Monies Discovered from Ngwuta’s Residence Were Sales from Rice, Palm Oil

An operative of the Department of State Security (DSS) told a Federal High Court in Abuja, Friday, how Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, a Supreme Court Judge, who is facing corruption charges, told investigators that the monies recovered from his home by DSS operatives were monies realised from sales of rice, palm oil, and other items which he sold to compliment his income as a Judge.
At the resumed trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, the operative, Aminu Ndakpoto, said Justice Ngwuta admitted that the monies discovered in his house when the DSS raided his residence on October 8, 2016, were not proceeds from crime.
The operative narrated how the team discovered bags of foreign and local currencies in the defendants residence
Ndakpoto, who testified as a prosecution witness in the matter, told the court that the embattled jurist claimed that the funds which were stashed inside bags, were proceeds from his palm oil and rice business.
He said Ngwuta equally admitted under interrogation that he was into foreign exchange business that involved buying and selling of currencies with “mallams”.
According to the witness, Justice Ngwuta told investigators that grilled him that he usually bought dollars when the rates are low and sold at a higher rate, adding that part of the foreign currencies discovered in his home were accumulated annual medical allowances that were paid to him in foreign currency by the Supreme Court.
Ndakpoto said the defendant told him that since he hardly fell sick, he had no reason to spend the money, hence his decision to channel it into his business.
The witness said the defendant explained that he usually purchased the palm oil and rice from the open market and subsequently sold them at a favourable price.
He said when the defendant was asked to name his partners and customers, as well as where his warehouse was situated, he told the DSS that he did not transact with a particular customer, saying he does not also have a partner or warehouse.
Justice Ngwuta is answering to a 13-count charge that borders on money laundering charge, age falsification, as well as his alleged possession of multiple international passports.
He was arraigned before the High Court on November 21, 2016, and later granted bail to the tune of N100m.

Author: News Editor

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