The 2012; Mohammed, 2013; Ochulor, Metuonu, & Asuo, 2011;

The literature has documented an array of definitions on the concept of corruption emanating from the perspective
it is being considered and the orientation of the source of the definition (Agbiboa, 2012; Egwemi, 2012;
Mohammed, 2013; Ochulor, Metuonu, & Asuo, 2011; Yaru, 2009). These perspectives cover the dimensions of
economic, political, bureaucratic, legal, social and moral/ethical inclinations of the concept. Similarly, the
orientation of the source of the definition is premised on the disciplinary background of the author or the scholar
(Ochulor et al., 2011). The vast array of the definitions on the concept tend to converge on one central theme
which is manipulation of some sort to obtain personal benefits at the expense of others (be it the state, organization
or the citizens). More importantly, that notion serves as the very starting point for the journey of defining
According to Atelhe & Agada (2014), corruption is a derivation of Latin origin, “corruptus” which stands for; “to
destroy”, and it has been variously described as a means of perversion or a procedure of changing good into bad.
However, Egwemi (2012) traces the origin of the word differently. He sees the word corruption as originating
from “rumpere”, a Latin verb meaning “to break”. Whatever may be the origin of the word, corruption is obviously
portrayed in a negative posture as indicated by the two views.
The Black’s Law Dictionary on the other hand, as cited in Wells and Hymes (2012), describe corruption as
“depravity, pervasion, or taint; an impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle; especially the impairment of
a public official’s duties by bribery”. This definition even though appears somewhat comprehensive in the sense
that it touches on some of the perspectives upon which corruption is viewed, it is however, skewed towards the
legal aspect of corruption. Similarly, the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary cited in Ochulor et al (2011)
sees it as a dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority. Azeez (2011) contends that corruption
is dishonest behaviour or an immoral act which is deviation from the societal norms, values, standards as well as
committing vices against the popular public wellbeing. Thus, in this regard corruption is viewed from the legal
and moral perspectives, perhaps buttressing the position held by many that the term has a sort of legal connotation
(Rumyantseva, 2005).