail to adhere to its call like IBB did to the Oputa panel. I will save the details for a later publication.

When an issue is of a central concern, it is best to address it. It is known that human are selfish in nature and acts in ways that promote self-interest. This unprincipled nature should not mean a complete disregard for everyone else. It does not mean a complete gravitation to unethical acts. It does not grant the right to be champions of corruption or all things evil. We need to build diamonds of these people and someday, we may see the positive aspects of some governors come to light…perhaps in future generations.

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prince kennedy Iyoha September 24, 2005 - 9:17 am

For sometime now we ve read about the corrupt activities of leaders like the VP. and even the son of obj. There seems to be consensus as to the fact that corruption is an enemy of a growing democracy like our own.

As you rightly pointed out many Nigerians have this culture in the blood. However do not want to acknowledge it. Rather we point our fingers at our neighbours while we do the very same. Nigeria is a country with enormous resources and developed manpower. Most of us are working outside the country contributing our talent to the growth of another economy because our leaders failed to implement policies of growth.

Many political candidates are sponsored by corrupt godfathers who in retune will want favour from this governors in forms of contracts that will never be executed. Government will do much to discourage this attitude if a fund is set-aside for every candidate contesting for position. This will encourage healthy governess that will not be compelled to satisfy the needs and ego of the vampires that will never control their greeds.

If this economy is properly managed Nigerians will have no business with poverty and our expatriate will remain to help improve it.

The most important achievement of this administration is the recognition for the first time that corruption is in the higher places and the need to combate. In addition i am pleased that the said fight has been institutionalized. Previous government had centralized their fight against the policemen that takes bribes in the street.

Let us not make mistake to think that this administration will end this war; she has just set up an instrument for the coming generations of leaders. I am not a prophet but i will venture to say that by the next ten to fifteen years from today Nigerian will be enjoying a healthy poltica atmosphere.

Reply September 24, 2005 - 12:16 am

Dr Sylvester Fadal I cannot thank you enough for this brilliant and constructive analysis and especially for the models. Baba Iyabo (President Olusegun Obasanjo) can only shut the gatei.e. deter he cannot eliminate corruption.Recall he set up Public Complaints Commission and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau at his first coming (1975-1979). As soon as he leftothers came and simply starved the bodies of funds to operate so that no investigation of complaints took place under Shehu Shagari.(N.B. Shehu Shagari made last minute effort by establishing Minister of National Guidance (Maitama Sule) and appointed credible people like Chief Kehinde Sofola Att-Gen) Then Buhari came and fought corruption headlong by applying Military Justice (supported by Gani Fawehinmi) and largely succeeded.

Culprits were jailed and loot recovered by the Recovery of Public Property Tribunals headed by soldiers. But when he (as we say in Yoruba) passed his space by carrying the war into his constituency -the military he was quickly toppled and made to serve a three year jail term! The coup plotters reversed the sentences returned or auctioned the loot back to the looters and compensated the looters and Buhari's "enemies" with offices including Governorships!Then the term "settlement" entered our vocab.The probing of Governors became forbidden; and when Ogun State Governor (Muhammed Lawal) was accused of massive corruption by his commissioner Augustus Aikomu was quickly dispatched to go and publicly clear him.So to date only two set of Governors have been probed – Gowon's Governors and Shehu Shagari's Governors. All others escaped with their loot! Nobody remembers today that some Military Governors chopped the ecological disaster funds disbursed to their states by the Federal govt.Our eyes will also be forcibly closed to the Gulf Oil Windfall (12 Billion) as well as the ECOMOG Funds which V.P. Atiku says ran into Billions(As of today 1910 U.S. troops killed in Iraq but our own Govt owes nobody any obligations to disclose or account)Ahhh and the foreign loans are a no-go area. So what we do is close the gate.We ignore those who chopped under the Military and jail the Politicians either at home or abroad. Butapart from the ethnic people now accusing Baba Iyabo of planting hard currency on and in the residences of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DSP)/Governor-General as well as V.P. Atiku you listen and hear what the Nigerian Governors Forum will say on the current matter in Britain.By the way another "no-go area" is corruption in the private sector.So I agree with you that we have not been consistent and those sanctioned rightly feel victimised.we may never recover what was looted by previous rulers.It does not avail the current cuprits however to point to another corrupt person nor should we condone them. By the time DSP returns home it will dawn on Nigerians that what we really need is a dose of Military Justice as was the case under Buhari (at least for the corrupt civilians while we pray to God relief from corrupt military oppressors who never probe themselves and are never probed) In the alternative Sharia Administrative Law may after all be what will avail for now. I also recommend that all top public servants be made to undergo compulsory money laundering workshop as they take oath of office and legislation should impose higher sanction for any crime that has foreign element.Finally NGOs like Niyi Oniororos Anti-Corruption Society should be funded by Govt to empower them to assist in the war.


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