The Current Legal Framework on Plea Bargain in Nigeria
25 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2019 Last revised: 3 Dec 2019
Date Written: August 8, 2019
The main purpose of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 is to improve the criminal justice system in Nigeria. The Act is a suitable model in Nigeria having regard to the peculiarities of our circumstances. Section 270 - Section 277 of the ACJA laid down clear parameters for the application of plea bargain in Nigeria. With a view of identifying the proper method for effective application of plea bargain under the Act, earlier application of the concept in different case laws would be examined to expose the arbitrariness in its implementation before the enactment of the ACJA. This Act amends most of the breakdown surrounding the half-hearted application of the concept in the past.
The study further reveals the shortcomings of the ACJA on plea bargaining and offered recommendations that might well guide key operators in the administration of the criminal justice system. Plea bargain is a suitable model to the peculiar situation of Nigeria. If applied correctly and not randomly, it would permit a quick resolution with all the benefits that result from final disposition to avoid delays. Plea bargaining forms part of our criminal justice system, and effort should be made to properly apply the concept.
Keywords: Plea Bargain, ACJA, Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Legal Framework, 1999 Constitution, F.R.N v Esai Dangabar
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