Jan 18, 2016


Credits - www.triallawyerconfidential.com 

Dansuki, the former National Security Adviser can get off the corruption charges by plea bargaining, do you agree? 

If you are Nigerian or you follow news and updates from my country, then you will be familiar with the current anti-corruption campaign sweeping over the country with the Office of the National Security Adviser under the Goodluck Jonathan administration right in the middle of it.  I expressed to a colleague that the culprits may not see the inside of the jail cell if they plea bargain and return the stolen national funds but my colleague disagreed until I shared the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Plea bargaining is one area of criminal law practice that is yet to be explored in Nigeria  and very few Nigerians know it even exists in our jurisprudence. Maybe, if we use it more often, it will serve as a means of reducing the cost and time to government of prosecuting an alleged offender, it will in turn ensure a smoother and faster administration of justice process and it gives an accused person an opportunity to plead to a lesser sentence.

The Black’s Law Dictionary defines “plea bargaining” as a negotiated agreement, between a prosecutor and a criminal defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to a lesser offense or to one of multiple charges in exchange for some concession by the prosecutor. In Nigerian law, the enabling provision of the law for plea bargains can be found in Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The law in subsection 1 provides that –
“1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or in any other law, the prosecutor may:
a)      Receive and consider  a plea bargain from a defendant charged with an offence either directly from that defendant or on his behalf;
b)      Offer a plea bargain to a defendant charged with an offence.”

Furthermore, the prosecution may enter a plea bargain with the defendant if the evidence isn’t enough to prove the commission of the offence beyond reasonable doubt; the defendant has agreed to return the proceeds of the crime or make restitution; where in a case of conspiracy the defendant has fully cooperated with the investigation and when the Prosecutor believes it is in the interest of justice or public interest. The Prosecutor must however consult with the investigating police officer.

In determining whether entering a plea bargain is in the interest of justice, the prosecutor will consider the following –

i.                   The defendant’s willingness to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of others;
ii.                The defendant’s criminal history
iii.             The defendant’s remorse or willingness to accept responsibility for his conduct.
iv.             The desirability for prompt disposition of the case;
v.                The likelihood of obtaining a conviction;
vi.             The probable sentence or consequences if the accused is sentenced;
vii.          The need to avoid delay;
viii.       The expense of a trial and appeal;
ix.              The defendant’s willingness to pay compensation.

There are numerous advantages to Nigeria embracing the plea bargain provision in our Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, such as a decongested prison, reduction in cost of prosecution and also the opportunity for the accused to leniency after showing signs for remorse. I hope lawyers are making the best of this legal provision for the interest of their clients and the prosecution is also doing same for the interest of the public.  

Adedunmade Onibokun Esq,



Post a Comment

Blog Archive

LCA_YAN Moot Competition


The Nigerian blawg

Disclaimer:- Posts and comments by the publishers of this blog do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.

Follow by Email

Advertise your property

Property Listings

  • SALE-4bedroom duplex With 3 living rooms. Located at Opic Harmony Estate. Asking 80m Title Global C of O/ consent in progress. 08055424566
  • FOR SALE 8bedroom duplex 2 living rooms With 2 rooms BQ N150m Located off CMD Road Magodo Registered Title Contact 08055424566
  • Property for Rent – New Building, 4 unit luxury 2 bedroom flat available at Rafiu Ipaye Street, Ijesha, Surulere. Ground floor back flat- 700k per anum, First floor back flat – 750k per anum, 2nd floor back flat – 750k, 2nd floor front flat – 800k. Service charge - 75k per anum. Refundable caution – 70k. Call 08055424566 for details.
  • Property For Sale!!! A fenced and gated uncompleted 3 bedroom site on a full plot of land is available for sale at Igbetu via Awoyaya, behind Mayfair Gardepn Estate, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos for sale. Price is N20million and Title Documents include, Family Receipt,  Deed of Assignment and Global C of O. Contact 08055424566 for more information
  • PROPERTY FOR SALE!!!!!!!!  A 5 Bedroom Duplex with 2 room BQ formerly used for a Nursery & Primary school is available for sale in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos  Building contains 9 CLASSROOMS, 2 OFFICE SPACES, 1 LARGE RECEPTION, 8 TOILETS, 5 BATHROOMS, KITCHEN,PLAY AREA. The seller's title is a certificate of Occupancy and the asking price is 35 million Naira.  Contact 08055424566 for more details 
  • List your property for rent or sale here



Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.