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Talking Law With Ivie Omoregie: Fraud Vs. Corruption – Determining the Greater Evil for Nigerians



In my last article, I discussed the concept of 419 aka advanced fee fraud, some of the laws regulating fraud in Nigeria and the effectiveness of the legal enforcement framework.

This lead to a discussion that I found interesting. The initial discussion was premised on 419 and Nigeria’s international image. However, during the course of the discussion it then ventured onto “whether it is 419 or corruption which has had the most negative impact on the day to day life’s of the average Nigerian citizen”.

I have highlighted some of the points raised below:

Against Corruption

  • Corruption leads to the misappropriation of significantly more revenue than the world’s 419 activities combined;
  • Corruption has lead to the lack of opportunities, which has now formed the foundation for the majority’s interest in 419 activities;
  • Corruption is the reason why many international companies consider Nigeria a “high risk investment”;
  • Corruption is also the reason why there seems to be an ineffective law enforcement framework to punish persons errant of the law;
  • The government has not empowered the public and private sector with polices which engage youth in meaningful employment;
  • Aside from enacting laws which in reality will never be completely enforced, what are the alternative solutions proffered for these menaces.

Against 419

  • People choose the path which they wish to follow, and this can be either good or bad;
  • A minority of the population who are engaged in illegal activities are spoiling prospects for the majority;
  • Distrust caused by previous 419 activities is making it difficult for honest business men and women to do international trade or ask for any form of credit from their suppliers;
  • Majority of the 419 business men are motivated by an unnecessarily lavish lifestyle, investing the proceeds of their activities on cars, first class flights and champagne;

In light of what has been happening with politics in Nigeria recently and next year’s presidential elections, this is a topic I found interesting and I would like to hear your views on this.

Ivie Omoregie is the Founding Consultant at Skye Advisory. Skye Advisory is a boutique business advisory firm with locations in London, England, as well as Lagos, Nigeria. Skye Advisory offers bespoke Legal, Financial and General Business advisory services to small and micro businesses.  Ivie is a duly qualified lawyer with years of cross border experience in the areas of Corporate Advisory, Energy and Projects, Finance and Litigation.  Ivie is also an active member of the Nigerian Bar Association as well as an avid Business Advisor, Political Analyst and Human Rights promoter.  View more details about her at Follow her on Twitter @Ivie_Omoregie and Instagram @Skye.Advisory "


  1. Aare

    October 22, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    419 and corruption are linked, for example business people committing fraud was the original reason foreign investors were hesitant to invest in Nigeria and high risk in terms of corruption probably comes from half of the western hemisphere. but corruption (public corruption takes the crown),, It takes a dubious mindset to engage in both activities. But people committing 419 most likely do not have access to commit (public) corrupt acts. They are smaller fish in the eyes of the public. I feel access to public finances in Nigeria and public titles are prestige symbols and people with those titles and access and who have earned funds through dubious means and gained dubious prestige and respect from a confused public are a bigger influence in corrupting and further confusing the people than 419, a debacle in a democratic setting. It is not just the monetary impact but the effect on morality, religion, education(miseducation, ), community, traditional values, life(Nigeria dysphoria), basically, everything Fela has said.

    • Gbemi

      October 23, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      This is soo soo sad. Over 20 years after Fela’s death and things have only gotten worse. Which kind life be this.

  2. Conwell

    October 23, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Abeg how can you compare 419 to corruption. Their completely different man

  3. Akara Pancake

    October 23, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Both ills are intertwined somewhat, like strands of over-boiled Indomie.

    419 thrives in our country, because ours is a society that is morally corrupt and is used to looking away when it comes to wealth gained illicitly. Nowhere on God’s green earth, can one strike gold through fraudulent activities, and receive accolades from government, church and community. Corruption when it becomes as systemic and pandemic as it has become in Nigeria, actually negatively influences impressionable youngsters that the only way they could thrive is to either steal, beg or borrow (or defraud).

    That said. if we must compare, corruption is relatively worse. 419 is an ill against one or two greedy individuals (or a corporation/bank/government body, las las). Corruption’s scale of destruction is like an ogbunigwe dynamite. It kills a million people a million times. It is the Nigeria holocaust

    • Chaiiiii

      October 24, 2018 at 11:57 am

      #CurrupionIsTheNigerianHolocaust your words are soo soo deep.

      Yesterday I saw a woman run over by a danfo bus around Festac. I already knew she was dead when I heard the impact. She didn’t look like she had money for hosiptial, there were no emergency services nor any persons with viable knowledge of CPR.

      This country is just sad. People are dying like chickens whilst our politicians are re-electing them self’s whilst calling it democratic rule.

      We prayed and fasted for change but it was a negative change.

  4. gracy

    October 24, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    the truth is the only reason why a Nigerian passport holder is disrespected at most foreign airport is because of fraud not corruption.

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