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This research work examines corruption, its legal effect, its meanings and peculiar manifestation in the Nigeria society. Abortive efforts made in the past to curtail the problem, and present experiments to eradicate the scourges from our polity are also examined. The term, “corruption” implies an undue advantage, abuse of office, undeserved favour obtained through manipulation of rule or status, any untoward conduct, occasioned by graft or promise of same. In other words, whenever and wherever a party performs a service or obligation in exchange for some gratification or refuses to perform his duty as a result of conferment of some benefits or promise of same, he is said to be corrupt.  This dissertation is broken into five chapters. Chapter one deals with general introduction, chapter two deals with concept of corruption, chapter three deals with corruption and criminal law in Nigeria, chapter four deals with curbing corruption in Nigeria, chapter five deals with conclusion and recommendations. Finally, in the concluding part, suggestions are made, as to how Nigeria youths, educational institution of learning, the judiciary, legislative Assembly and religious Institutions can be active agents in the effort to return sanity to our society, enthroning the virtues, of honesty, transparency and accountability in their dealings.





Nigeria is one of the countries identified as the most corrupt nation in the World. Since independence in 1960, no administration has been declared corruption free, the notable difference is the degree of corruption. The first republic was interrupted in 1960 on the accusation of corrupt practices. When the military took over they claim among other things to stop the spate of corruption with which regional and national government had been associated. Virtually, all the military administrations we had, since then, hammered on the issue of corruption and the need to eradicate it from Nigeria[1].

It would therefore be of importance to make a descriptive or explanatory statement of corruption or corrupt practices as apt to this research work. It should be noted that corruption is not limited to monetary gratification, benefits derived from there could also be in kind or in pleasure or other intangible forms, employment patronage, use of contraire security threats to the state or the large society to obtain approval for extra budgetary allocation for the personal enrichment of public officers, membership in cults and other ways and means of securing undeserved status and or benefits also constitute corrupt practices.

This study also engages in the conceptual examination of the corruption phenomenon in Nigeria, before analyzing the constitutional mechanisms and framework designed to tackle corruption. The governance issues relating to corruption will be discussed, as a prelude to highlighting certain emerging prospects for combating and preventing corruption in the Nigeria state.

Accordingly, the struggle against corruption has become the struggle of our time, if Nigeria is to emerge from the labyrinthine of a poverty, squalor, ignorance and stunted growth. The level of corruption in the country had clearly become intolerable, and it is generally acknowledged that constitutional democracy is the basis for good governance, as good governance is the antidote for corruption. The observations and conclusion thereafter flow logically from the preceding discussions.


The law on the subject of corruption is far from clear, corruption is not an isolated phenomenon but as an interdisciplinary problem and should be handled in holistic perspective. This study will look into history of corruption and matters relating to corruption. Also, government effort in curbing corruption will be examined from a legal point of view.


Corruption has been an important issue as it has become obstacle to achievement of a better and more efficient economic development of the country. The aims and objectives of this study are as follows:

i.  To elucidate clearly on the issue of corruption in Nigeria, and the steps taken by various administrations (both past and present), to curtail this menace.

ii.  The various provisions penal laws and the issue of corruption (Anti-Corruption Act i.e. ICPC, EFCC and Code of Conduct for Public Officer e.t.c) that related to the title of the research work.

To highlight how workable the ICPC, EFCC and Code of Conduct for Public Officer Act on the issues of corruption or corrupt cases, decisions of the courts on matters, relating to this issue.

[1] Marong B.M, ‘Toward a Normative Consensus Against Corruption: Legal Effects of the Principlesto Combat Corruption in Africa’ (2002) p. 99-109


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