Commencement of Justice Ngwuta’s Trial Adjourned Till January 16, 2017

The commencement of trial of Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, Wednesday, was put off at the instance of the defence counsel led by Chief Kanu Agabi.
When the case came up at a Federal High Court, Abuja, the defence counsel sought for an adjournment to enable the legal team prepared adequately for the trial.
Agabi argured that the Constitution allows at least five adjournments after arraignment to any of the parties before the judgment.
He premised his argument on Section 36 subsection 6 of the Constitution, which says any person who is charged with criminal offence is allowed adequate time and facilities.to prepare his defence.
But the prosecution counsel, Charles Adeogun-Philips countered that Agabi argument does not hold water, saying the trial should continue immediately.
In a short ruling, the trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho said in view of defence unprepraeness for trial and subsequent appeal for more time, the court was disposed to granting the request of the defence team.
“The Court is disposed to granting the defence the time to avail himself to adequately prepared and get documents for the trial ” Justice Tsoho ruled.
The case was adjourned till January 18 and 23, 2017 for commencement of trial.
Ngwuta was first arraigned on November 21 on an amended 16-count charge bordering on money laundering, filed against him by the Federal Government.
The charges, filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, were said to be contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
Some of the charges read: “Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, on or about the 4th day of January 2016, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, transferred the total sum of N130 million to Nwamba Linus Chukwuebuka, a building contractor, which sums formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 (as amended).
“Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, on or about April 2016, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, transferred the total sum of N165 million to Nwamba Linus Chukwuebuka, a building contractor, which sums formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 (as amended).”

Author: News Editor

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