A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF THE CONCEPT OF PLEA BARGAINING IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA (Published)
The concept of “plea bargain” is a new phenomenon in the Nigerian legal system. It has been trailed with a lot of controversy. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recently been applying the concept to release many corrupt public officers who should have been in jail. The idea is that they agree to plead guilty for a lesser charge with minimal punishment in exchange for the return of most of their stolen wealth. The opponents of this practice believe that the end result of the practice would be counterproductive in the fight against corruption as it will encourage other public officers to steal public money. This paper examines the origin of the concept, its development across the globe and the issues arising from the emerging practice of plea bargain in Nigeria. The paper also makes some valuable suggestions as to how not to make the practice become a leeway for encouraging treasury looters.