The idea of “Plea bargain” as depicted by Dr. Ted C. Eze is another peculiarity in the Nigerian general set of laws. There has been a lot of debate surrounding it. The idea has recently been used by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to free numerous corrupt public officials who should have been in jail. In exchange for the return of the majority of their stolen wealth, the idea is that they will agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge with minimal penalties. The practice’s opponents argue that it will encourage other public officials to steal public funds, which would be counterproductive to the fight against corruption. This paper looks at how the idea came to be, how it has changed around the world, and the problems that are coming from the new practice of plea bargaining in Nigeria. The paper likewise makes a few significant ideas with respect to how not to cause the training to turn into a room for empowering depository thieves.
In the majority of advanced capitalist economies, the use of plea bargains to resolve crimes-related criminal cases has gained widespread acceptance. In property crimes and other offenses that do not qualify for the death penalty, plea bargains were utilized as early as the 1970s in the United States of America, which easily qualifies as the most developed capitalist economy. The objective was to recover the stolen common wealth in property crimes cases and save the society the enormous costs of litigation. Instead of simply punching the offender and letting the victim lose his property, it was intended to help individual victims of property crimes recover what was stolen.
The Nigerian legal system has never included plea bargains. This point was expressively made by the Previous Boss Equity of Nigeria, Hon. The analogy of Justice Dahiru. It was the Act Establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (No. 1 of 2004, which made the procedure possible in Nigeria for the first time. However, the Commission may compound any offence punishable under the Act by accepting such sum of money as it thinks fit, not exceeding the maximum amount to which such person may be liable if he had been convicted of that offence.29 The offenses referred to under these provisions are those punishable under the EFCC Act, and the section does not therefore apply to general criminal trials in Nigeria. However, subject to the provision of section 174 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999
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