FG charges S’Court Justice with money laundering, age falsification.
9 Nov, 2016. \\ Admin

The Federal Government, on Tuesday, preferred six counts, including money laundering against a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He was accused of retaining in his residence N35,358,000; $319,596 and £25,915 during the raid on his house by the operatives of the Department of State Services between October 7 and 8.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation, which filed the charges on Tuesday, described the sums of money “as proceeds of unlawful activity”.

A highly-competent source told The PUNCH on Tuesday that charges would also be preferred against some of the judges under probe before the end of the week.

The offences captured in counts one to three are said to be contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Apart from the money laundering charges, Justice Ngwuta is also accused of being in possession of two valid Diplomatic Passports, an offence said to be contrary to Section 10 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act 2015.

The Justice of the apex court is equally accused of “knowingly” making a false statement to the Passport Office concerning his date of birth for the purpose of procuring an additional Diplomatic Passport for himself in violation of Section 10 (1)(c) of the Immigration Act.

He is accused of  submitting multiple application forms to one or more passport offices with the intention of obtaining multiple Diplomatic Passports for himself in violation of Section 10 (1) (d) of the Immigration Act 2015 and punishable under Section 10 (1) of the same Act.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation filed the charges, numbered, FHC/ABJ/CR/232/2016, before the Federal High Court on Tuesday.

Justice Ngwuta was among the judges, whose houses were raided by the operatives of the DSS between October 7 and 8.

The DSS alleged that it discovered large sums of money in foreign and local currencies in the raided houses.

Our correspondent confirmed on Tuesday that charges had not been filed against others, whom the AGF had said there was a prima facie case against.

The charges against Ngwuta read, “Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, on or about the 8th day of October, 2016, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, retained in your possession the sum of thirty-five million, three hundred and forty-eight thousand naira (NGN35,358,000.00), which sum forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).

“Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, on or about the 8th day of October, 2016, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, retained in your possession the sum of three hundred and nineteen thousand five hundred and ninety-six United States of America dollars ($319,596), which sum forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).

“Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, on or about the 8th day of October, 2016, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, retained in your possession the sum of twenty-five thousand nine hundred and fifteen pounds sterling (GBP 25,915), which sum forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).

“Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, FCT, on 8th October, 2016, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, had in your possession two valid Diplomatic Passports and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act 2015.

“Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult, ‘M’, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses Supreme Court Quarters, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central District, Abuja, FCT, on 17 September, 2014, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, you knowingly made a false statement to the Passport Office concerning your date of birth for the purpose of procuring an additional Diplomatic Passport for yourself and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10(1)(c) of the Immigration Act.

“Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, adult,male, 65 years, of No. 2 Yellow Houses, Supreme Court Quarters, Off Shehu Way, Central District, Abuja, FCT, on September 17, 2014, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, you  submitted multiple application forms to one or more passport offices with the intention of obtaining multiple Diplomatic Passports for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10 (1) (d) of the Immigration Act 2015 and Punishable under Section 10 (1) of the same Act.”

The Editor.

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