By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Members of bar and bench in Ogun State have been advised to follow the guidelines and agreement of plea bargaining while dealing with cases, to enable them narrow down issues and reach outcome within a short period of time.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran disclosed this during a day training, organised for Law Officers and Magistrates, at the conference room of the Ministry in Abeokuta.
Adeniran said a prosecutor must ensure that charges had been filed before plea negotiation while complying with guidelines issued from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) or the State Attorney General.
“To conduct plea negotiation and plea agreement, a prosecutor should act openly, reasonably, fairly and in the interest of justice”, he said.
In his remark, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Adeyemi Adewole, said government benefitted from plea bergaining, as it saves time, while defendants also benefitted through lesser punishment, admonishing members to be on same page when dealing with issues.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Olusegun Olaotan, said all matters agreed between a prosecutor and a defendant should be written as ‘plea agreement’, signed by both parties, which should be binded upon the acceptance of court, noting that, plea negotiation could also be terminated by either party, with documented reasons by the prosecutor.