Court transfers N35m, foreign currencies found in Justice Ngwuta’s house to CBN
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, admitted into evidence, a cash sum of N35million and other foreign currencies presented by the Department of State Service, DSS, as alleged recovery from the official residence of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court.
The Federal Government tendered the recovered monies which it brought to court in nine in Ghana-must-go bags, through a DSS operative, John Otaze.
Otaze was a member of an investigative team that raided Justice Ngwuta\’s home on October 8, 2016, in what the DSS termed a \’sting operation\’.
He appeared before the trial court to testify as the fifth prosecution witness, PW-5. Led in evidence by government lawyer, Mrs. Olufemi Fatunde, the PW-5, tendered the monies which were in nine bags and boxes.
Specifically, aside the cash sum of N35million, the foreign currencies the court admitted into evidence were £35, 0915 (Pound Sterling), $319,096 (United States Dollars), R50 (South Africa Rand), €280 Euros, 380 United Arab Emirates Dirhams and 420 Gambian Dalasis. While Justice Tsoho admitted and marked the boxes as exhibits 11 A-I, the monies were admitted as exhibit-12.
Meantime, shortly after the monies were admitted into evidence, the prosecution counsel, Mrs. Fatunde applied that they should be returned to the DSS for onward transfer to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for safe keeping, pending conclusion of the trial.
The application was not opposed by Ngwuta\’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN. While granting the request, Justice Tsoho ordered that the monies should be recounted in the presence of counsel from the prosecution, the defence and an officer of the high court. The Judge directed that afterwards, it should be deposited to the CBN by the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court in charge of litigation.
Justice Ngwuta: Justice Ngwuta