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Plea Bargain In Nigeria: Law And Policy

Plea Bargain In Nigeria: Law And Policy

Author: Nigerian Institute Of Advanced Legal Studies


Date Published: Monday, 14-January-2019 5:08:49 PM

Plea bargain as a concept is unknown to Nigerian law and very much at its embryonic stage. There has been a polarity of contemporary reactions to this practice and most legal scholars oppose plea bargaining, finding it both inefficient and unjust. The then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Dahiru Musdapher, is reported to have described plea bargaining as a “novel concept of dubious origin” which, in his view, “was invented to provide soft landing to high profile criminals who loot the treasury entrusted to them, he was not referring to the original raison-d’être or juridical motive behind its conception but to the motive behind its introduction into our legal system. At present, Nigeria has a plethora of financial crime cases and it’s these cases that have formed the basis for the implementation of plea bargaining in Nigeria. Plea bargaining is provided for in s.180 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act and s.14 (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Act 2004. Apart from these provisions there is a dearth of no legislations to provide legal backing for plea bargaining.