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Thursday, 8 December 2016

How Judge who earns N24M, bought N313M house

How Judge who earns N24M, bought N313M house

EXPOSED! Judge earns N24m, buys N313m house

- Supreme court justice arraigned for money laundering

- Justice Ngwuta has been spending way above his annual earnings

- The case has been adjourned to January 2017

A Supreme court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta is in fresh trouble as the federal government on Wednesday, December 7, found out that he was spending way above his earnings.

Investigations revealed that while he earned a total of N24m annually, between January and October 2016, Ngwuta had spent over N500m.

The prosecuting council on the case, Mr Charles Adeogun-Phillips, disclosed this discrepancy in a document he had prepared against Justice Ngwuta.

Justice Ngwuta had been arraigned since November 21, 2016, and he had pleaded not guilty to the 16 counts, including money laundering and others relating to fraudulent obtainment of multiple passports.

Following this recent disclosure, the trial judge on the case, Justice John Tsoho adjourned till January 16, 2017, for the prosecution to call its witnesses.

According to the prosecuting counsel, Justice Ngwuta had transferred the dollar equivalent of N313m cash in $100 bills to a building contractor between January and September, 2016, to “develop several landed properties” for him.

Also, when his house was raided by the Department of State Services (DSS), on October 7, 2016, total sums of N38.358m, $319,596 and £25,915 were found in his home, for which he gave no salient reason.

The document prepared against him reads in part: “Another witness will testify before this court that the defendant’s total annual income, including allowances in 2016 amounted to approximately N24,000,000.

“It beggars belief how a serving public servant could have under his direct control, in a 10-month period spanning between January and October alone, cash sums in excess of N500,000,000.”

While the prosecutor opposed the adjournment, the defense counsel was in favour of it saying:

“There are some documents we still need to access from the prosecution. Under our constitution the defendant should be given enough time.

“I urge your lordship to direct the prosecution to avail us of all the documents they intend to use so that we can be fully prepared.”

Meanwhile, in November 2016, a communique issued by the National Judicial Council, (NJC), suspended 7 judges after the DSS raids.

At the end of the meeting in November, NJC’s director of information, Soji Oye, reportedly said the body took the decision to avoid allowing persons under investigation to to partake in presiding over judicial matters while their cases are still being looked into.

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