Supreme Court Judge Arraigned Before CCT

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta was Thursday arraigned before Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on false assets declaration
The Attorney-General of the Federation preferred an amended eight count against him which he pleaded not guilty.
After the charges were read to him, his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), made an oral bail application, adding Ngwuta should be granted bail in self-recognisance.
The request was not opposed by the lead prosecuting counsel, Umar Muhammed, who is the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation.
The Tribunal headed by its Chairman, Danladi Umar, granted the bail application and fixed July 12 for commencement of trial.
Specifically, Ngwuta was accused of engaging in private business as a public officer, contrary to Section 6(b) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
The prosecution team alleged that he refused to declare his assets as a public officer contrary to Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act, Cap C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Punishable under Section 23(2) of the same Act.
According to the Federal Government the embattled Jurist failed to declare his ownership of 28 plots of land to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in the assets declaration form he filled between June 2, 2011 and July 19, 2016.
He was also accused of shielding his ownership of five exotic cars.
Part of the charges against him includes that “between 2nd June 2011 and 19th July 2016 while serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Tribunal, did make a false declaration of assets” to the CCB when he failed to declare three duplexes at Chinedu Ogah Avenue, Ntezi, Aba in Abakaliki, while being a Justice of the Supreme Court.
He was alleged to have between June 2, 2011 and July 19, 2016, while serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria made a false declaration to the CCB when he failed to declare twenty-two plots of land at Chief Igwe Uga Avenue, Abakaliki, as well as failed to declare six plots of land at Frank Okoroafor Avenue, Abakaliki.
Other allegations was that Ngwuta failed to declare Peugeot Saloon with Vehicle No: VRG55513890295200 and Chassis No: VF34B5FV9BS069213, Registration No: ABC566RL and count five revealed that he failed to declare a Wrangler Jeep with Vehicle No: VRG55535620346898 and Chassis No: IJ4GA591581626734, Registration No: RSH526AJ.
Federal Government alleged that he engaged in purchase and sale of rice, palm oil and other related products, while being a Justice of the Supreme Court and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 of the Code Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 23(2) of the same Act.
It will be recalled that Ngwuta was among seven superior court Judges that were arrested after a “sting operation” the Department of State Service, DSS, conducted between October 7 and 8, 2016.

Author: News Editor

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