Twenty-seven million naira in cash was found at the residence of Sylvester Ngwuta, justice of the supreme court, but it “completely disappeared”, Charles Adeogun Philips, counselto the federal government, told a federal high court, on Monday.
Philips, who was arguing against a bail application by Kanu Agabi (SAN), Ngwuta’s counsel, said the money was found in the bathroom of the Ebonyi residence of the accused person, but that it was later removed on the orders of the apex court judge.
He said the judge gave the order on October 9. While narrating how Ngwuta attempted to conceal evidence, Philips said the first instruction the defendant gave to a witness was “go and get rid of those cars”, and that the second instruction was “go to my bathroom you will find two bags.”
He said “the bags contained 27m in cash”, and that “they were moved from the location”.
”There are sufficient grounds that the defendant will interfere with potential prosecution witnesses and with evidence,” he said.
“We object to bail being granted because we are of the opinion that the defendant may conceal or destroy evidence.”
He also alleged that the accused person possessed multiple identities, and that he could jump bail because he once left the country with false identification.
But Agabi asked the court to grant his client bailon liberal terms.
Accepting that to grant bail was at the discretion of the court, the defence counsel urged the judge to grant the accused person bail on self-recognition.
He said the offence Ngwuta was alleged to have committed was bailable, hence there was no need to remand him in prison.
After listening to arguments of the counsel, John Tsoho, the judge, adjourned for an hour to deliver a ruling.
On October 8, the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Ngwuta alongside six judges.
Allegations of corruption were laid against Ngwuta, but he has maintained his innocence, claiming that his ordeal is a consequence of his refusal to accede to the request of Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, to influence governorship election appeals in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.