Abuse of Power | Effects & Remedies of Abuse of Power

Abuse of power is when a leader uses his power in such a way that is inappropriate due to bad motives. Some leaders, despite all the institution of government established to check their activities assumes extra ordinary positions by ignoring the rules and abandoning the laws in their actions and undoings.

Some power drunk leaders who careless about their citizens, loot the treasury and enrich themselves at the peril of the masses. They dictate the rule; elongate their tenure of office without adherence to the rule of law.


The major effects of abuse of power are anarchy, rebellion, coup, underdevelopment, crises, political turmoil, assassination etc. Abuse of power creates ills feelings among political opponents. This situation brings underdevelopment, exploitation, corruption, indiscipline and all forms of ills in the society.

The effect of abuse of power may lead to anarchy, rebellion, war or even breakup of the state. In some cases leaders who abuse power may be assassinated. The consequences of abuse of power are enormous and that’s the reason many leaders are advised against the abuse of power.


There are remedies against abuse of power. The constitution of any country or state establishes checks and balances for abuse of power. In the case of Nigeria, the constitution is explicit on the powers of the executives.

The Code of Conduct of Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal check the abuse of office of public officers among who are the executives.

It is important to note that former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Unoghen were charged to code of conduct tribunal and were found wanting.

The charge against Atiku Abubakar was quashed by the Supreme Court. Apart from the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, National Assembly through their oversight function, the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service and International Organizations like African Union and UNO through its organs act as a check of the abuse of power by government officials.

Nongovernmental organization like the transparency international, Civil Liberty Organization etc. act as checks on abuse of power they expose such act wherever they exist. It is worthy of note- that some of these organizations fought the Abacha Regime and for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria.

Also government officials or the executives found to have abused the power of their offices are sent to Prison. The properties, monies, acquired in abuse of office are sold or recovered for the state. Examples, is in the case of former Bayelsa State Governor, Enugu, Edo, Delta and Plateau state under Olusegun Obasanjo Administration (1999-2007) are cases of reference.

The oversight function of the National Assembly exercised in the probe of NEPA and other government parastatals are some of the remedies for abuse of power.

Those found wanting are expelled, prosecuted, sacked or made to pay in some money to the government. Government also setup probe panels to check abuse of power and recommends remedies.

In conclusion, the above remedies to abuse of power limit the extent of such abuse. What is important for any country is the effectiveness of implementing actions to remedy the abuse of power. Government action is needed in checkmating the abuse of power in the country.

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