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COMBATING THE CANKERWORM OF CORRUPTION THROUGH PLEA BARGAINING IN NIGERIA
This paper examines the indices of corruption and the use of plea bargain by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a means of combating the canker worm of corruption. Plea bargain has not been well received by Nigerians as the concept is seen to favour those who are highly placed in society. The reliance of section 14 of the EFCC Act on the use of plea bargain by the EFCC has been criticised as inappropriate. However, the introduction of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015(ACJA) has elaborate provisions that provide for a transparent dispensation of the use of plea bargain and is seen as a welcome development. The paper also examines cases where plea bargain has been utilised and discovers that its use is often in high profile cases where culprits are given a leeway to escape by being given lighter sentences which makes a mockery of the concept of plea bargaining. The paper found out that despite the use of plea bargain, corruption is on the increase and recommends that a supervisory mechanism be put in place to ensure that the concept of plea bargain be strictly followed and applied to all individuals irrespective of class so that justice can be seen to be manifestly done as this will help in combating the cankerworm of corruption in Nigeria.
Key Words: Corruption, Plea bargain, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Government, Law, Administration of Criminal Justice System