FG Amends Charges Against Supreme Court Judge Again

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta

The Federal Government has again amended the corruption charges against Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court who is being tried before the federal high court, Abuja.

This is the third time the charges against Ngwuta have been amended since he was first arraigned in December 2016.

When the hearing resumed on Tuesday, lead prosecuting counsel, Olufemi Fatunde, told the court that an additional count has been added to the previous 12-count charges against the now suspended Supreme Court judge.

After the amended charges were read to him, Ngwuta pleaded not guilty.

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It would be recalled that the one count charge added on Tuesday had earlier been removed in the previous amendment done in March this year.

In the re-introduced count Ngwuta was accused of providing false information to the Nigerian Immigration Service with regards to his diplomatic passport in order to illegally procure another one.

Other charges against the Senior Justice include money laundering as well as retention and concealment of various sums of money in local and foreign currencies, which were allegedly recovered from his residence during a raid by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, on October 8, 2016.

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Ngwuta was also accused of giving various cash sums of money above the statutory threshold to his building contractor for the building of various houses in his home state, Ebonyi State, without going through a financial institution.

He was also said to have flouted the nation’s public service rules by engaging in order businesses as a public servant.

It should be noted also that Ngwuta is facing another trial at the Code of  Condcut Tribunal, CCT, for alleged false assets declaration.

He has consistently maintained his innocence and had accused the Ministers of Transportation and Science and Technology, Rotimi Amaechi and Ogbonnaya Onu, of being behind his ordeal.

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Ngwuta said the two ministers had vowed to get back at him after he refused their entreaties on different occasion to alter the course of justice.