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Justice Ngwuta cleared of non-declaration of assets charges

16 May 2018

The tribunal had earlier in the year accused the federal government of delaying the trial of Ngwuta when it pointed out that the prosecution had not been diligent in the handling of the case.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has discharged Sylvester Ngwuta, a supreme court judge standing trial for alleged false assets declaration.

He insisted that by the combined effects of Section 158 of the constitution and paragraph 21 of the third schedule to the constitution, any complaint or allegation of misconduct against him must first be referred to the NJC, empowered by law to exercise disciplinary control over him.

Besides, Mohammed said that the finality of the Appeal Court decision relied upon by the defendant has not been tested at the Supreme Court.

However, at the ruling on Tuesday, A two-man panel of the CCT said Justice Ngwuta can not be tried in any court or tribunal unless he had been subjected to the investigatory and disciplinary processes of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Meanwhile, ruling on the matter on Tuesday, the Mr. Danladi Umar-led two man panel tribunal, upheld Justice Ngwuta's argument and struck out charges against him.

The judge, Justice John Tsoho, also based his decions on the appeal court ruling.

"Judicial precedent is bidding for as long as it is subsisting and until such precedent is overturned by a higher court", the tribunal ruled.

The judge was first arraigned before the CCT previous year on an 8-count charge bothering on false assets declaration.

NAIJ.com also reported that the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, March 23, discharged Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the 13-count charge preferred against him by the federal government in 2016.

Justice Ngwuta was also one of the judges whose houses were raided by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in October 2016.

Other allegations was that he failed to declare Peugeot Saloon with Vehicle No: VRG55513890295200 and Chassis No: VF34B5FV9BS069213, Registration No: ABC566RL and count five revealed that he failed to declare a Wrangler Jeep with Vehicle No: VRG55535620346898 and Chassis No: IJ4GA591581626734, Registration No: RSH526AJ.

Justice Ngwuta cleared of non-declaration of assets charges