False assets declaration: Justice Ngwuta granted bail

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A former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta was on Thursday arraigned on charges of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.

According to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Justice Ngwuta contravened section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, laws of the federation of Nigeria, which is punishable under section 23 (2) of the Act.

Justice Ngwuta, who also faces charges of money laundering and breach of passport regulations before a Federal High Court, pleaded not guilty to the amended eight counts proffered against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Following his plea, his counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), applied orally that the embattled former apex court justice be granted bail in self-recognisance.

The Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar granted the bail application and fixed July 12 for commencement of trial seeing as the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Umar Muhammed, was not opposed to it.

Justice Ngwuta was one of two Supreme Court Justices arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS, in the infamous midnight raid of October 7 and 8.

While his trial was going on before a Federal High Court in Abuja, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had on February 8, 2017 proffered separate sets of charges bordering on breaches of code of conduct for public officers and asset declaration breaches against him and another judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

Ebonyi State-born Ngwuta saw his initial 10-count charge amended to eight counts before the CCT, while no date has been fixed for Ademola’s arraignment on the two counts preferred against him.

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