The Legal Impact of Plea Bargain in Settlement of High Profile Financial Criminal Cases in Nigeria

Paul Atagamen Aidonojie, Anne Oyenmwosa Odojor, Patience Omohoste Agbale


Plea bargain has been globally accepted as a useful criminal prosecutorial tool in accelerating the prosecution of minor criminal cases. However, it has been observed that the introduction of a plea bargain into the Nigerian criminal justice system tends to aid the ruling class in looting from the public treasury and escaping justice. Given these legal anomalies, the study used online survey questionnaires sent to four hundred and five respondents (randomly selected) residing in Nigeria in ascertaining the Nigerian citizens view on the legal effect of using a plea bargain in resolving high profile financial crime cases. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to analyse the respondents’ responses. The study, therefore, found that though plea bargain is a useful criminal prosecutorial tool in resolving minor criminal cases, it is unsuitable in resolving high profile criminal financial cases as it tends to involve a hide and seek game which makes a mockery of the Nigeria Legal System. It is, therefore, concluded and recommended that the concept of a plea bargain in Nigeria legal system should not be used in resolving high-profile criminal financial cases, as it tends to give leverage to those looting public funds.


Financial Criminal Cas-es; Plea Bargain; Public Funds; Nigerian Criminal Justice System.

Full Text:



Abubakar, I. “The Impropriety of Combating Graft by Way of Plea Bargaining in Nigeria.” ABU.J.P.I.C 1, no. 2 (2008): 87.

Adebayo, Akintunde. “A Review of Plea Bargain Concept in the Anti- Corruption War in Nigeria.” Brawijaya Law Journal 5, no. 1 (2018): 10–11.

Adeleke, G. O. “Prosecuting Corruption and the Application of Plea Bargaining in Nigeria: A Critique.” International Journal of Advanced Legal Studies and Governance 3, no. 1 (2012): 53.

Aidonojie, P. A., and P. Egielewa. “Criminality and the Media: Perception and Legality of the Amotekun Security Agency in Nigeria.” International Journal of Comparative Law and Legal Philosophy 1, no. 3 (2020): 47.

Aidonojie, P. A. & O. A. Odojor “Impact and Relevance of Modern Technological Legal Education Facilities amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Law Students of Edo University Iyamho”, (2020) 5(4), KIU Journal of Humanities, 7-19

Ankor, L. Y. “Plea Bargain and the Anti-Corruption Campaign in Nigeria.” Global Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Science 3, no. 4 (2014): 116–22.

Babalolla, Afe. “Legality and Effects If Plea Bargaining in Criminal Prosecution in Nigeria.” Nigeria Tribune, December 2012.

Baiyeshea, J. O. “SAN warn against misapplication of plea bargain” Reported by Punch, on Saturday 4, May 2013 com/news/sans-warn-against-misapplication-of-plea-bargain/ I accessed 4th May 2019.

Fisher, George. Plea Bargaining’s Triumph: History of Plea Bargaining in America. Stanford University press, 2003.

Florence Masajuwa, and Paul Atagamen Aidonojie. “Sustainability of Plea Bargain in Nigeria Legal System: A Comparative Analysis of the Past and the Present.” Nigeria Bar Association on Legal Practice Law Journal 9, no. 1 (2020): 97–98.

GS Bajpai, Ms. Maanvi Tiku (Content Writer/Author), Ranbir Singh (Principal Investigator), GS Bajpai (Co-Principal Investigator and paper coordinator) and V.K.Srivastva (Content Reviewer), “Law Research Methodology: ‘Sampling Techniques’’http://epgp. epgpdata/uploads/epgp_content/law/09._research_methodology/12._tools_and_techniques_of_data_collection/et/8171_et_et.pdf accessed 3rd June 2020.

George Fisher, “Plea bargaining’s Triumph: History of plea bargaining in America” (2003) Standford University Press, 397.

Guetierrez, A. “The Sixth Amendment. The operation of plea bargaining in contemporary criminal procedure” accessed 26th of September, 2020.

Idhiarhi, S. E. “A Synoptic Appraisal of the Practice and Procedure for Plea Bargaining under The Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.” Africa Journal of Law and Criminology 6, no. 1 (2016): 12.

John Bulus “police pension fraud: A chronology of plea bargain compromises” (The N750,000 awarded to former Director in the police pension office as fine against the embezzlement of 23 billion by an Abuja High court raised a question on the relevance of a plea bargain concept in law in the now criminally infested society) I accessed 19th September 2020.

Jon Lawrence “Hardcore Bargains: what could plea Bargaining offer in UK criminal cartel cases?” I accessed 26th of September, 2020.

Kerscher, M. “Plea Bargaining in South Africa and Germany.” Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch University Supervisor, 2013.

Mike McConvicce, and Chester L Mirsky. Jury Trails and Plea Bargaining: A True History. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2005.

Milica Potrebic Piccnato “plea bargain” I accessed 15/4/2013 accessed 26th of September, 2020.

Monty Raphael “plea bargaining and the role of the lawyers” accessed 26th September 2020.

Mudasiru, Surajudeen Oladosu. “Democracy, Plea Bargaining and the Politics of Anti-Corruption Campaign in Nigeria (1999-2008).” African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 9, no. 9 (2015): 355–348.

M. Simon and D. Adamara A. “Victim participation in the plea Negotiation process in Canada: A Review of the literature and four models for law Reform” accessed 26th September, 2020.

O. B. Oluwaseum, A. O. Olaniyan, and B. Ayodele. “In the Cesspool of Corruption: The Challenges of National Development and the Dilemma of Anti-Graft Agencies in Nigeria.” African Social Science Review 7, no. 1 (2014): 73.

Odinkalu, C. A. “Plea Bargaining and the Administration of Justice in Nigeria.” Daily Trust Newspaper. April 22, 2012.

Ogunode, S. A, Criminal Justice System in Nigeria: For the Rich or the Poor? (2015) 4(1) Humanities and Social Sciences Review, 28-42.

Ogwezzy, M. C. “Restorative Justice and Non-Custodial Measures: Panacea to Recidivism and Prison Congestion in Nigeria.” Nnamdi Azikiwe University Journal of International Law and Jurisprudence, no. 7 (2016): 69–78.

Olubiyi, I. A. “Nigerian Criminal Justice System: Prospects and Challenges of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.” African Journal of Criminal Law and Jurisprudence, no. 1 (2018): 79.

Oluwagbohunmi, J. A. “Equal before the Law, Unequal before Men - Explaining the Compromising Use of Plea Bargaining in Nigeria.” Fountain Journal of Management and Social Science 4, no. 2 (2015): 52–60.

Onyeka, I. “Plea Bargaining: A Recreation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Nigeria.” An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies Bahir Dar, Ethiopia 2, no. 2 (2013): 190–91.

Opara, L. C. “The Law and Policy in Criminal Justice System and Sentencing in Nigeria.” International Journal of Asian Social Science 4, no. 7 (2014): 887–88.

P. A. Aidonojie, O. O. Anne, O. O. Oladele. “An Empirical Study of the Relevance and Legal Challenges of an E-Contract of Agreement in Nigeria.” Cogito Multidisciplinary Research Journal 12, no. 3 (2020).

U. C. Nwogwugwu, and B. I. Uzoechina. “Impact of Economic Crimes on Nigeria’s Economic Prosperity under A Democratic Framework.” International Journal of Business and Management 10, no. 9 (2015): 163.

Ughegbe, Lemmy. “Govt Drops Charges against Siemens over Bribery Allegation.” The Guardian. November 2010.

Waziri, F. A. “Compliance to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 in Prosecuting High Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria (2015 – 2017).” Journal of Law and Criminal Justice 5, no. 2 (2017): 119–23.

Yekini, A. O. “The Practice of Plea Bargaining and its Effect on the Anti-Corruption Crusade in Nigeria” accessed 31st of December, 2019



Creative Commons License

Sriwijaya Law Review (SLRev) ISSN: 2541-5298 | e-ISSN: 2541-6464 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

SLRev has been indexed by:
View full indexing services
SLRev Member of :                                    Plagiarism Detection by: