Anatomy of Fraud and Corruption in Nigeria: A Search for the Pandora Box and Panacea

Prof. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Okoye, a Professor of forensic accounting, from the Department of Accountancy, Faculty of Management Sciences, has spoken at length on the Anatomy of fraud and corruption in Nigeria.

Speaking during the 32nd UNIZIK Inaugural lecture, Prof. Okoye said that the choice of the topic “Anatomy of Fraud and Corruption in Nigeria: A Search for the Pandora Box and Panacea” was aimed at expressing his desire to follow the same tradition of raising issues that are not only significant in their academic content, but are also of great importance to the larger Nigerian Society. While speaking on fraud, he said it is viewed as all multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise and which are resorted to by one individual to get an advantage over another by false suggestions, or suppression of truth. This includes all surprises, tricks, cunning or dissembling, and any unfair way which another is cheated. He said that fraud becomes systemic in a society when, it becomes an industry all on its own, complete with stakeholders, investors all on its own, complete with stakeholders, investors and risk return profile. He went further to say that corruption is defined as giving and receiving of something of value, whether demanded or not, to influence the receiver’s action favourably toward the giver. Prof. Okoye stressed that the system never holds leaders accountable, ethnic and sectional loyalties override character and competence deficiencies. Apparently, corruption in Nigeria undermines democratic institutions, retards economic development and contributes to the government.

Furthermore, Prof. Okoye stated that the flaws in the system tend to be evenly distributed among the three arms of government in the country; Executive, Judicial and Legislative lapses. Compromised Democratic Process, Insurgency, Civil Service Decadence, Plea Bargain, Executive Hijack of Anti-Graft Agencies, Shielding effect of the immunity clause, Delay in litigation cases, Inadequacy of the Traditional Audits, Corporate Governance lapses and Religious Hypocrisy among many others.

He opined that with good Governance, fraud and corruption will be minimized drastically. He urged orgnisations to employ forensic Accountants in order to reduce fraud in companies as organisations with CFEs- Certified Fraud Examiners on staff uncover fraud 50% sooner.

In conclusion, the Forensic expert said there is need for all to always take responsibility of our own generation and ensure that we live a fraud less and incorruptible lives. We should all stop pointing accusing fingers on those in leadership positions, determine first to start with ourselves so that we can achieve a corrupt and fraud free Nation.

In his remark, the vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, FAS said that an inaugural lecture is a ritual in the University. The University, he said, is a place where we promote knowledge, and the essence of the Ivory Tower is to share ideas with the society. Prof. Ahaneku in his welcome address also said the University Community have all gathered to celebrate Prof. Emma OKoye so as to share in his wealth of knowledge to the society. He added that solution on how to curb fraud and corruption can be proffered through the lecture for the good of our country.

In her vote of thanks, the Chairman, Inaugural Lecture Committee, Prof. Amaechi Oyeka immensely thanked the Vice-Chancellor and his Management Team for their continuous maximum support to the Committee. She also thanked the invited guests for honouring the invitation. Prof. Oyeka appreciated the inaugural lecturer for sharing his wealth of knowledge and also commended the Faculty for coming out en-mass to support their colleague. She urged other faculties to emulate same.

Highlight of the occasion was the decoration of the 32nd Inaugural Lecturer of Nnamdi Azikiwe University by the Vice-Chancellor.

Present for the event were the former Vice-Chancellor, UNIZIK Prof. Boniface C. Egboka, FAS, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Dr. M. C. Ngene (Ezeike Nibo), Rt. Rev. Dr. Raph Okafor, who was the former Bishop of Ihiala Diocese, representing the Bishop of Awka, Anglican Communion, the Former Registrar Tim Umeasiegbu, former DVCs, Prof. Rob Egwuatu, Prof. Sam Omenyi, Prof. Eboatu among others.

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