Mitigating Corruption Using Forensic Accounting Investigation Techniques
The Watchdog Perspectives
Keywords:Corruption, Forensic Accounting, Investigation Techniques, Qualitative Research, Anti-Corruption Agencies, Public Sector, Nigeria
Corruption has been one of the everyday concern for many nations. The effect of corruption has been very devastating in countries across the globe including the developed nations. However, reports indicate that the developing nations are more susceptible to corruption and particularly within the public sector. Nigeria is an example of a developing facing the problem of corruption within the enclave of its public-sector services. Essentially, public sector service performances in Nigeria is inseparable from corruption in one form or the other. Over the years, successive have been making efforts to address the issue of corruption in the country. These efforts eventually saw the emergence of the setting up of two prominent anti-corruption agencies. Still with these agencies corruption persists in the country. Part of the problem identified is lack of competent investigative machinery to appropriately dig into the root of all corruption cases and to prosecute such cases in the court of justice. It follows that the forensic accounting investigation technique is identified as the best option and the anti-corruption agencies have adopted the technique in their investigation. This study, therefore, using qualitative research methodology based on in-depth interviews with experts from these agencies, examines the efficacy of the technique. Data collected were manually coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. Through rigorous within the case and cross-case analyses of the 24 interviews conducted, two themes emerged as the findings to the study. Forensic accounting is considered an appropriate technique for adequately investigating public sector corruption and at the same is suitable for court purposes in the prosecution and conviction of corrupt officers. Finally, the study recognizes the need to enhance the capacity of the investigators through training and retraining as well as through the provision of the latest equipment.
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