How we discovered bags filled with foreign, local currencies in Justice Ngwuta’s house – EFCC | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

16.5.17

How we discovered bags filled with foreign, local currencies in Justice Ngwuta’s house – EFCC

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How we discovered bags filled with foreign, local currencies in Justice Ngwuta’s house – EFCC
A prosecuting witness, John Utazi on Tuesday told a Federal High Court how he and his team found bags filled with foreign and local currencies in an Abuja residence of a Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta during a search of the apartment on October 7, 2016.

Utazi, an operative of the DSS narrated before the Justice John Tsoho-led court that the bags filled with local and foreign currencies as well as documents including building plans, land documents, vehicle papers and statements of bank accounts, were uncovered during the search.
Testifying as the fifth prosecution witness in the ongoing trial, he disclosed that policemen and private security guards assigned to the Supreme Court Quarters, where Ngwuta’s residence was located, initially tried to deny them access into the premises until the guards got the approval of their superiors.
According to Utazi, “He was standing in the sitting room on the ground floor when we met him.
“I introduced myself and my team members to him and we showed the defendant our identity cards.
“I also gave him the search warrant to read, after which he asked us if the Chief Justice of Nigeria was aware.
“I answered that I was not aware.
“Thereafter, I requested the defendant to search me and members of my team.
“He declined and said there was no trouble.
“However, I asked my team members to search one another in his presence.
“After, we told the defendant that we were ready to conduct the search.”
Disclosing that the search started from the upstairs of the duplex apartment, Utazi said his team discovered huge cash sums in some bags kept in the wardrobes in one of the rooms and other cash in foreign currencies in another room.

He said, “He took us upstairs of his residence. There were four rooms and a sitting room upstairs. The four rooms included the defendant’s study.
“He took us to the first bedroom. We started searching while he sat on a seat.
“There were two wardrobes in the room. One was by a closet and the other was facing the closet. As we opened the one facing the closet, there were bags. We opened the bags and asked the defendant to see the content. The content was money.
“The second wardrobe was concealed with a cloth.”
“When the wardrobe was opened, we saw a lot of bags and we filled with foreign currencies.”
“He took us to another bedroom. We searched it again and we also discovered money.
“After the second bedroom, he took us to his study.
“In the study room, we recovered bank statements, building plans, land documents, documents relating to the defendant’s salary and some vehicle papers.”
“We brought down the items recovered to the sitting room downstairs, where we counted the money.
“We documented everything on the back of the search warrant.
“The documentation was done in his presence.
“I endorsed the documented items recovered and also gave it to him to see.
“After seeing it, he read through and signed on it.
“Thereafter, I assembled all items recovered and told the defendant to search us just like we did when we came in.
“The defendant declined to search us but we searched ourselves in the presence of the defendant.
“We then requested the defendant to follow us and he did follow us.”

After listening to the witness, Justice Tsoho adjourned till tomorrow for cross-examination by the lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi.

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