Nigerian Supreme Court judge in $86,000 corruption drama

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 09:21:16 +0000

A NIGERIAN Supreme Court judge allegedly tried to stash away US$86,000 and three posh cars which police believe were proceeds of corruption.   A state prosecutor, in opposing bail application which Mr

Justice Ngwuta’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), argued after his client’s arraignment before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, stated that the evidence the judge allegedly tampered with were a cash sum of about US$86,000 and three exotic cars. The judge hearing the case, after dismissing the fears by the prosecution about the possibility of the defendant interfering with evidence and evading trial as baseless, fixed December 7 and 8 for commencement of trial. The prosecution alleged that after Ngwuta was granted administrative bail by the District Subordinate Court in Abuja on November 9, 2016, he made a call to someone in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, to move the sum of 27 million naira cash and three cars to some other locations in order to conceal them. The cars, which were said to have been recovered by the police from where they were moved to, were a Hummer Jeep, a Wrangler Jeep and a BMW 5 Series sedan.

The government, however, stated that the N27 million cash along with some vital documents moved in bags from the bathroom of the Abakaliki home of the Justice of the Apex Court was not recovered because it had been “dissipated”. Mr Justice Ngwuta, who appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja sporting a grey suit with a blue shirt and a red tie, was arraigned before Justice John Tsoho on 16 counts, including money laundering and offences relating to obtaining of multiple passports. The Supreme Court judge sat in the dock impassively as the counts were read to him and stood up to plead not guilty when asked how he wanted to plead. His lawyer applied for bail which was opposed by Federal government’s lawyer, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips. However, after a two-hour adjournment, the judge hearing the matter granted bail to his superior in the sum of N100 million in his own recognizance -Punch

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