How Supreme Court Justice Ngwuta Concealed Evidence Of Corruption – Prosecutor

The federal government has accused a Supreme Court justice, Sylvester Ngwuta, of culpability in the destruction of evidence intended to be brought against him.

Mr. Ngwuta was arraigned before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court on Monday.

He is among seven judges arrested by operatives of the State Security Service on October 8, after a midnight raid on their residences by the SSS on October 7.

After pleading not guilty to the 15-count charge, the judge’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, prayed the court to admit his client on bail.

Speaking during a court session to determine Mr. Ngwuta’s application for bail, prosecution counsel, Charles Adeogun, said he was objecting to the application because Mr. Ngwuta was capable of interfering with witnesses and concealing documents that could incriminate him.

“Barely 20 minutes after he was granted administrative bail, one of the witnesses received a call from the defendant. During that call a number of instructions were given to the witness: ‘get rid of those cards. Go into my bathroom, in my residence where you will find three bags,’. Those bags contained 27 million each; they were moved from the residence and completely concealed.

“That same witness came back to the house, removed three luxury cars and concealed them. Days before his residence was raided on October 8, the defendant had four valid passports,” added Mr. Adeogun.

He said the allegations of interference were so apparent that they were contained in counts 3,10 to 16 of the charge against the defendant.

Mr. Adeogun therefore submitted that he was cautiously making his objection; considering the status of the defendant, but also taking note of the alleged offences.

“My Lord it is in recognition to these offences committed when the administrative bail were granted, that we cautiously object to the application.

Earlier, counsel to the defendant, Kanu Agabi, asked the court to grant his client bail on self recognizance.

He said sections 32, 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, as well as section 35 (4) and 36 of the constitution have made it clear that once a defendant appears in court to attend to his matter, he no longer needs to proof the reason why his bail application should be granted.

Mr. Agabi, therefore, submitted that his client should be granted bail on self recognizance.

He said the law already allows a defendant room for bail and if his client’s bail is denied, it will only show that the said provisions are not practicable.

After the submission made by the prosecution, Mr. Agabi said it was dangerous for Mr. Adeogun to conclude on the matter, as he had done.

“I was just listening to my learned counsel. But if you have concluded already then we are finished,” said Mr. Agabi.

The case was stood down for an hour before the ruling on the application.

N29bn Fraud: Court Admits Exhibits Against Ex-Adamawa Gov. Nyako, Others.

The trial of a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba, before Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, got under way on Monday, November 21, 2016 with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting its first witness.

They are facing a 37-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29 billion. Nyako and his co-defendants are alleged to have used five companies – Blue Opal Nigeria limited, Serore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Towers Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited to commit the fraud.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution witness, Ugochukwu Dumukwu, branch head of the FBN Merchant Bank, Maitama, Abuja, told the court that he did not know the source of the various sums of money credited into the accounts of Tower Asset Management Limited, domiciled with the bank.

Under cross-examination by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, he told the court that the EFCC contacted the bank in respect of investigations into transactions involving, Blue Ribbon Multilinks Nigeria Ltd and Tower Asset Management Nigeria Ltd.

“We were requested to provide incorporation documents such as form CO7, CO2, SCUML registration documents for Blue Ribbon Multilinks Ltd, also proof of identity for the signatories to the accounts,” he said.

He noted that the EFCC also requested documents, which included account opening forms for the two companies, transaction history for both companies, also letters of instruction from the customers, as well as copies of cheques issued to the customer.

The documents, which were presented to the court by Jacobs, were identified by the witness.

However, Ibrahim Isiyaku, counsel to Zulkifikk Abba and Towers Assets, who also held brief for Kanu Agabi, SAN, counsel for Nyako, his son and Serore Farms & Extension Limited, objected to the admissibility of some of the documents, which included the data page of the international passport of Abba, arguing that it was not certified by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS. Counsel to Abubakar Aliyu, Y.C Maikyau, SAN, also aligned with Isiyaku, and urged the court to reject the documents in evidence.

Jacobs, who accepted the objections of the defence counsels, noted that: “I do not want to waste the time of the court arguing on the admissibility or otherwise of the documents in question, and so withdraw them as the identity of the persons involved is not in dispute.”

Justice Abang, thereafter, admitted the other documents in evidence marking them as exhibits A1-A166. The admitted documents, included transfer history detailing the flow of cash into Blue Ribbon Multilinks from Tower Asset Management, letter of instruction from the owners of the account, as well as copies of cheques used as instruments of payment.

According to Dumukwu, signatories to Blue Ribbon Multilinks included Abubakar Aliyu and Abubakar Y. Abba. He listed its directors to include Nyako Abdulaziz Murtala, Aliyu Abubakar and Yahaya Abubakar Abba. He further noted that signatories to Tower Asset Management included Aliyu Abubakar, J.L. Kogis, while the directors were Mohammed D. Saheed, Abubakar Yar’Adua, Abubakar Aliyu, Grace Danamadami, Kogis Jonathan, Abduwahab Usman, and Engr. Sambo Yahaya.

Justice Abang after accepting the documents in evidence against the defendants thereafter adjourned to November 29, 2016 for continuation of trial.

JUST IN: We were confronted with proof of evidence against suspended judges- CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, revealed, yesterday, that the National Judicial Commission, NJC, asked judges facing allegations of corruption to step down because it was confronted with proof of evidence against some of them. The judges were arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, between October 7 and 8, following which the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and some senior lawyers asked the judges to stop presiding over cases, pending their trial.

Two Supreme Court Justices- Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, were among seven superior court judges affected by the DSS “sting operation”, which allegedly led to the recovery of huge sums of money, including foreign currencies, from their homes. Ngwuta, Okoroand Ademola Ngwuta, Okoroand Ademola The two jurists, who had since exited the apex court bench, are currently on administrative bail from the DSS, pending their trial over money laundering charges.

The CJN, who disclosed this while swearing in two new Justices into the Supreme Court bench, yesterday, said the NJC, which previously insisted that the Judges would not step aside as requested by the NBA, changed its position after it was shown “evidence on the ground.”

According to him, the NJC took the new stand, “following communications it received from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that he was embarking on the prosecution of the affected judicial officers based on the evidence on the ground.” He said the decision NJC took after its last meeting, directing all the embattled Judges to desist from further presiding over cases or carrying out any judicial function pending their trial, was borne out of its desire to preserve the independence of the judiciary.

He said: “We proclaimed to the world that any judicial officer that is standing trial will cease to perform judicial functions. “A common thread that runs through all Judiciaries is that judicial officers are traditionally accorded the highest dignity and respect by all. ‘’This is because Justice is rooted in confidence and where confidence in our Judges is undermined and independence eroded, it is the nation that ultimately suffers most, while true democracy is fatally undermined.


“We must not forget that we operate a constitutional democracy, which clearly prescribes the powers accorded to each organ of the state. “I, therefore, wish to state without fear of contradiction that the third arm of government will remain resolute in its commitment and resolve to uphold its independence and to adjudicate with utmost fairness and Justice as prescribed in our constitution and the law.”

On the swearing-in of the two new Supreme Court Justices, Amina A. Augie and Ejembi Eko, the CJN said they joined the apex court “at a time when there are a lot of challenges”. While enjoining the new jurists to abide by the oaths they took and dispense Justice without fear or favour, the CJN, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate for approving their appointments as recommended by the NJC.

He said: “Now, more than ever, it is important to be firm, honest and steadfast in the discharge of your duties, while striving to emulate the greats of this court by enthroning the rule of law and respect for our courts. “My lords, ladies and gentlemen, this ceremony takes place against the backdrop of peculiar circumstances for the third arm of the government of our beloved nation. “It bears reminding that the powers of this court and, indeed, all courts, lie in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended. “The constitution is the ultimate repository of the consent of the people and remains the sovereign mandate that forms the bedrock of an independent judiciary.”

AGF Seeks Further Evidence To Prosecute Saraki, Ekweremadu

Three months after it charged Senate President Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, and two others with forging the Senate Standing Rules, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice has declared the investigation into the alleged offence inconclusive.
The AGF, Abubakar Malami, is now desperately seeking fresh investigations that will enable him convict the accused persons, even though he has not withdrawn the pending charges against them.
To get the court to accept the charges, the AGF had told the court that investigations into the alleged forgery had been concluded.
In June, when the case was first filed in court and before the arraignment of Saraki and other co-accused persons, the federal government deposed to an affidavit, which was attached to the case file at the time, attesting that investigations into the matter had been concluded.
In the charge sheet dated June 10, 2016 and signed by D.E Kaswe Esq., Principal State Counsel on behalf of the AGF, and which was backed by an Affidavit of Completion of Investigation deposed to at the Federal High Court Registry, Abuja, on the same date by Okara Neji Jonah, a litigation officer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, attested that the police had concluded its investigations.
Okara swore that “the FCIID (Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department) has concluded investigation of the case and has forwarded the file to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation for Prosecution”.
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“Dogara Tried Breaking Into My Office To Discard Evidence” – Jibrin

A former chairman of House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Thursday said unnamed individuals acting on the orders of Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, had moved computers used by officials of the committee.


Mr. Jibrin has accused the speaker of budget fraud, an allegation Mr. Dogara denies.


In a statement Thursday, Mr. Jibrin said there was also an attempt to burgle his office, saying all the systems were shut down.


“Speaker Dogara has ordered that all the computers in the appropriation secretariat be shut down and moved to his office as if that is the answer to the allegations I raised,” he said. “The secretariat staff are being harassed to keep quite and suppress facts. There has also been an attempt to break into my office at the House.”


Mr. Jibrin said Mr. Dogara’s action was calculated at manipulating documents crucial to the unfolding budget padding scandal involving him, the speaker, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, House Whip, Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.


He said the plan would not work because he was in possession of “enough evidence” already.”


“I know he wants to tamper with documents critical to his and the three others future investigation and prosecution but unfortunately for him we already have enough evidence in our possession,” he said.


He urged Mr. Dogara to allow an independent investigations into the allegations.

No Evidence Boko Haram Gets Weapons From ISIS– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday that there was no credible intelligence linking Boko Haram’s source of weaponry to the Islamic State.

Boko Haram had last year pledged edged allegiance to IS, the group based in Iraq and Syria but which has carried out terror attacks in several parts of the world.

While fielding questions from journalists at the closing of the second Regional Security Summit in Abuja, Mr. Buhari said the claim that Boko Haram was getting its arms and ammunition from IS remained unsubstantiated.

He said a major source of the group’s sophisticated weaponry was from the various military and police bases attacked at the peak of the insurgency in the affected countries.

“The type of weapons they are using, I believe were the ones taken from military bases they attacked at the peak of the insurgency especially in Nigeria,” the Nigerian leader said.

“If you recall they attacked military bases and carted away weapons, they attacked police stations and broke into their armouries, that was how they got the kind of weapons they have been using to fight.

“Frankly, up till now we don’t have firm intelligence of what IS has been able to send to Boko Haram in terms of weapons or even money.

“But the fact that they said they are affiliated to IS has made many people to believe that they were getting weapons from ISIS,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

We Are Building Evidence Against Looters– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his administration was diligently building up its case against those accused of stealing government funds.

According to him, government was getting necessary evidence and facts before formal charges are brought against them.

The President reaffirmed that his administration would give full regard to due process and rule of law in the prosecution of its war against corruption.

A statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari spoke at an audience with a delegation from the Foursquare Gospel Church at the Presidential Villa.

He restated his commitment to recovering stolen funds, but stressed that the present administration’s efforts in this regard would be fully within the ambit of the law.

Credit: NationalMirror

EFCC Tenders Evidence Against Lamido & Sons

Determined to establish the money laundering charge it slammed against Sule Lamido, former Governor of Jigawa State and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, tendered before the Federal High Court in Abuja, details of bank accounts it said were used by the accused persons to siphon public funds.

Though Lamido and his sons were initially docked in Kano on July 9 alongside their alleged accomplice, Wada Abubakar, on a 28-count charge, they were subsequently re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency in Abuja on September 22.

They are now answering to an amended 27-count criminal charge bordering on corruption, money laundering, breach of trust and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N1.35 billion.

Credit: Vanguard

NASA Discovers Evidence Of Water On Mars

Curious lines running down slopes on the Martian surface may be streaks of super-salty brine, said the latest findings on Monday in the scientific quest for extra-terrestrial liquid water, a prerequisite for life.

A team from the United States and France said it found evidence in the lines of ‘hydrated’ salt minerals, which require water for their creation.

These results ‘strongly support the hypothesis’ of liquid water on Mars on Monday, concluded a research paper published in the journal, Nature Geoscience.

Astrophysicists have long hypothesized that the seasonal streaks, dubbed ‘recurring slope lineae’ (RSL), may be formed by brine flows on the Red Planet.

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