I’m Not prepared For Ngwuta’s Trial, New Prosecuting Counsel Says

Following the dramatic withdrawal of the ICC lawyer Charles Adeogun-Philips a prosecution counsel in the on-going trial of the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, The court on Monday adjourned the trial till March 16 and 17, 2017 at the instance of the prosecution counsel, Olufemi Fakunle who took over the case.
Fakunle told the court that she was nor prepared for the trial as she wasbonly briefed about the matter only two days after she was informed the matter was for re-examination.
She pleaded with the court for time to study the case file and subsequently interview the witness before taking further steps.
“I know this is not a bid to slow the space but as a matter of necessity, I will be obliged if my application is considered” she added.
It would be recalled that Adeogun-Philips engaged for the high profile corruption case due to his wide experience in criminal matters from the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced his withdrawal on Feb 9, 2017.
Justice John Tsoho however adjourned till March 16 and 17 at the instance of the federal government.
Ngwuta is facing a 16-count charge of money laundering, age falsification and alleged illegal possession of multiple international passports. He was docked before the court on November 21, 2016 and subsequently granted bail in the sum of N100m.
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court In his evidence-in-chief, the PW-1 who is the owner of Base4 Services Limited, told the court that his first encounter with Justice Ngwuta was in 2015.
Justice Ngwuta was among seven superior court judges that were arrested between October 7 and 8, after the DSS raided their homes in what it termed “a sting operation”.
He was in the amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/C/232, and signed by a Principal State Counsel, Hajara H. Yusuf, alleged to have among other offences, stashed foreign currencies in his Abuja home.
The Federal Government said the Department of State Security (DSS), at the end of the search operation conducted at Ngwuta’s official residence, recovered several sums of cash, including the sum of Thirty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Eight Thousand Naira (NGN35,358,000.00); Three Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Six United States Dollars ($319,596.00). As well as Twenty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifteen Pounds Sterling (GBP 25,915) and Two Hundred and Eighty Euros (EURO 280.00).
It said the search also revealed about four Diplomatic passports, one official and two standard Nigerian passports all in the name of the defendant. FG told the court that the DSS executed a search warrant at Justice Ngwuta’s home on October 8, following series of allegations of corruption that were levelled against him.

Author: News Editor

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