Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, who is standing trial over allegation of corruption at a Federal High Court in Abuja, has been freed.
The court, yesterday, dismissed all the 13-count charges of money laundering and passport fraud instituted by the Federal Government against him. Justice Ngwuta, was one of the judicial officers whose houses were raided by the operatives of the Department of State Services in October 2016.
The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, subsequently charged him with various corruption offences.
Ruling on an application by him on Friday, the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, dismissed the charges on those grounds. Justice John Tsoho, whose ruling was anchored on an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, held that the pre-conditions for instituting charges against a judicial officer were not met before charging Justice Ngwuta.
Justice Ngwuta, through his counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), had told the court that by virtue of the said Court of Appeal’s judgment in Nganjiwa’s case and the provisions of section 158(1), Paragraph 21(8) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, the charges instituted against his client were incompetent.
He maintained that going by the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the complaints forming the basis of the charges instituted against him ought to have been referred to the NJC and allowing the Council to discipline him before instituting the charges.