Minister of Justice, Abubakar MalamiThe Federal Government yesterday filed two separate charges against Supreme Court judge, Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta and his Federal High Court counterpart, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for allegedly contravening the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Act.
A statement from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), requested the tribunal to commence trial of the two judges.
It also disclosed that the Principal State Counsel in the ministry, Hajara Yusuf, filed the charges on behalf of the minister, pursuant to Section 24 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
For Justice Ngwuta, the application averred that he allegedly engaged in private business as a public officer, contrary to Section 6(b) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
He was also alleged to have refused to declare his assets as a public officer, contrary to Section 15 of the Act, Cap C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 23(2) of the same Act. Justice Ngwuta would be facing a 10-count charge.
The affidavit to support the charges against Justice Ngwuta was deposed to by the Head, Investigation Division, CCB, Mr. Samuel Ozigbe Madojemu, who said: “I am aware that the said Mr. Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta filed the following assets declaration forms for public officers with the Code of Conduct Bureau while serving as a public officer; (a) Code of Conduct Bureau assets declaration form CCB1 dated 2nd June, 2011, (b) Code of Conduct Bureau assets declaration form CCB dated 19th July, 2016.”
On his part, Justice Ademola faces a two-count allegation for which an affidavit was also deposed to by Madojemu.Count one claimed that the judge failed to declare his assets to the CCB, thereby breaching Section 15 of the Act, Cap C15 and punishable under Section 23(2) of the same Act. The second charge alleged that he engaged in private business contrary to Section 6 of the CCB and Tribunal Act and punishable under Section 23(2) of same Act.
He was particularly accused of engaging in the purchase and sale of foreign exchange currencies as sitting judge of the Federal High Court, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 6 of the CCB and Tribunal Act.