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International Journal of

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International Journal of Global Studies

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International Journal of Global Studies

Volume 2, Issue 1, pp. 20-35

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Legislative probe and corruption in Nigeria: A focus on National Assembly oversight function: 1999 to 2011



Barrister Okeke, V. O. S. PhD



Faculty of Social Sciences, Department Of Political Science, Anambra State University, Igbariam, Anambra State, Nigeria. Tel.: +23438033847373


 Accepted Date

12th May, 2014



Okeke VOS (2014). Legislative probe and corruption in Nigeria: A focus on National Assembly oversight function: 1999 to 2011. Int'l. J. Glob. Stud. 2(1): 20-35



All across Nigeria are visible negative effects of corruption in our society: bad roads, poor healthcare, abysmal level of education etc, yet billions are budgeted every year to tackle these problems. While corruption pervades all facets of human life in Nigeria, its occurrence is more with public office holders and it is more prevalent in certain kinds of transactions especially government contracts; that is why most cases of corruption in Nigeria involve people who have held public offices at one time or the other. At the inception of the new democratic administration in May 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared on the day of his inauguration that: “Corruption, the greatest single bane of our society today will be tackled head-on at all levels... no society can achieve anything near its full potential if it allows corruption to become full-blown cancer it has become in Nigeria; the rampant corruption in the public service and the cynical contempt for integrity that pervades every level of bureaucracy will be stamped out”. The ravaging poverty, unemployment, increased maternal mortality and uncontrollable high rate of crime are some of the repercussions of corruption as experienced in Nigeria. No sector of our life has been spared the scourge; from dilapidated health centres that monies are continuously provided for to the increasing number of children roaming the streets. Remarkably, there is even intense speculation that the fatal crash of Dana Air on June 3, 2012 was as result of corruption in the management and regulation of the aviation sector. Corruption is very damaging to the country in economic and moral terms; it undermines confidence in the government, whose moral authority is diminished. Corruption deepens income inequalities and poverty; those who benefit from bribery, kickbacks and preferential deals are not likely to be among the poorest. It has serious adverse effect on economic growth; as it acts as additional tax on enterprises, raises costs and reduces incentives to investment. This paper titled “Legislative Probe and Corruption in Nigeria: A focus on National Assembly oversight functions, 1999 to 2011”. The study is basically a historical research method relying mainly on secondary sources of data from internet sources, official documents and country websites as the method of data collection. We made use of qualitative-descriptive analysis as our method of data analysis, that is, documentary studies of official document and other materials in analyzing the secondary data. The major purpose of embarking on this paper is to interrogate the relationship between legislative probe and corruption in Nigeria with focus on National Assembly oversight functions between 1999 and 2011. Thus, we were able to make the following principal findings that, one; the National Assembly oversight functions do not enhance fiscal accountability in Nigeria between 1999 and 2011. Two, that legislative probes impede the fight against corruption in Nigeria between 1999 and 2011. On the basis of this, we recommend, one, which the National Assembly should exceed or over-step its constitutional roles or functions in carry out its oversight functions. Two, which the National Assembly should focus on its primary role of law making rather than encumbering and compromising itself with probing or investigation.

Key words:
Legislative Probe, Corruption, Nigeria, National Assembly and oversight functions


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