Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Justice Ngwuta failed to declare 28 plots of land – Fed govt

Justice Ngwuta failed to declare 28 plots of land – Fed govt

The Federal Government said Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court failed to declare 28 plots of land to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) between June 2, 2011 and July 19, 2016.
In a 10- count charge filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) further alleged that Justice Ngwuta, also engaged in the purchase and sale of rice, palm oil and other related products, while being a Justice of the Supreme Court, within the same period.

In addition to the said plots of lands and acts of buying and selling, the prosecution said the jurist also own five cars which he allegedly kept away from the CCB.
He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow.
Government has also filed a two-count charge at the CCT against Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court.
In the said charge, Justice Ademola was accused of trading in foreign exchange among other charges.
Government alleged that Justice Ngwuta contravened Section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The alleged offence is punishable under Section 23 (2) of the Act.
Ngwuta is one of the judges whose residences were raided in October 2016 by the Department of State Service (DSS).
The DSS claimed it recovered huge sums of money in various denominations.
Ngwuta is currently standing trial before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on an amended 16-count bordering on money laundering.
In the charge, the prosecution said Ngwuta contravened Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 (as amended).
The alleged offences are punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Act.
Meanwhile, government yesterday opened its case against Ngwuta saying it was going to show how the jurist whose total annual income is N24 million spent N500 million within nine months on building projects.
Already, government has called its first prosecution witness (PW1), Linus Chukwuebuka, a civil engineer, who narrated how he was paid N313 million cash by Justice Ngwuta for the construction of three building projects between January 4, 2016 and September 2016.
The witness who confessed that he had never received such volume of cash from an individual said he was troubled by the development and expressed concerned about it with Justice Ngwuta.
He said Justice Ngwuta assured him that the money was proceeds from his work and overseas conferences which were legitimate earnings.
“He said he attends conferences of the Justices of the Supreme Court and other conferences and paid in hard currencies and has never gone overseas for holiday like other judges. So I believed everything was okay.

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