Official of the Department of State Security, Ibrahim Ndakpoto has revealed that Justice of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Ngwuta engaged in other private business apart from his judicial functions.
Ndakpoto, the 6th prosecution witness revealed this when he was examined by Olufemi Fatunde in the on going trial of Justice Ngwuta.
The witness told the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho that Ngwuta made the revelation when he was interviewed on the origin of the N36m (cash) and other foreign currencies found in his house during a search by the DSS.
The PW6 said he asked Ngwuta if he engaged in any other business outside his duty as a judicial officer, and he answered in the affirmative, adding that part of the money was proceed from his agriculture and foreign exchange business.
“He said he engaged in agriculture business. The defendant said he goes to market, buy and sale farm products.
When asked who were his customers, partner, and if he had any shop or warehouse, “the defendant said he did not have a particular customer, no partner, as well having no warehouse.
“On the foreign currencies, the defendant said he trades in foreign exchange. That he used to buy Dollars when the rates are low, and sale when the value is high” the witness told court.
When asked how he conducted the forex business, “the defendant told us that he used to buy foreign currencies from Mallams”.
After interviewing Ngwuta on October 9, 2016, he was asked to go home but to come back the next day, October 10.
“When the defendant came to our office on October 10, the he asked me that we did not ask him question about the money we found in his house” the witness stated.
“My colleague now said, Sir, but you told us yesterday how you made money from allowances, selling of farm products and foreign exchange business.
“But the defendant accepted ownership of the bag but said he was not the owner of the money found in the bag.
When asked whether he at any point lost his bag, “the defendant said no”.
In the cause of examination, Ngwuta had earlier denied that he did not travel to United Arab Emirates and that he only banked with Union Bank Plc.
However, information on one of his diplomatic passports showed that he actually entered UAE on October 9, 2015 and exited same day, using the same passport he had reported missing.
At this point, the witness told the court that Ngwuta said he needed to consult his lawyer, Paulinus Igwe before saying anything further on the issue.
At this juncture, the witness now pleaded with Justice Tsoho to allow him to attend Friday prayers.
Consequently, the court adjourned to January 11, for continuation of examination.
The Federal Government had on March 17, 2017 re-arraigned Justice Ngwuta on an 11-count charge before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Justice Ngwuta, 65, who hails from Ebonyi state was initially arraigned on November 21, 2017 on a 16-count charge levelled against him by the Federal Government.
However, the new prosecution counsel, Olufemi Fatunde did not cite any reason for the reduction of the charge from 16 counts to 11 counts.