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Alleged N.5bn fraud: FG appoints Fakunle to prosecute Justice Ngwuta



CCT frees Justice Ngwuta in false asset declaration case

As controversy trails the trial of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, the Federal Government has appointed Olufemi Fakunle as the new Lead Prosecutor.

Fakunle, who is of the Ministry of Justice, succeeds Charles Adeogun-Phillips, a former Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), who declined further participation in the Ngwuta case.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, however, claims that contrary to earlier reports, Adeogun-Phillips did not withdraw but had been fired from his post for “unprofessional conduct.”

Fakunle announced her appearance on Monday as Lead Prosecutor at the resumed hearing of the case at the Federal High Court, Abuja. Soon after, she entered an oral application seeking an adjournment of the case. This, she said, was to enable her study the file and also interview the witnesses.

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Mr Kanu Agabi(SAN), counsel to Justice Ngwuta, however, did not oppose the application and the presiding judge, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned the case to March 16 and 17, 2017, for continuation of trial.

High level intrigues have trailed the Ngwuta case.

Sources familiar with the development say that the real issues in the matter of the face-off between Adeogun-Phillips and the AGF is the alleged underground move to appoint the troubled Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Ahmed Saleh, as the Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council.

Coincidentally, Saleh was to stand trial in a N2.2billion money laundering case in which Adeogun-Phillips was also Lead Prosecutor.

Adeogun-Phillips claims that his travails are largely tied to his insistence that Saleh must be brought to justice while the AGF, Malawi, wants the latter to adopt plea-bargain and be used as a witness against Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.

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