He attributed the problem to lack of will by past military leaders to fight corruption, inconsistency in government policies, and reluctance by law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute "sacred cows".In March 2004, Justice Mustapha Akanbi urged parliamentarians to ratify the United Nations and the African Union Conventions Against Corruption, which would greatly assist the struggle against corruption.As of July 2005, the ICPC had charged 85 people but had only secured two corruption-related convictions.Muhammad Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi was born on 11 September 1932 at Accra, Ghana, to Muslim parents from Ilorin in Nigeria.After completing secondary school he worked as an Executive officer in the Ghana Civil Service. Moving to Nigeria, he worked in the School Broadcasting Department of the Ministry of Education.Akanbi publicly questioned why the government had set up the ICPC and appointed competent people to run it "only to frustrate it from performing by starving it of funds".He said that another issue was that the law forbade it from investigating corrupt practices dating before the creation of the ICPC.He joined the Ministry of Justice and became a Senior State Counsel in 1968. In 1974 he was appointed a judge of the Federal Revenue Court, and in January 1977 he was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench.
Mustapha Akanbi obtained a scholarship to study law at the Institute of Administration, now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, followed by legal studies in the United Kingdom.
He was called to the English Bar in 1963, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in January 1964.