The spate of crime all over the world has made it pertinent for the judiciary to embrace a mechanism to achieve expeditious administration and dispensation of criminal matters; bereft of injustice. Plea bargain is a
legal technique which aids speedy dispensation of criminal trials through a negotiated agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. It involves the exchange of mutual concessions, plea of guilty by the defendant, restitution and disclosure of sensitive information in consideration for the withdrawal or reduction of charges and sentencing.
Nigeria, like America and England has legalized and incorporated the practice of plea bargain into its Corpus juris by the enactment of the
Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015. This age–long principle; though novel and still evolving in Nigeria, has its share of prospects and problems spanning from being a legally useful prosecutorial technique for decongesting the correctional centers and saving the State enormous resources and time involved in putting an accused through a full trial; to
being a possible avenue to encourage looting, corruption and unethical negotiations with defendants to bargain the reduction of their sentences or charges over crimes admittedly committed. This article analyzes the
various perspectives of authors, case laws and theories on plea bargain in a bid to unveil the prospects and problems of plea bargain in the
administration of criminal justice while proffering solutions to its problems.
PROSPECTS AND PROBLEMS OF PLEA BARGAIN IN THE NIGERIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM