Nigeria's Supreme Court judge arraigned for corruption

Nigeria’s suspended Supreme Court judge Justice Sylvester Ngwuta has been arraigned in court for corruption.

He was charged on Thursday before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja.

Justice Ngwuta pleaded not guilty to the charges instituted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The defendant's counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, made an application for bail for his client.

The application

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Umar Muhammed, did not oppose the application, saying granting the same was at the discretion of the court.

The bail application was granted and the commencement of trial fixed for July 12.

The Attorney-General, Mr Abubakar Malami, had averred that Justice Ngwuta contravened Section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Declaration of assets

According to Mr Malami, false declaration of assets was punishable under Section 23 (2) of the Act.

Justice Ngwuta was one of the federal judges from whose residences, the Department of State Service (DSS) claimed it uncovered huge sums of money in various denominations.

DSS raided the judges’ residences in October 2016.

Money laundering

Justice Ngwuta was currently standing trial on that account before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on an amended 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

The Federal Government that preferred the charges, said Justice Ngwuta contravened Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 (as amended).

It added that the offences were punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Act.

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