Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice John Tsoho of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja thursday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to deposit the monies it recovered from the residence of a Supreme Court judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The judge gave the order after admitting the bags and boxes containing the money as exhibit marked 11 A-E.
Justice Ngwuta is facing a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering and retention and concealment of various sums of money in local and foreign currencies.
The monies, which are in both local and foreign currencies, were allegedly recovered from the residence of Ngwuta, during a raid carried out by the operatives of the DSS on October 8, 2016, in a â€œsting operationâ€ that involved seven judges.
Ngwuta is also being accused by the government of giving various sums of money in cash above the statutory threshold to his building contractor for the building of various houses in his home state, Ebonyi State, without going through a financial institution.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the court, after admitting the nine bags and boxes containing the money recovered during the raid, ruled that the monies be kept with the CBN.
Earlier, the lead prosecuting counsel, Mrs Olufemi Fatunde, led the fifth prosecuting witness, John Otaze, an operative of the DSS to tender the bags and boxes as exhibit.
Otazi told the court how he led a team of DSS operatives to conduct a search on the residence of the defendant.
He said various sums of money in both local and foreign currencies were recovered, which include N35million, Â£35,915, $319,096, 50