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Conflict of interest: Corporate responsibility and individual liability

Ibrahim Yeku (yekuduke@yahoo.com) is a Barrister and Solicitor at the law firm of Solola & Akpana in Old GRA, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Justifying wrong actions may seem awkward, but it seems more awkward to punish someone for a wrong induced

by the quest for survival. The concept of conflict of interest in the compliance landscape is notorious because it poses a threat to organizations as a going concern. The question is, what do organizations mean by conflict of interest? Is there any generally accepted definition of conflict of interest? Is conflict of interest subjective, objective, or contextual? At what point is it right to conclude that a conflict of interest exists? Are there instances where it appears that a conflict of interest exists, but the individual’s decision is not impaired by the conflict? What is the relevance of disclosure to conflict of interest?

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