Umenweke, M. N;
There is an increasing focus globally by prosecuting and regulatory agencies in bringing corporations to account directly for their actions. The development of corporate criminal liability has become a problem which a growing number of prosecutors and courts have had to deal with in recent times. This research work attempted to present the problems involved in the concept of corporate criminal liability from the historical perspective, followed by an analysis of the approaches taken by different legal systems. It considered the underlying principles of such liability so as to justify the imposition of criminal liability on corporations, the category of officers or persons and in what circumstances should they have acted for the corporation in order to incur criminal liability was also be looked at. The crimes corporations commit, if any, the mitigating factors thereof and the type and level of sanctions to be imposed was also espoused. The work was also geared towards determining to what extent these sanctions can deter corporate criminality. The methodology adopted in this work is doctrinal while the approach to this research is narrative and comparative. The researcher made use of primary sources of data collection such as enabling laws, statutes and acts and secondary sources such as relevant textbooks, case laws, conventions, journal articles, newspaper, publications and internet materials. The result indicated that the legal framework for corporate criminal liability in Nigeria is inadequate; as such recommendations have been proffered in this regard. In particular, there seems to be no specific liability theory for determining the corporate mens rea. Most relevant Nigerian legislation and case laws have not recognised that a corporation can have mens rea. In addition, there is lack of adequate corporate sanctions in Nigeria. This research work discovered that the extant laws on corporate criminal liability are deficient. Thus, it is recommended majorly among others, that there is an urgent need to review our laws to expedite the passage of Corporate Manslaughter Bill into law in Nigeria.