The government of Nigeria is considering the establishment of an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC), as corruption continues to plague the country.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, said that Nigeria could benefit significantly from establishing such a court, as it would provide a platform to address cases involving individuals and assets located abroad.
“The corrosive impact of corruption on Nigeria’s development, stability, and prosperity cannot be overstated,” Fagbemi said in a speech in Abuja on Tuesday.
Establishing an IACC would be a significant step in Nigeria’s fight against corruption. However, whether the government will overcome the logistical and political challenges of setting up such a court is unclear.
Corruption on the Rise
In addition to the high-profile cases mentioned above, corruption is widespread at the lower government and private sector levels in Nigeria. According to a 2022 report by Transparency International, Nigeria ranked 154th out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perception Index.
The report found that corruption is particularly prevalent in the public procurement process, the oil and gas sector, and the judiciary.
Corruption has a devastating impact on Nigeria’s economy and society. It diverts resources away from essential services, such as education and healthcare, and undermines public trust in government.
Crackdown on Corruption Needed
The Nigerian government has made some progress in its fight against corruption recently. However, much more needs to be done.
The government must strengthen its anti-corruption institutions, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). It also needs to improve transparency and accountability in government.
Establishing an IACC would be a welcome step in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. However, it is important to note that such a court would not be a silver bullet. It is also essential to address the root causes of corruption in Nigeria, such as weak institutions and a lack of political will to tackle corruption.