Acting on a communication from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), the National Judicial Council (NJC) had last week suspended the affected judges from sitting.
One of the two Supreme Court Justices, Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) for alleged corruption has been dragged to the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Nguuta was among the seven justices arrested and later released on bail recently by the DSS for alleged sharp practices.
Justice Ngwuta will face a nine-count criminal charge of money laundering and corruption before the court when his trial begins.
The DSS had begun investigation into alleged corrupt practices of judicial officers which metamorphosed into the execution of search warrants in their official homes between 7 and 8 October, 2016.
The defendant, in the information filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Justice Ngwuta was accused of retaining in his possession the sum of N35,358,000 contrary to the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).
He was also accused of retaining in his possession the sum of $319,596 and £25, 915, all of which according to the government, formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act contrary to the Money Laundering Act.
The search of Ngwuta, according to the prosecutor, revealed four diplomatic passports, one official and two standard Nigerian passport passports, all in the name of the defendant.
The government said that the apex court justice’s possession of multiple passports contravened Section 10 of the Immigration Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section.
He was alleged to have made false statement to the Passport Office on his date of birth for the purpose of procuring an additional Diplomatic Passport for himself. Justice Ngwuta was also accused of having in his possession two valid Diplomatic Passports and thereby committed an offence under Section 10 of the Immigration Act.
The case has not been assigned to a judge at the time of filing in this report last night.
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