SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government on Thursday arraigned a Justice of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Ngwuta, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, sitting in Abuja, on a fresh eight-count charge of false assets declaration.
He was accused of refusing to declare his assets as a public officer contrary to Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act, Cap C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Punishable under Section 23(2) of the same Act.
The Federal Government added that the embattled jurist failed to declare his ownership of 28 plots of land to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, in the assets declaration form he filled between June 2, 2011 and July 19, 2016.
The defendant was also accused of shielding his ownership of five exotic cars.
Ngwuta however pleaded not guilty to the amended charges preferred against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Shortly after the defendant took his plea, his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN, applied orally that the Justice of the apex court be granted bail in self-recognisance.
The request was not opposed by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Umar Muhammed, who is the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation.
The two-man panel headed by the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar, granted the bail application and fixed July 12 for the Federal Government to produce its witnesses.
Ngwuta is currently undergoing separate trial for money laundering and passport fraud charges preferred against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
THEWILL recalls that the Supreme Court Justice was among the judges arrested after a “sting operation” conducted by the Department of State Services, DSS, across the country between October 7 and 8, 2016.