PLEA BARGAIN AND THE QUESTION OF ABUSE OF RIGHT TO FAIR HEARING IN NIGERIA: WHERE LIE THE ODDS?

Reginald Anosike Uzoechi

Abstract


This paper weighs the veracity of the claim that plea bargain is an abuse of the accused person’s right to fair hearing in Nigeria. The paper critically assessed this claim vis-à-vis the principle of law guiding the practice and the right to fair trial in Nigeria. The paper finds and concludes that the practice of plea bargain, in itself, as practiced in Nigeria does not violate and is not an abuse of an accused person’s right to fair hearing. In achieving this purpose, the paper adopts the doctrinal method of research, while the presentation approach is thematic analytical, critical, expository and comparative. The paper placed reliance on, and analyzed information gathered from primary and secondary sources of law and library materials, such as domestic and foreign legislation and case laws; domestic and international textbooks on Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law/Criminal Justice Administration Law, Human Rights Law and other related subjects. Materials were as well sourced from statute book, law reports, domestic and international journals for legislation, instructive decisions and opinions expressed in learned articles on the concept of plea bargain and human rights. A great deal of reliance was placed on internet-sourced materials and online journals for articles and opinions on the subject matter. Despite debunking the claims that plea bargain is an abuse of an accused person’s right to fair hearing, the paper went on to make laudable recommendations for the effective use of plea bargain.

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