By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Despite stiff opposition from the Federal Government, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Monday, released Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court on bail to the tune of N100million.
Ngwuta secured bail on a day he was docked on a 16-count criminal charge bordering on money laundering, age falsification and his alleged illegal possession of multiple international passports contrary to section 10 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act 2015.
Trial Justice James Tsoho said he was minded to released the accused jurist on bail in view of his status as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He said there was nothing before the court to show that Ngwuta had in any way, breached the administrative bail that was earlier given to him by the Department of State Service, DSS.
The defendant had shortly after he pleaded not guilty to all the charges, begged the court to grant him bail on self-recognition, pending the hearing and determination of the case against him.
Addressing the court through his lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, Ngwuta, insisted that charges against him were bailable offences.
Agabi, who is a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, predicated the bail request on sections 32, 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, as well as section 35 (1) of the 1999 constitution, as amended.