CCT Stops Trial Of Justice Charged With False Assets Declaration

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has discontinued the trial of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.

Ngwuta, a serving justice of the Supreme Court was earlier arraigned before the CCT last year on charges bothering on false assets declaration.

A two-man panel of the CCT, in a ruling on Tuesday upheld the argument by Justice Ngwuta, to the effect that, as a serving Justice of the Supreme Court, he could not be tried in any court or tribunal, except after he had been subjected to the investigatory and disciplinary processes of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

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The CCT, in its decision, also relied on the judgement of the Court of Appeal in the case of Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, in which the appellate court held, in a December 2017 judgment, that by virtue of Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution, only the NJC was with the powers to deal try judicial officers for any misconduct while in office.

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The CCT said a judge could not be prosecuted by any court of tribunal until the NJC deals with the allegations against him/he and takes a decision of either dismissing such a judicial officer or compulsorily retiring him or her.

It consequently quashed the charges against Justice Ngwuta and discharged him.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier acquitted Justice Ngwuta of the corruption charges against him.

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Justice John Tsoho, in a ruling on Friday, March 23, dismissed all the 13 counts of money laundering and passport fraud instituted by the Federal Government against Justice Ngwuta.

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

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Hamilton Nwosa

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