Court Discharges Justice Ngwuta Of Money Laundering Charge
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday discharged a Supreme Court judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the 13-count charge preferred against him by the Federal Government in 2016.
Deliveringa ruling, Justice John Tsoho held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
Tsoho also held that the condition precedent for charging a judicial officer to court was not complied with.
He said the precedent was that any judicial officer accused of a wrong doing must first be reported to the National Judicial Council (NJC), before being charged to court.
Tsoho said that the condition was not followed before the charges were filed against Ngwuta, adding that the proceedings so far conducted in the case remained null and void.
“The court holds that the condition precedent to filing of the charge against the applicant (Ngwuta) was not fulfilled. Consequently, the jurisdiction of this court to try same was not properly invoked.
“Therefore, the proceedings taken so far herein are declared a nullity, the charge is struck out and the applicant discharged,” Tsoho ruled.
Recall that Ngwuta was charged following a raid on his house and some other judges by operatives of the Department of State Security Services, (DSS).
He was arraigned on charges of Money Laundering and possession of multiple international passports.