Irrespective of which side of the divide - be it on the end of those seeking moral justice or the ones canvassing for those indicted to be let off - it is highly probable that you are finding the circus that usually surrounds the fight against corruption to be rather tiresome. The major reason for this isn’t down to giving up on the fight itself but the manner with which the cases are dragged turning the whole thing into some sort of endless battles with court proceedings adjourned over and again.
Though the anti-graft agency, that is, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would want to have the populace believe that they are leading a good cause particularly when it comes to bringing public office holders to book. However, the fact that their moves are sometimes tainted with suspicion of propaganda, leaves so much to be desired. And, the increasing tendencies to have corruption cases [involving top public office holders] swept under the carpet without any definitive punishment has further fuelled the notion that the anti-corruption fight in the country is geared towards a politically motivated cause. Sometimes, last year, rumours were rife about the charges against former petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke being dropped with EFCC coming out to the debunk that claim, and after more than four years on this very case, we are yet to see an end in sight.
Notwithstanding, let me be quick to say here that the agency cannot be wholly discredited or blamed for the mess that is apparent in the system today. For one, it has achieved giant strides in fighting internet fraudsters. The significance of their existence or performance will, however, keep paling if it is only a (selected) few that are made to face the full wrath of the law and the anti-corruption fight will be nothing more than an activity-forming/mudslinging exercise. More so, the onus falls on the government to ensure that the fight against corruption is highly effectual by not shielding corrupt officials at the top from being punished.
In the words of the former president of UN security council and Singaporean diplomat, Professor Kishore Mahbubani - as regarding the eradication of corruption from the society - “…the most effective way to do it is to make sure you don’t punish people at the bottom, you punish people at the top“. Such punitive measures will send a strong signal to other public office holders, as well as, the citizens and in effect, limit or quell the menace of corruption. He went further to cite an example of how Singapore practices this measure and it has been found to very effective - by the way; Singapore ranks among the top 3 least corrupt countries in the world today.
But then, I ask myself: how well can this work with the kind of pampering our justice system give to those at the echelon? There are a number of allegedly corrupt cases, Nigerians are still expecting the EFCC to take up, but there seems to be some form of encumbrance holding them back. So, what is the significance of fighting corruption when some individuals are seen as ‘untouchable‘? It is quite pathetic that we are in a nation where justice is defined by the ill-conceived ideologies of men who have blacklisted ‘dignity‘ from their sub-conscious, and those on the side of this ignobleness are certified ‘safe‘ as long as they do not step on the toes of the ‘high-and-mighty‘ ones in the society.