MEANING-It is a negotiated agreement between the Prosecution and an accused where the accused pleads guilty to a lesser offence or some Charges in exchange for some lesser sentence or a dismissal of other charges. 

LEGAL FRAMEWORK It is only provided for statutorily in Lagos State ACJL and it applies to all kinds of offences.-S.75&76 ACJL..The AG has power to accept and consider plea bargain in the interest of justice; public interest,etc-s.75ACJL.However the application is growing in practice since it has been empoloyed by the EFCC in corruption cases- S. 14(2) EFCC ACT. NB-compounding in S.339 PC is different from plea bargain.



a. Charge bargaining (accused pleads guilty to the charge or part of charge or to a lesser offence and agreed to forfeit properties to the state).-S.76 ACJL

b. Sentence bargain (acused may be toldin advance what his sentence would be if he pleads guilty to the charge.NOTE-s.339 CPC(COMPOUNDING)


1. A plea or sentence agreement may be entered by the prosecution (law officer),the defendant or his counsel-s.76(1) ACJL.
2. The Prosecution must consult with the IPO and if feasible the victim as to the inclusion of compensation and restitution before an agreement is reached-S.76(2) ACJL
3. The prosecutor if feasible shall give the defendant room to make representations as to the contents of the agreement-s.76(3) ACJL.
4. The court should not participate in the agreement leading to the plea bargain-s.76(5) ACJL
5. The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties and must contain the fact that the defendant has been informed of his right to ;;
a. Remain silent
b. Consequences of not remaining silent
c. Not to make any confession or admission that can be used in evidence against him
d. Full terms of the agreement.S.76(4)
6. Terms of the agreement is presented to the court by the prosecution and court enters judgment S. 76(6)
7. The court must confirm the correctness or voluntariness of the agreement from the defendant before entering it as judgment-s.76(7) &8
8. If the judge is not satisfied, he will order the matter to proceed to trial-s.76(7)(b)
9. If the judge imposes a higher sentence than agreed the defendant may agree OR withdraw from the agreement and a fresh trial would be commenced before another judge.-S.76(9)
10. If there is a fresh trial,reference shall not be made to the agreement and it shall not be an admission of guilt.S.76(10z)


1. It saves cost of litigation 
2. It is good for the decongestion of the Courts and Penal institutions 
3. The State can recover especially in embezzlement cases, i.e money and assets from the accused.
4. The defendant/accused can avoid higher sentences 
5. Publicity is avoided.  


1. Liable to abuse and commercialization

2. Plea bargaining may run counter to public policy in certain instances

3. Violates the presumption of innocence

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