May 6th, 2010
The last week of April of 2010 will be remembered for its
truth telling expressions. It is a period when two great
public officials in high level national and sensitive
positions would by way of frustration or speculation signal
to the Nigerian masses how nationally damaging corruption
The Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Professor
Attahiru Jega specifically judged the country as currently
in a disabled state as a result of a public leadership
marked with corruptible hands. Dr. Jega calls for strong
public support for the anti-corruption agencies in their
daily legal battle against those that are illegally sucking
the people’s money for their own personal and selfish use.
Lawyer (Mrs.) Farida Waziri, a law enforcement expert, the
national prosecutor and the current head of the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , in a professional but
definitive way opined that only extreme and stiff legal
consequences could in a lasting way, reduce corruption in
leadership and deter acts of corruption now, and in the
There is no doubt that most Nigerians would agree that the
central enemy in the country is corruption and the fight
against this cancerous societal tumor has been overwhelming
for everyone. No day passes without another distressful news
about bribery in the millions, both in naira, pounds or
dollars. This goes on and on with no apparent ending, good
So what else could be done? This is a good time to raise
more questions as they relate to putting fear in the minds
and hearts of the would-be-corrupt officials.
The National Assembly is said to be reconstructing and
updating the Constitution, hopefully with open, strong and
penetrating input from the public as they are the ultimate
bearers of the symptoms of the chronic and current disease
of economic terror, corruption especially.
The masses should actively become involved in this process
by sending load of verbal pressures to the lawmakers. This
could be done through multiple and peaceful writings,
letters, telephone calls, email, and non-violent visits to
the offices of their local, state and federal law makers.
At this time, what are needed are anti-corruption
legislations with swift and powerful phrases, amendments and
clauses that could come within the updated Constitution. And
the anti-corruption laws should contain different levels of
sanctions customized according to the degree of the fraud,
bribery or corruption.
It is now a reality that many in the ruling class across the
government and corporate environments have made the nation a
class ‘A’ corruption-driven society. And compared to other
societies, the psychology of bribery is pronouncedly
rampant, open, habitual, focused, dicey, passionate,
engaging, and even developmental as it has become systematic
and almost lifelong in pattern.
If truth be told since 2004 and to this present day the
anti-corruption works, under the respective leadership of
Nuhu Ribadu and Farida Waziri have been massive but not
enough to permanently drive fear into or silence the heads
of the bad elements of the society. Also, the multiple
anti-justice forces that remain lively within and across
different areas of public and private works continue to
enlarge. These forces of bribery will not give up easily.
These vicious operations are countless, and occur within the
likes of the bedroom, classroom, parlor, place of worship,
ward, clinic, hospital, highway, morgue, office, housing,
airport, bathroom, business, council, police station,
courtroom, and other multiple settings.
The intractable nature of pro-bribery mentality and the
pervasive arrangement of corruption have left the country in
a state of gross inequality in terms of basic needs and
Certainly, no reasonable person is calling for a violent
uprising or a collective attack on the officially corrupt.
No one is saying ‘O, Boy or O, Girl’ go find a band of
official or known corrupt individuals, and illegally kill
every one of them. There are other reactive methods of
disapproval, such as targeted and highly organized non
violent forms of protest available.
Anti-corruption legislations that are culturally appropriate
to the people’s diverse way of existence are what the
society needs now.
Constitutionally, Nigeria have both the civil laws and the
Sharia laws and a variety of courts react to various
misconducts in terms of what type of punitive and
retributive justice to give out.
The Nigerian society and the citizens are generally aware of
such legal penalties toward major acts of theft, like
medically supervised amputation, partial blindness and
others, which are not uncommon in states like Zamfara, and
Katsina, the President’s home State.
Also the civil law aspect of the Nigerian Constitution
already has the death sentence clause for certain offenses.
Especially, it is worth noting that in the northern states
that rely heavily on aggravating-type verdicts and rulings,
there have been results with high deterring or valuable
outcomes. In most cases ,strong signals have been sent to an
So along with these assumptive lines of anti-corruption
proposals, should be the need to start the immediate study
of penalties like death sentence, amputation, blindness and
other swift or hard core measures. And if they end up as
part of the new Constitution, each of these sentences should
be compassionately done, non-gruesome in procedure and full
supervised by a competent clinician.
China, Nigeria’s economic global big brother already have a
death penalty system for some special fraudulent offenses,
so there’s a good chance that China could serve as a good
study and role model.
Let’s hope that those with highly corruptible spirit, eyes,
legs, and hands could come to the reality that the already
noted sanctions have everlasting grave consequences. As
such, these type of sanctions could slow down their high
level and powerful social living.
By their own positive actions towards themselves and the
people, the Human Rights advocates could become successful
in defeating any of these yet to come or future hard core
anti-corruption legislative suppositions. So let us all do
the right thing or these proposals will be here soon.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, is a practicing
Forensic/Clinical Psychologist, and an Interim Dean of
Behavioral Science at the Broward College, Coconut Creek,