FG rejigs charge against S’Court judge, Ngwuta

  • ngwutaTo tender cash recovered in his house as exhibits

The Federal Government on Wednesday rejigged a charge filed against a Supreme Court judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, upping its counts from six to fifteen.

In a proof of evidence attached to the amended charge, the government listed among others things the monies allegedly recovered from him when his house was raided between October 7 and 8 as part of exhibits that would be tendered to secure his conviction.

In the new charge, Justice Ngwuta is accused of violating various sections of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 (as amended) including Section 15 (2) (d).

The federal government had recently filed a six- count criminal charge of money laundering and corruption against the 65-year-old judge who is currently on suspension.

Following allegations of corruption against him, the Department of State Security (DSS) started investigation into his activities which culminated in the execution of a search warrant in his official residence October 8, 2016.

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The defendant, in the information filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was alleged to have retained in his possession the sum of N35, 358, 000.00 contrary to the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).

It was alleged that the defendant also retained in his possession the sum of $319,596.00 and £25,915 all of which according to the prosecutor formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

Several sums of cash were allegedly recovered including N35.3 million, $319,596, £25,915 pounds sterling and €280. The search according to the prosecutors also revealed four diplomatic passports, one official and two standard Nigerian passport passports all in the name of the defendant.

The accused Supreme Court judge was alleged to have obtained multiple passports contrary to Section 10 of the Immigration Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section.

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He was alleged to have made false statement to the passport office concerning his date of birth for the purpose of procuring an additional Diplomatic Passport for himself. He was also alleged to have in his possession two valid Diplomatic Passports and thereby committed an offence under Section 10 of the Immigration Act.