How Supreme Court Justice Nguta concealed evidence of corruption – Prosecutor

Nigerian Judges
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Nigerian Judges
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The federal government has accused a Supreme Court justice, Sylvester Nguta, of culpability in the destruction of evidence intended to be brought against him.

Mr. Nguta was arraigned before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court on Monday.

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 on October 7.

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

Speaking during a court session to determine Mr. Nguta’s application for bail, prosecution counsel, Charles Adeogun, said he was objecting to the application because Mr. Nguta was capable of interfering with witnesses and concealing documents that could incriminate him.

“Barely 20 minutes after he was granted administrative bail, one of the witnesses received a call from the defendant. During that call a number of instructions were given to the witness: ‘get rid of those cards. Go into my bathroom, in my residence where you will find three bags,’. Those bags contained 27 million each; they were moved from the residence and completely concealed.

“That same witness came back to the house, removed three luxury cars and concealed them. Days before his residence was raided on October 8, the defendant had four valid passports,” added Mr. Adeogun.

He said the allegations of interference were so apparent that they were contained in counts 3,10 to 16 of the charge against the defendant.

Mr. Adeogun therefore submitted that he was cautiously making his objection; considering the status of the defendant, but also taking note of the alleged offences.

“My Lord it is in recognition to these offences committed when the administrative bail were granted, that we cautiously object to the application.

Earlier, counsel to the defendant, Kanu Agabi, asked the court to grant his client bail on self recognizance.

He said sections 32, 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, as well as section 35 (4) and 36 of the constitution have made it clear that once a defendant appears in court to attend to his matter, he no longer needs to proof the reason why his bail application should be granted.

Mr. Agabi, therefore, submitted that his client should be granted bail on self recognizance.

He said the law already allows a defendant room for bail and if his client’s bail is denied, it will only show that the said provisions are not practicable.

After the submission made by the prosecution, Mr. Agabi said it was dangerous for Mr. Adeogun to conclude on the matter, as he had done.

“I was just listening to my learned counsel. But if you have concluded already then we are finished,” said Mr. Agabi.

The case was stood down for an hour before the ruling on the application.


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  • Shahokaya

    These corrupt judges seem to forget that we are in the digital age wher all their calls are recorded.

    • R.S.T

      MY PEOPLE,

      What a Country!

      Premium Times is reporting accurately, as usual, that EFCC has lost the bail argument. The accused criminal –
      Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Nguta- has been granted bail. Let me say that the substance of the hearing
      was beautifully captured by Premium Times. EFCC lost the bail argument because of its own incompetence.

      The EFCC lawyer narrated a decisive fact which should have the legal consequence of sending the accused
      criminal to prison custody throughout the trial and until final judgment is issued by the trial court. That key fact
      is that the accused criminal – Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Nguta – once tampered with evidence whilst
      on EFCC granted administrative bail.

      That is decisive fact in law to refuse bail to the accused criminal. So why did EFCC lose the argument in court?
      EFCC lost because despite taping evidence of Justice Sylvester Nguta’s interference with evidence the EFCC forgot or was silly enough not to have remembered to promptly cancel the EFCC granted bail before coming to
      court today to say the same accused criminal (still on EFCC granted bail) should not be given any bail at all.

      What a country!

      • Timothy

        So in other words because the bail by EFCC was still open, the court has no powers to disagree? Am sorry am not a lawyer no abuse me oooooo!

        • R.S.T

          @disqus_mI7EKRGTND:disqus: But the truth is that your logic is better than that of 90% of Nigerian lawyers!
          The issue here is this: the posture of EFCC is contradictory. A person who comes to court
          must be seen to be consistent in his claims that the accused person will abuse admittance to bail.
          EFCC itself granted the same accused criminal bail till today, the court can’t uphold contrary plea.

          • Timothy

            Lets assume for some reasons best known to the prosecuting arm of the EFCC that it was a costly mistake due to office mombo jumbo. Does it mean their entire case is flogged with this bias?

          • R.S.T


            Brilliant question…intelligent poser! The answer to your question above however is, ‘NO’ because bias is a more expansive concept in jurisprudence, unlike the way that word is carelessly cast
            about in Nigerian courts, as if the lawyers there are playfully engaged in sport.

            Bias is a different matter entirely because unlike folly – which is now at issue in how the EFCC lost this bail motion – bias is not inward looking or is it focused on the applicant arguing a motion, but rather bias looks outwards to both the court and the judge presiding.

            Either it is founded regarding the judge’s relationship with the litigants or concerning a prejudicial opinion the judge held before now or during the hearing, the facts evidencing bias must be so compelling that no third party can truly expect fair hearing in such a court or before such a judge.
            So EFCC is not dead in the waters, as yet, but EFCC has lost a golden chance to save evidence.

          • Timothy

            Am afraid what you concluded with makes me lose hope already. For one these is assumed a learned colleague of theirs. In time past EFCC has lost a lot of cases due to lack of evidence or improper preparation to cases in court. Unless they have ironclad evidences that no one can absolutely deny, this learned colleague of the bench with his ability to conceal evidence may further ensure he is never convicted by his colleagues in the lower chamber and if he is and it gets to the Supreme Courts where his brothers reside, it a lost case. So we may as well congratulate EFCC prosecutor for letting him go.

          • Adele T.

            My own view is that EFCC did not get quality legal advice. EFCC lawyers should be re-assessed.

            Those EFCC lawyers hired from outside but seen to be below par should be forthwith dismissed.

            How can a lawyer go to court and lose application, based on a failure to review the total case facts?

          • Timothy

            Bros it wonders me too? But knowing how we operate in some ministries, the fire brigade approach, you see people shouting in the 11:59 hour to hurry and be at the courts not being informed and they probably blame some guy who will blame another guy and that guy will blame the system and the system will blame the ancestors. What a life.

          • ojays

            Yes he
            was granted administrative bail bcos Nigerians cried foul, that dss was wrong that the common criminal was untouchable. Remember some lawyers boycott the courts for some days. The judge should have done the right thing on hearing the dss story. All that was needed was to listen to the tape and send the criminal to gulag permanently. But as they say birds of same feather…., no bi me say am oooo

    • Tunji Olarewaju

      Their reasoning is still,deliberately,in the analog mode, that’s why they quickly buried the Card reader .

  • javscong javscong

    Just looking at the faces of the so called “SANs” seated in that court to defend a supreme court justice who has brought shame to the entire judiciary,makes my stomach churn. These are the same set of lawyers responsible for bribing our judges.The lawyers are led by their grand wizard- Kanu Agabi. The same character trying to get Mesujamba Saraki off the hook at the CCT.What a shameless lot!!!!!

    • Julius

      I agree with you completely. They all should be locked up. They were the same people bribing the Judge to begin with. This is so sad.

  • We dey hear

    ’81mlion Naira cash hidden in Justice Sylvester Nguta’s toilet’

    • “Barely 20 minutes after Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Nguta was granted
    administrative bail, one of the witnesses received a call from him. During that call
    a number of instructions were given to the witness: ‘get rid of those cards.
    Go into my bathroom, in my residence where you will find three bags,’. Those
    bags contained 27 million each; they were moved from the residence and
    completely concealed
    . That same witness came back to the house,
    removed three luxury cars and concealed them. Days before his residence
    was raided on October 8, the defendant had four valid passports.”

    ……………….EFCC Prosecutor


  • E.E Imma


    Excuse me please. This Justice Sylvester Nguta is the one that lawyers were bowing down for before,
    and calling him, “My Lord”, not so? From what EFCC is saying in court today does Justice Sylvester Nguta
    look like anybody’s lord? Me I don’t think so. There’s nothing I have read here about what happened in court
    that can tell me that me that Justice Sylvester Nguta is a responsible somebody. I am expressing my own view.
    It is for the court to decide the matter of guilt. My own is to comment on BEHAVIOUR only, not whether he is
    already guilty. As far as behaviour is concerned, there is no difference between a motor park tout and this man
    they call Justice Sylvester Nguta. There is no difference at all. I cannot imagine bowing down for this sort of man.
    How can a responsible person who is also a Judge hide over 80 million Naira in Ghana-must-go bag inside toilet?
    EFCC has the tape of the phone conversation by Justice Sylvester Nguta.saying where he hid the money in toilet.

    • Wollex

      @shahokaya:disqus & @javscongjavscong:disqus

      I want to condemn the National Judicial Council (NJC) for lacking sense and sensibility.
      I believe the NJC just went to a shop in Alaba /market and appointed Sylvester Nguta,
      who i believe could have honestly been selling car spare parts or television sets there.
      Once the NJC went so low to appoint Alaba market traders as Judges hell was let loose.
      An Alaba market trader can never be a good justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
      The mentality of trading for profit in Alaba market will follow him to the Supreme court.

      • Timothy

        Carefil bros, u wan crack my rib? laugh wan kill me!

    • Timothy

      I guess he was keeping the money at home because his bankers do not have space to put the money or may be his account has reached the limit that would accept any legal money. It is funny how this same man was on TV advocating for fairness in the fight on corruption and how the blame should not be on lawyers defending the corrupt politicians but rather the prosecution should be able to present their cases well. How sad.

    • Ajayi Ifayemi

      Looks like a common criminal to me.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    DSS invasion of suspected corrupt judges and justices, seem to be paying off as that DSS efforts yield this corruption charges against justice Sylvester Nguta. Those wrong headed elites blasting the DSS invasion of those judges and justices suspected of corruption crimes can now see that DSS efforts serve Nigerian-public well in the right sense.These are judges and justices the Nigerian public address and bowing down for in the courts.Good that those suspected judges and justices of bribery and destruction of evidences will all be facing charges and prosecution in the law-court.There is no Nigerian citizen is above the law of the land.Justice must be served and appear to be served at the end.

    • ???asking questions


      How much do Nigerian Judges sell
      their interlocutory and interim injunction nowadays? I know why i am asking
      this question. Cost of living is going up. Prices of foodstuff are going up. I
      need to know if the Judges of the courts have increased their own price too,
      because if one gallon of Ceway water is now ₦500.

      I will not be surprised if Nigerian Judges have adjusted their own price
      to make up for inflation, especially because the Judges don’t ever issue
      receipt to customers like me who want to patronize them for business and buy
      some heavy permanent and perpetual interlocutory injunction just to
      stop the Nigerian Police from ever asking me any question at all or arrest
      me even if they see me with gun robbing any bank i may like to rob in the

      • Timothy

        Take it easy. Na wa oooooo! Lol, rolling on the floor laughing

      • Tunji Olarewaju

        See ,man ,you are liable to appear before Ngwuta for attempted murder with laughter!!!

      • Arc_Deji_Alabi

        lol……You are cracking me up

  • Dazmillion

    3 bags containing N27 million each in a honorable Judge bathroom. Corruption has destroyed this country

  • Rommel

    Such a criminal should not be qualified for bail

  • SAM .A

    “Mr. Agabi, therefore, submitted that his client should be granted bail on self recognizance.”
    Mr Agabi should stop this self recognition NONSENSE , how many times have these Elite courts recognize a pet thieves who had well known address and identity . Enough of this outdated and archaic pleading for this well known pen robbers to escape justice , like his client had started destroying evidence against himself . Let the law take his course . What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.