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DSS witness alleges Justice Ngwuta engaged in forex, sale of rice


An operative of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Ibrahim Ndakpoto, yesterday testified before a Federal High Court in Abuja that Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court engaged in other private businesses asides his judicial functions.
Ndakpoto, the sixth prosecution witness (PW6), gave the testimony when he was examined by the prosecution counsel, Olufemi Fatunde, in the ongoing trial of Justice Ngwuta.

He told the trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho, that Ngwuta made the revelation when he was interviewed on the origin of the N36million 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 proceeds from his agriculture and foreign exchange business, saying he goes to market, buys and sells farm products.
When asked who were his customers or partners and if he had any shop or warehouse, “the defendant said he did not have a particular customer, no partner and no warehouse.

“On the foreign currencies, the defendant said he traded in forex, that he used to buy dollars when the rates are low and sell when the value is high,” the witness said.
The DSS operative said 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.
“When the defendant came to our office on October 10, he asked me that we did not ask him question about the money we found in his house.

“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.” Ndakpoto continued: “When asked whether he had at any time 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 (UAE) and that he only banked with Union Bank of Nigeria 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 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. 
But the witness pleaded with Justice Tsoho to allow him to attend Friday prayers.
Consequently, the court adjourned the matter until January 11, next year for continuation of examination.

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