Saturday, 24 March 2018

Court Frees Justice Ngwuta Of Corruption Charges

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday dismissed all counts of money laundering and passport fraud instituted by the federal government against Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court.

Justice Ngwuta was among the judicial officers whose houses were raided by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in October 2016. He was subsequently charged with various corruption offences by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Ruling on an application by him on Friday, the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, dismissed the charges on the grounds that the pre-conditions for instituting charges against a judicial officer were not met before charging Justice Ngwuta.

Justice Tsoho also noted that his ruling was anchored on an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Ngwuta, through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), had while arguing his client’s motion, submitted that by virtue of the said Court of Appeal’s judgment in Nganjiwa’s case and the provisions of section 158(1), Paragraph 21(8) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, the charges instituted against his client were incompetent.

He maintained that going by the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the complaints forming the basis of the charges instituted against him ought to have been referred to the NJC and allowed the NJC to discipline him before instituting the charges.

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