Sociological and Legal Issues in Nigeria’s Pervasive Corruption: The Criminalization of the State and the Citizenry in Nigeria

Ogaga Ayemo Obaro


The objective of this paper is to review the sociological and legal issues of corruption in Nigeria. The growth of corruption on a major scale, the plundering of national resources, the privatization of state institutions, the development of an economy of plunder, the growth of private armies, all of these features of public life in Nigeria suggest that the State itself has become a vehicle for organized criminal activity. Corruption indicates that the whole society is criminalized, that crime and exploitation pervade the paneled offices of government, business and professionals, as well as, the littered streets of the slums. The corruption criminals not only commit crime themselves, but they participate and promote the crimes of the poor/powerless. The Penal Code and the Criminal Code in Nigeria both of which contain enactments which are designed to deal with crime and corruption do not appear to have had any restraining influence on the criminal activities of those who are hell-bent in perpetuating the crime of corruption. Corruption criminals are roaming our streets in open defiance of the legal order because the law, the prosecuting agencies and the courts have failed in their duties. The paper recommends that the spectrum of Nigeria’s anti – corruption coalition needs to be broadened, refocused, and coordinated. A legalistic and sociologically holistic, inclusive, participatory, integrated approach that will concretely address the problem of corruption in Nigeria must be articulated and practiced.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n9p573

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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