Combatting economic crimes in Nigeria through whistleblowing: a shift from policy to legal framework

Publication Date10 Jun 2020
AuthorSirajo Yakubu,Mohammed Kyari Dikwa
SubjectAccounting & Finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial compliance/regulation,Financial crime
Combatting economic crimes in
Nigeria through whistleblowing: a
shift from policy to legal
Sirajo Yakubu
Faculty of Law, Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria, and
Mohammed Kyari Dikwa
Principal Partner, Bayco Consulting, No 28 TY Danjuma Crescent Asokoro,
Abuja, Nigeria
Purpose The purposeof this paper is a holistic assessment of the impact of whistleblowingpolicy adopted
by the Nigerian Government in ghting corruption and an evaluation of the whistleblowing and witness
Design/methodology/approach This paper is a critical analysis of the whistleblowing policy and
the draft whistleblowing and witness protection bill. The paper combines both qualitative and
quantitative methods. It is conducted through the study of the policy and the draft bill and the critical
examination of the data released by the federal Ministry of Finance. Moreover, the personal experience
of the authors inthe civil service and in formulating and implementing the whistleblowerpolicy account
Findings The whistleblowing policy adopted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria is promising in
controlling corruption and other economically motivated crimes. However, while efforts to give
whistleblowinga legal backing will strengthen the ght against corruption in Nigeria,the National Assembly
must subjectthe bill to rigorous debate to avoid havingmany lacunas in would be act.
Research limitations/implications The use of whistleblowingin combatting corruption in Nigeria is
still at its infancy. A policy documentbacks implementation of the policy there is no legislation or case law
to consider. Thus, analysis is based on the policy document, the bill,statistics from the FMF and personal
experienceof the authors.
Originality/value There is no comprehensivestudy on the adoption of and efforts to give legal backing
to, the whistleblowing policyadopted in Nigeria. This paper is of value to the Nigerian Government and the
NationalAssembly considering the latest efforts to institutionalisewhistleblowing in Nigeria.
Keywords Whistleblowing, Corruption, Economic crime, Proceeds of crime, Money laundering
Paper type Research paper
This paper critically analyses the whistleblowing policy adopted in Nigeria and the
whistleblower and witness protection bill placed before Nigerias National Assembly. Overall,
the policy has fared well, albeit some challenges being en countered in its implementation. To
remedy the obstacles and to institutionalised whistleblowing as a means of ghting corruption
in Nigeria, a draft bill is before the National Assembly. When passed into law, the act will give
protection to whistleblowers against reprisal. However, the bill in its current form is decient.
Thus, the National Assembly need to subject the bill to further scrutiny.
crimes in
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.23 No. 4, 2020
pp. 819-832
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JMLC-04-2020-0040
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