Supreme Court Justice accused of corruption granted bail

Nigeria's Supreme Court

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday granted bail to Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Nguta, with a bond of N100 million.

Mr. Nguta was arraigned before Justice John Tsoho on Monday for alleged fraud and concealing evidence of corruption.

He is among seven judges arrested by operatives of the State Security Service on October 8, after a midnight raid on their residences by the SSS.

After pleading not guilty to the 15-count charge, the judge’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, asked the court to admit his client on bail.

The prosecution counsel, Charles Adeogun, objected to the bail application, saying Mr. Nguta was capable of interfering with witnesses and concealing documents that could incriminate him.

The trial judge, John Tsoho, said the application was also allowed based on self recognizance, since the defendant was in court and given his status as a Supreme Court Justice.

Mr. Tsoho said although allegations of culpability in impeding cause of justice have been made against the defendant, his court was not aware of any official document revoking his administrative bail, based on the alleged offences.

He added that it was important for the prosecution to maintain the honour of consistency.

Mr. Tsoho urged the prosecution to give the defendant the benefit of doubt on any material inconsistencies.

The trial judge said although the circumstances alluded to may have made the bail application cumbersome, the essence of justice would be defeated if his court sets aside the presumption of innocence.

“It is my view that it will defeat the essence of justice to prevent the accused from attaining to his bail, with regards to the allegations. I hold the respective view that the offences are bailable,” Mr. Tsoho said.

The case has been adjourned to December 7 for hearing.


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  • Nkem

    Impunity is the name of the game. Corruption is far from under threat in our country. Just imagine the accused in incarceration even for a few days. imagine the very powerful message that would have sent to his colleagues on the bench. But no, he must be granted bail even after there is evidence of witness tampering. Because, of course, of his “status as a Supreme Court Justice.” So what is the point of the N100 million if he is on bail on ‘self-cognizance’? what is the essence of this charade?

    • absam777

      My brother, we have just witnessed pady-pady ruling. However, I blamed the prosecution too. They cannot afford to be sloppy The matter of the witness tampering with evidence should have been swiftly dealt with even before this hearing. Time will tell if Agabi will not frustrate the hearing with his trademarks – Technicality, Adjournments and irrelevant submissions.

    • Lorgne

      Rome was not built in a day sir. If someone had told you you’d see a Supreme Court docked in your lifetime in Nigeria you wouldn’t believe. Well, for a start, here we are today. Who knows tomorrow?

  • Fredodo1

    Na paddy paddy…….God fire all of una. Which kain status? He lost that title long time ago

  • sammyctu ode

    Until we stop this so called bigmanism in Nigeria the country will not get out of the evil hole we have found ourselves. This is a man entrusted with the highest degree of dignity but used his position to start committing alleged criminal acts yet the presiding judge is saying cos of his status. He lost that status the day he was caught breaking the laws of the land. If this guy is an ordinary Nigerian he would be sent to prison on remand for so long. We can’t continue to treat the so called high profile criminals like kings and queens. There were many cases of high profile people who committed crimes in western countries they were remanded until their cases were disposed off and from there to prisons. All these sentimental mentality must stop for impunity to stop in Nigeria.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    If he were an ordinary Nigerian, this rogue Justice of the Supreme Court would have been remanded in Kuje Prison pending when he manages to convince 2 sureties (one of which must be a civil servant of the rank of Director) to secure his bail. In point of fact, if evidence-tampering is cited, he would have been denied bail. This just proves how shameless, ignoble and irresponsible the Nigerian Bench is. Shame on Justice Tsoho and ALL members of the Nigerian Bench.