Sylvester Ngwuta, a suspended supreme court judge, was on Thursday arraigned at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Abuja, on an amended 8-count charge of false assets declaration.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges instituted by the office of the attorney-general of the federation.

Kanu Agabi (SAN), counsel to the defendant, made an oral application seeking the bail of his client on self-recognisance.

Umar Muhammed, director of public prosecutions of the federation, did not oppose the application, as according to him, bail granting was at the discretion of the court.

The tribunal headed by Danladi Umar, its chairman, granted the bail application and fixed July 12 for commencement of trial.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, had averred that Ngwuta contravened section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Laws.

According to Malami, false declaration of assets was punishable under section 23 (2) of the act.

Ngwuta is one of the federal judges from whose residences, the Department of State Service (DSS) claimed it uncovered huge sums of money in various denominations.

The DSS raided the judges’ residences in October, 2016.

Ngwuta is currently standing trial on that account before John Tsoho, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja, on an amended 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

The federal government that preferred that charges, said Ngwuta contravened section 15 (2) (d) of the money laundering (prohibition) act, 2012 (as amended).

It added that the offences are punishable under section 15 (3) of the act.

(NAN)