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Court discharges Supreme Court Justice over false assets declaration

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has discharged Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta over false assets declaration charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

 

Ngwuta had been arraigned in April last year on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged false and non-declaration of assets as a public officer.

Upon pleading not guilty to the charges, he was granted bail on self-recognition after which the prosecution opened its case.

 

Ruling on the matter yesterday, Justice William A. Atedze, however, held that it was persuaded by Ngwuta’s argument in paragraph 4.1 of his written address, that as a serving judicial officer, he was under the management, control and discipline of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The NJC, according to the tribunal, is a body whose independence of external control or interference is constitutionally provided for in section 158 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“This means that any allegation of official misconduct will first have to be referred to the NJC to the exclusion of any other body, court or tribunal,” Justice Atedze stated.

The tribunal further stated that the prosecution, who queried the veracity of the adoption of the Hyeladzira Ngajiwa v. FRN case as a precedent, further contradicted himself by alluding to the possibility that should the matter be appealed at the Supreme Court, the apex Court may adopt his line of argument.

It, therefore, quashed the charges against Ngwuta and acquitted him.

 


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