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The Federal Authorities on Wednesday stated investigations had proven that a Justice of the Supreme Court docket, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, spent over N500m between January and October 2016 regardless of his complete annual professional earnings, together with his allowances being N24m.
This was disclosed in a doc ready by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, summarising the case of the prosecution in opposition to the Justice of the Supreme Court docket, who was on November 21, 2016, arraigned earlier than a Federal Excessive Courtroom in Abuja.
Throughout his arraignment, Ngwuta pleaded not responsible to sixteen counts, together with cash laundering and others regarding fraudulent obtainment of a number of passports.
The trial choose, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned until January sixteen, 2017, for the prosecution to start out calling its witnesses.
The doc, ready in anticipation that the prosecution could be allowed to open its case on Wednesday, said that the case introduced in opposition to the decide, “chronicles corrupt enrichment, violations of the cash laundering legal guidelines of our land, passport fraud, and an try to impede justice by a judicial officer”.
The prosecution alleged that from the N500m, the apex courtroom justice transferred greenback equal of N313m money in $a hundred payments to a constructing contractor throughout the interval of 9 months between January and September, 2016, to “develop a number of landed properties” for him.
It defined that earlier in 2015, the defendant, inside a interval of 1 month, made numerous money funds totalling $one hundred eighty,000 to the constructing contractor.
It additionally alleged that in the course of the raid on the defendant’s Abuja home by the operatives of the Division of State Providers on October 7, 2016, complete sums of N38.358m, $319,596 and £25,915 have been present in his possession.
In accordance with the prosecution, the Justice of the apex courtroom gave no passable rationalization for the large sums of cash present in his possession.
The doc partly learn, “One other witness will testify earlier than this court docket that the defendant’s whole annual revenue, together with allowances in 2016 amounted to roughly N24,000,000.
“It beggars perception how a serving public servant may have below his direct management, in a ten-month interval spanning between January and October alone, money sums in extra of N500,000,000.”
Adeogun-Philips stated proposed prosecution witnesses would additionally seem in court docket to testify over the massive funds present in possession of the defendant, amongst different allegations.
The doc acknowledged, “In the middle of this trial, the Federal Republic of Nigeria will adduce proof from a constructing contractor engaged by the defendant, as to how in a interval of 9 months, spanning between January and September 2016, he obtained the whole sum of N313,000,000 from the defendant in money, which was paid to him principally in $one hundred payments to develop landed properties for the defendant.
“This courtroom may also hear from one other witness, how in his capability as an architect engaged by the defendant in 2015, he obtained from the defendant inside a interval of 1 month, varied money funds totalling $one hundred eighty,000.
“Investigators will additional inform this honourable courtroom how throughout a search at his residence on October 7, 2016, money totalling: (1) N35,358,000 (2) $319,956 and £25,915 have been discovered within the defendant’s possession.”
The prosecution alleged that the defendant had betrayed “the judicial oath of allegiance to discharge his duties as a Justice of the Supreme Court docket of Nigeria, faithfully, with honesty, and to one of the best of his skills”, which he swore to on June 23, 2011 when he was promoted to the Supreme Courtroom bench.
The prosecuting lawyer additionally acknowledged that he would lead proof on how the defendant, on October 9, 2016, a day after being granted administrative bail by the DSS in Abuja, prevailed on a possible prosecution witness on the phone to assist him to maneuver some luggage containing title paperwork of landed property and N27m money away from his home in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
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