The Federal Government on Thursday arraigned a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, on mostly charges of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the amended eight counts 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 tribunal headed by its Chairman, Danladi Umar, granted the bail application and fixed July 12 for commencement of trial, according to a Punch Report.
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.
While Justice Ngwuta’s trial was going on before a Federal High Court, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had on February 8, 2017 preferred separate sets of charges bordering on breaches of code of conduct for public officers and asset declaration asset breaches against him and another judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola.
But no date has been fixed for Justice Ademola’s arraignment on the two counts preferred against him. Ngwuta was initially charged with 10 counts now amended to eight counts before the CCT.
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