Tackling Corruption in Nigeria: Legal Education in Focus

Paper presented at the 2013 CLEA Conference in Durban

Francisca Anene
National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria

Corruption is a global problem. In Nigeria however, corruption is endemic and has become a ready excuse for lack of productivity or leakages in the system. It is therefore not surprising that Nigeria is ranked amongst the world’s most corrupt nations and has been subject of various international initiatives to tackle corruption. In the past, internal efforts at fighting corruption were made by the anti-corruption agencies or government bodies created for or directly involved in the fight against corruption. More recently, private initiatives at highlighting the problem have positive results. The academia seems far removed from such initiatives with little effort being made to proffer a solution. Such inaction would suggest that the educational sector is not affected by corruption. However, it is trite that corruption is a clear and present danger even in the educational sector.

The focus of this paper is the place of law faculties in tackling corruption. We shall take the approach of examining the functions of law in the society and how this can be reinforced in the education of Nigerian law students. Drawing an example from the Nigerian law school where the curriculum was reviewed to better prepare law graduates for legal practice in present times, we shall make a case for the inclusion of a course on corruption in the law curriculum. It will also be suggested that each law faculty be taken as a microcosm of the Nigerian society and corruption actively tackled as an example to others and a means of training law students who will invariably affect the Nigerian society.

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