By Layi Babatunde SAN
Continues from last week
- g) Systemic Corruption: Systemic corruption describes a situation where corruption and corrupt way of life have become entrenched in the socio-economic and political fabrics of the society or a nation. In systemic corruption, the practice has reached a routine way of life and so does not generate adverse reaction on those on whom it is practised.
Under systemic corruption, all other types of corruption are rife and competes in ascendancy and pervasiveness. According to Robinson, under this system corruption is “routinized and accepted as a means of conducting everyday transaction” His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo appears to be referring to the systemic corruption in Nigeria when he observed that “the main purpose of governance seems to be corruption”.
It is common knowledge that corruption has become a way of life in Nigeria, and that even the least officer in a public office can hold a person to ransom in order to achieve a corrupt end. Also, corruption has become institutionalized to the extent that non receipted phony fees are demanded and collected from prospective applicants shamefully including students, by several government agencies. This troubling scenario has created a vast field of partakers and victims of corrupt practices, high and low alike.
2.2 ILLUSTRATIONS OF TYPES, PATTERNS AND AVENUES OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA
(i) A dismissed/terminated/forcefully-retired Civil Servant is appointed Chairman or Director of an organisation owned by the same government that “punished” the civil servant
(ii) A business man” sets up a company in Kano and another “firm” in London, New York or Hamburg, imports from and exports to himself non-existent goods to transfer currency out of the country.
(iii) Electoral commissioners or officers are either unavailable for the filing of nomination papers by papers by particular candidates or they provide an insufficient number of voter-registration cards to particular constituencies.
(iv) Subsidiaries of multi-national companies declare huge profits to their metropolitan headquarters while publicly proclaiming losses in Nigeria.
(v) A Town Planning Authority routes a road through a political opponents landed property.
(vi) “Federal Character” is actualized by patronage to unqualified and incompetent cronies from various, sections of the Federation. (vii) A Lawyer takes a fee from a convicted prisoner to appeal his case but neither files for the appeal nor return to the prison to see his “client” until the expiration of the sentence.
(viii) A medical doctor performs an illegal abortion for a young girl in his private clinic but rushes the dead body to his colleagues in the General Hospital and a non-incriminating death certificate is produced.
Questionable declaration of assets
(ix) Another medical doctor issues, for a fee, a “sick-leave” for a very healthy employee to be excused from work for two weeks.
(x) The National Assembly deletes, from the enabling Acts, a clause that empowers the Code of Conduct Bureau to investigate/probe questionable declaration of assets.
(xi) Refrigerators, generators, furniture electric-kettles, etc “officially” purchased for the office are taken away for house-use. (xii) A lecturer has the letter-heads of the Editors of major journals in his field of specialization and writes himself letters of acceptance of manuscripts for publication.
(xiii) External-examiners/assessors, for thesis-examination or promotion, are “suggested” by the candidates to be examined or assessed respectively.
(xiv) A printer gets an extremely over-inflated contract to supply stationery to an Hotels Management Board with the “understanding” that everyone, from the manager to the accounts clerk, will get his share of the “extra”.
(xv) Chairmen or Chief Executives of government institutions/ organisations/Departments approve the renting of their own houses to their institutions/ organisations/Departments at exorbitant rates.
(xvi) The market woman adulterates her yam-flower with cassava flower and pushes the bottom of the measuring tin inside to give the customer less than paid for.
(xvii) A Vice-Chancellor and the Chairman of the University Press has an arrangement whereby the Press “publishes” whatever he writes and the Chairman goes abroad on estacode allowance to see to the technicalities of the publication.
(xviii) To get your case called for hearing in Court, you must “see” the court-clerk; otherwise, you will be going to the court everyday without any hope of hearing. The list is endless! Suffice to say, that the above list were compiled in 1983!
2.3 Who is a Legal Practitioner in Nigeria?
Who is a Legal Practitioner in Nigeria is a question of law.