by Joe Onwukeme
Corruption which can be defined as dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefits, has become a subject of negative controversy in our nation.
And the one which has become the bane of all corruption is political corruption, clearly defined as the abuse of public trust, power, office, or resources by elected government officials for personal gain, by extortion, soliciting or offering bribes. The beneficiaries of corruption mostly view it from the binoculars of using or taking advantage of public office to empower oneself and his cronies.
Political corruption has over the years been the exclusive preserve of majority of the political class. They don’t only use their position to fleece the state of our collective patrimony; they influence the system in such a way that even after they have gone, the system in turn helps them get away with their crime. When damning evidence of corruption is hung around their necks, they can afford trailer loads of senior lawyers to defend them in court.
To the accused, nothing is impossible in Nigeria, justice must be bought, and he starts making the necessary contacts, including frustrating court process to get as many adjournments as possible. If you are fortunate to be a high ranking senator, then consider yourself lucky, on every court appearance, you are not only going with army of SANs, your fellow senators are there with you in the spirit of solidarity including paid agents who pose as your supporters.
Their families, colleagues and supporters are also not left out in this debacle; no matter the gravity of the accusation, their beneficiaries would always tag it a witch hunt, insisting it is more of personal than national interest. The reverberating tone is always; he is being prosecuted because he is not a loyal party man, some in defense would ask, why must he be the one to be prosecuted, is he the first that has occupied such a juicy position in the past? What of his predecessors? Why haven’t they been prosecuted? Some had boasted publicly in the past that nothing would come out of such trials and their predictions came to past.
The grand corruption cases that are springing up daily and the verbal slugfest that emanates afterwards from paid agents of those indicted absolving their principals of corruption leaves a lot to the imagination. Are there institutions or sectors that could be absolved of corruption? Is it the police man who the only guaranteed way to remain at the check point is by making returns to his superiors or our Judges, most of whom have thrown the ethics of their profession at the behest of the higher bidder? Not forgetting our teeming unemployed youths who have resorted to crimes as a means to an end. Corruption has turned our nation into a Frankenstein’s monster that is now threatening our collective existence as a nation and even in the era of progressive politics, no one (among our political class) is yet to be convicted of corruption. This leaves an average Nigerian with the question, “who exactly is corrupt in Nigeria”?