BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria, like a large number of other African countries, has been plagued by corruption, particularly in the public sector. This one act has eroded Nigeria’s importance in the community of nations and slowed the country’s growth speed, since investors are reluctant to engage in such an economy (Ordu, 2014). As we all know, corruption is a cankerworm that has infiltrated every level of our society. It has resulted in physical, social, and human deterioration and dereliction within the government institution and society. Since the founding of the republic, corruption has been a source of instability for succeeding governments. Since then, every coup d’etat has been committed in the guise of eradicating the illness known as corruption. Regrettably, the remedy has sometimes proved to be worse than the ailment, and Nigeria has suffered as a result. Nigeria’s external image suffered a significant hit when our allegedly corrupt country began to rank at the top of every corruption ranking.
The government of the fourth republic of Nigeria, led by Olusegun Obsanjo, in its efforts to strengthen the rule of law and significantly reduce official corruption, correctly observed in Obasanjo (2000) that “without corruption, neither sustainable development nor political stability are possible; by breeding and feeding inefficiency, corruption invariably strangles the system of social organization; indeed, corruption suffocates the system of social organization.” As a result, a variety of policy attempts to prevent corruption were developed. The primary element of this policy effort is the establishment of a new independent anti-corruption body with authority over all types of official corruption, including the recovery of misused public monies stored domestically or overseas.
In accordance with this, on Tuesday, June 13, 2000, the corrupt practices and other related offenses legislation, colloquially referred to as the anti-corruption act, was signed into law, establishing an independent corrupt practices and other related offenses commission (ICPC) (Ordu, 2014).
“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is the apex body charged by law with the responsibility of combating corruption and other related offenses in Nigeria, and it should use all available legal means to rid the country of all forms of corruption and thus promote transparency, probity, accountability, and integrity in public and private life.”
Thus according to Emeka (2012), it is anticipated of the ICPC to be the leading agent of change in the fight against corruption and other related offenses in the polity, thereby restoring Nigeria to its enviable position of honor in the community of nations.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The ICPC’s presence is hardly noticed by secondary school students and the general public in Imo State’s Ideato South Local Government Area in particular, and throughout Nigeria in general. Many students are unfamiliar with the duties and functions of ICPC, let alone its effectiveness or lack thereof (Emeka 2012). This is due to either the commission’s ineptitude or the public’s ignorance of the commission’s existence.
This study will be conducted in response to these issues.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to assess secondary school students’ views on the ICPC’s roles and functions. Precisely, other objectives of this study are:
i. To evaluate the roles and functions of the ICPC.
ii. To assess the extent of awareness of ICPC by secondary school students.
iii. To find out whether the rate of corruption has reduced due to the presence of ICPC.
The following research questions will guide this study:
i. What are the roles and functions of the ICPC?
ii. To what extent are secondary school students aware of the roles and functions of ICPC.
iii. Has the rate of corruption reduced due to the presence of ICPC?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will contribute to a more complete and accurate knowledge of how the ICPC, which was established by the government to uncover, prosecute, and investigate corrupt personnel in the country, has fared.
It will ascertain the public’s view of the ICPC’s performance, particularly among secondary school students.
Additionally, it will demonstrate how corruption may be contained, managed, and eradicated in a country such as Nigeria.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is mainly focused on assessing secondary school students’ views on the ICPC’s roles and functions. Specifically, this study is focused on evaluating the roles and functions of the ICPC, assessing the extent of awareness of ICPC by secondary school students and finding out whether the rate of corruption has reduced due to the presence of ICPC.
Secondary school students of selected schools in Ikere LGA, of Ekiti State will serve as enrolled participants for the survey of this study.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is mainly limited to assessing secondary school students’ views on the ICPC’s roles and functions. Specifically, this study is limited to evaluating the roles and functions of the ICPC, assessing the extent of awareness of ICPC by secondary school students and finding out whether the rate of corruption has reduced due to the presence of ICPC.
Secondary school students of selected schools in Ikere LGA, of Ekiti State will serve as enrolled participants for the survey of this study, thus the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the area.
The researcher also encountered some financial and logistics problems but was able to resolve it as this study was successfully completed.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assessment: The action of assessing someone or something.
Secondary schools: A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place.
ICPC: Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commision (ICPC) is a Nigerian federal government agency whose mandate is to receive and investigate reports of corruption and in appropriate cases prosecute the offender(s), to examine, review and enforce the correction of corruption prone systems and procedures of public bodies, with a view to eliminating corruption in public life, and to educate and enlighten the public on and against corruption and related offences with a view to enlisting and fostering public support for the fight against corruption.
Roles: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation. It is an expected or free or continuously changing behavior and may have a given individual social status or social position.
Functions: Working or operating in a particular way.