An evaluation of the role of prosecutorial discretion in the anti-money laundering regime of Nigeria.

Okpala, C.P., 2020. An evaluation of the role of prosecutorial discretion in the anti-money laundering regime of Nigeria. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Corruption related money laundering is a peculiar and systemic challenge, that can undermine development. This is the problem in Nigeria.

The roots of money laundering in Nigeria are different from the drug crime and later terrorist financing. The typology of money laundering offence prevalent in Nigeria is by politically exposed persons. Since the nation’s independence, the problems of corruption and abuse of office by those who have been appointed by her citizens, persists. Corruption by politically exposed persons, has affected the growth and development of every aspect of the Nigerian economy. The potential consequence of corruption and money laundering in a nation is underdevelopment and a rapid decline of institutions, particularly the anti-money laundering regime.

To understand this problem, the application of prosecutorial discretion in the anti-money laundering regime is examined. An analysis of discretionary powers by prosecutorial agencies and anti-money laundering regulatory bodies and its application of such powers. Prosecutorial discretion in the criminal justice system and the anti-money laundering regime encounters challenges. One of which is the delegation of discretionary powers, solely to the Attorney General of the Federation by the constitution. These powers include the discontinuance of cases at will, plea bargaining and charging. The application of prosecutorial discretion rightfully or wrongfully, plays a key role in the prosecution of politically exposed persons and the anti-money laundering regime. The rule of law is central to the rightful application of prosecutorial discretion.

If the rule of law is central to the appropriate application of prosecutorial discretion, then the ethical stand of those who have powers to apply this discretion should not be in question. Hence, ethical consideration of lawyers, particularly prosecutors play an important role in ensuring the appropriate application of prosecutorial discretion in the anti-money laundering regime. The consideration of ethics could be central in the application of discretionary techniques, particularly in the prosecution of politically exposed persons for money laundering related offences. Our findings reveals a need to re-examine S174 of the constitution, which gives sole discretionary powers to the Attorney General and the integration of the rule of law in the anti-money laundering regime, amongst others.

For this reason, the methodology of this research is doctrinal. Lon Fuller’s work is used as a means to analyse the role of the rule of law in the application of prosecutorial discretion in the anti-money laundering regime in Nigeria.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Okpala, C.P.
Date: December 2020
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 26 Feb 2021 15:51
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2021 15:51
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42405

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