TOWARDS A RATIONAL THEORY OF CRIMINAL LAIBILITY FOR CORPORATIONS IN NIGERIA
Keywords:Criminal liability, corporations, corporate homicide
There is an increasing focus globally by prosecuting and regulatory agencies in bringing corporations to account directly for their actions. This paper will attempt to present the problems involved in the concept of corporate criminal liability, followed by an analysis of the approaches taken by different legal systems. It will consider the underlying principles of such liability so as to justify the imposition of criminal liability on corporations. The crimes corporations commit, if any, the mitigating factors thereof and the type and level of sanctions to be imposed will also be espoused. The paper is geared towards determining to what extent these sanctions can deter corporate criminality. The methodology adopted in this paper is doctrinal while the approach is narrative and comparative. The result indicated that there seems to be no specific liability theory for determining the corporate mensrea. Most relevant Nigerian legislation and case laws do not recognise that a corporation can have mensrea. In addition, there is lack of adequate corporate sanctions in Nigeria. This paper discovered that the extant laws on corporate criminal liability are deficient. Thus, it is recommended that the corporate fault theory of determining liability should be adopted in Nigeria.