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ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR UNDER PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI IN NIGERIA: THE ARSENAL, CASUALTIES, VICTORIES AND CORRUPTION PERCEPTION APPRAISAL
ABSTRACT: This paper assessed and appraised the status and/or level of victories of President Muhammadu Buhari government’s anti-corruption war in Nigeria. In doing so, the paper examined the various anti-corruption policies, legal and regulatory frameworks that have been put in place by this present administration to fight against corruption scourge in Nigeria. The paper observed that Nigeria, no doubt, has adopted some of the provisions of the international conventions against corruption. However, Nigeria has, regrettably and consistently, remained on the negative corruption perception index, regionally and internationally. Nevertheless, the paper found that the present administration under President Buhari, has adopted and/or introduced home-grown laudable anti-corruption policies and legal frameworks. These include Treasury Single Account, Whistle-blowing, Code of Conduct Bureau and its Tribunal, and Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Governance Code among others, to fight against corruption. This effort has brought about a modicum of victories in certain aspects of the corruption perception index. Also, the paper perused the perceptions of Nigerians based on write-ups and commentaries about some corruption casualties and found that opinions of Nigerians are tendentiously divided between and among ethnics, religious and political party lines. Therefore, the paper recommends among other things, that President Buhari, where the bulk stops at his table and his cabinet, should make the rule of law and international best practices their watchword and benchmark at fighting against corruption. Also, all policies formulation and enforcement in the direction of fight against corruption should be non-selective, non-ethnic and/or political party affinities or persuasion.
KEYWORDS: Corruption, Anti-corruption, Non-selective, Casualties, Regulatory Framework