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THE IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON THE INTEGRITY OF THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION IN DELTA STATE

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THE IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON THE INTEGRITY OF  THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION IN DELTA STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Corruption in Nigeria's democracy is a source of great concern for sociologists. Ochulor (2018) argues that corruption is a pervasive issue worldwide, affecting every country to some extent. He contends that the variation in the corruption perception index across different countries is determined by the prevalence of corruption and the integrity and determination of the population in combating it. Regrettably, in Nigeria, every level of society has been marked by its widespread and crippling impact (Emerinwe et al., 2020). The entire apparatus of society, including the electoral system, is riddled with pervasive corruption. Furthermore, the integrity of electoral commissions is crucial for the democratic process, as they play a vital role in upholding the fundamental ideals of free and fair elections (Fomunyam & Asoba, 2017). Ademola and Solanke (2020) define electoral integrity as the combination of openness, accountability, impartiality, and inclusion. These qualities are crucial for maintaining the validity of electoral results. Nevertheless, corruption is a major concern in various locations across the globe, such as Delta State in Nigeria, and it greatly undermines the autonomy and fairness of electoral institutions such as INEC (Obi, 2018). The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was founded in Nigeria in 1998 with the specific duty of organizing, conducting, and overseeing all elections in the country, including those in Delta State (INEC, 2023). Nevertheless, the INEC has had ongoing difficulties associated with corruption, despite its constitutional obligation to guarantee trustworthy elections. These obstacles have compromised its credibility and diminished public confidence in the electoral system (Jega, 2018). Similarly, the INEC in Delta State has faced charges of corruption, which have been closely examined and caused controversy. These allegations have raised worries over the integrity and openness of electoral procedures (Ezirim, 2019). During the 2023 general elections, instances of vote-buying, ballot-box snatching, and other forms of electoral malpractice were reported, raising concerns about the credibility of the electoral process in the state (Ogbo, 2023). Furthermore, corruption in the INEC encompasses a range of activities like as bribery, nepotism, election fraud, and coordination with political players (Fomunyam & Asoba, 2017). However, the presence of these unethical behaviours not only jeopardizes the honesty of election results but also weakens the fundamental concept of equal political participation and the freedom of citizens to chose their representatives (Ademola & Solanke, 2020). In addition, the widespread existence of corruption inside the INEC system promotes a culture of impunity, allowing wrongdoers to avoid being held responsible, which in turn reinforces structural vulnerabilities (Obi, 2018). While there have been attempts to improve the election process and enhance institutional procedures to fight corruption, such as implementing biometric voter registration and electronic card readers, there are still obstacles owing to deeply rooted interests and ineffective enforcement measures (Jega, 2017). Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to examine the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The inherent characteristics of Nigeria's land, climate, bureaucracy, political ideology, and public policy are not inherently problematic. Instead, the challenges stem from what is commonly referred to as the "Nigeria factor," which includes issues such as corruption, inadequate policy implementation, imbalanced federalism, ethnicity, and the reluctance or incapacity of leaders to fulfill their responsibilities. Of particular concern is the compromise of the electoral institution (INEC) in conducting elections (Ibeogu, 2018). Among the numerous challenges, godfatherism and the manipulation of the electoral process by the electoral commission (INEC) stand out as pressing issues requiring immediate attention. Beyond that, the INEC in Delta State has been plagued by recurrent corruption, which affects the democratic process in several ways. First and foremost, it undermines the confidence of the general public in the electoral system (Chukwu & Joseph, 2018). When individuals regard electoral procedures as contaminated by corruption, their confidence in the impartiality and validity of election results diminishes. The erosion of trust can cause disillusionment with the democratic process, leading to less political involvement and engagement among the population (Ume et al, 2019). Furthermore, corruption undermines the integrity of elections by providing avenues for manipulation and fraudulent activities. Corruption, the act of offering bribes, purchasing votes, and engaging in other types of electoral misconduct, weakens the fundamental concept of fair and equal representation and diminishes the influence of the voting population (Akpotor et al.,2018). Reports of politicians and parties engaging in corrupt activities to influence electoral outcomes in Delta State have been extensively documented (Onuoha, 2018). These actions not only manipulate the desires of the public but also undermine the democratic principles of openness and responsibility. Moreover, the widespread occurrence of corruption in the INEC system sustains a culture of impunity. When those implicated in electoral corruption evade punishment, it strengthens the belief that participating in such misconduct is unlikely to result in any repercussions.  According to Treisman (2020), the absence of accountability encourages a feeling of immunity among wrongdoers and empowers them to persist in engaging in corrupt activities without facing consequences. Consequently, the INEC has not taken steps to fix fundamental flaws, which has enabled corruption to continue and erode the trustworthiness of the voting system. Hence, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to examine the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state.

 1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is boarded on the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state. Specifically, the study will;

Determine the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state.

Ascertain  how corruption in INEC undermines public trust and confidence in the electoral process Delta state.

Investigate the challenges faced by INEC in combating corruption in Delta state

1.4  Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the impact of corruption on the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Delta State?

How does corruption within INEC undermine public trust and confidence in the electoral process in Delta State?

What are the challenges faced by INEC in combating corruption in Delta State?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

H0: Corruption has no significant impact on the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state.

Ha: Corruption has a significant impact on the integrity of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state.

 Significance of the Study

The study will provide journalists with essential data for reporting on investigations, guaranteeing that citizens are thoroughly informed about the obstacles and possible remedies associated with voting integrity in Delta state. Also, it will provide legislators with updates on the progress of laws and regulations designed to prevent, identify, and combat fraudulent practices. Additionally, the study will be disclosed to the electorate, since the collected information will enhance their levels of engagement and involvement in political processes. Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state.

1.6 Scope of the study   

The scope of this study is boarded on the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta state. Empirically, this study will determine the impact of corruption on the integrity of  the Independent National Electoral Commission, ascertain  how corruption in INEC undermines public trust and confidence in the electoral process and investigate the challenges faced by INEC in combating corruption.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to youths of  Delta state, Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.9 Definition of Terms

Corruption: this includes acts such as bribery, vote buying, electoral fraud, manipulation of results, nepotism, and mismanagement of electoral funds and resources.

Integrity: refers to the adherence to ethical principles and standards of honesty, transparency, and accountability.

INEC: is the body responsible for organizing and overseeing elections in Nigeria


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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  • Methodology: Yes available


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