The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN,Tuesday, reiterated that reviewing of Draft Guidelines will promote standardization and consistency in plea bargains by Federal Prosecutors.
The draft guideline, which was part of strategic interventions by his ministry he added, will enhance the principles of accountability, equity, integrity and transparency.
The development, according to the AGF would also ensure lasting reforms in the Criminal Justice Sector in Nigeria.
The minister gave the hint while giving opening remarks at the virtual stakeholders roundtable to review the draft guidelines on Plea Bargaining for Federal Prosecutors.
Represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Mr Dayo Apata, SAN, the Minister noted that the purpose of the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA), 20l5 was to guarantee and promote the efficiency of Criminal Justice in Nigeria efficient management of Criminal Justice in Nigeria.
He observed that apart from ensuring speedy dispensation of Justice, it was aimed at protecting the society from crime, and protecting the rights and interests of the suspect, the defendant and the victim.
The draft which was developed by the Administration of Criminal Justice Reform Department was in Collaboration with Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (RoLAC) and other experts.
“One of major innovations of ACJA aimed at achieving these objectives is the introduction of olea bargain which is defined in Section 494 (l).
” By the provision, the defendant and the prosecution work out a mutually acceptable disposition of the case, including the plea of the defendant to a lesser offence than that charged in the complaint,” the AGF noted.
On challenges plaguing the Justice system in the country, the Minister admitted that it was fraught with a lot of it, saying it then prolonged adjudication and frustrate parties.
Malami nevertheless assured that the recommendations from the roundtables will further enrich the contents and quality of the final document.