How we discovered bags filled with cash in Justice Ngwuta’s house- Witness

Ebun Francis || John Utazi, an operative of the state department, DSS, on Tuesday informed an Abuja High Court how he lead the team that searched the residence of the suspended supreme court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta last October.

Utazi was testifying as the fifth prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the disgraced supreme court Judge at the federal high court Abuja.

The witness led in evidence by the chief prosecution counsel Mrs. Olufunke Fatunde narrated how bags filled with local and foreign currencies, land documents, vehicle papers and other materials were discovered by his team at the home of the former supreme court Justice.

The witness recounted the difficulties they went through before gaining entrance into the Apex court’s home and that the accused refused the offer to search the operatives who came for the operation when he was offered the opportunity.

Utazi narrated, “He was standing in the sitting room on the ground floor when we met him.

“I introduced myself and my team members to him and we showed the defendant our identity cards.

“I also gave him the search warrant to read, after which he asked us if the Chief Justice of Nigeria was aware.

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“I answered that I was not aware.

“Thereafter, I requested the defendant to search me and members of my team.

“He declined and said there was no trouble.

“However, I asked my team members to search one another in his presence.

“After, we told the defendant that we were ready to conduct the search.”

Utazi continued, “He took us upstairs of his residence. There were four rooms and a sitting room upstairs. The four rooms included the defendant’s study.

“He took us to the first bedroom. We started searching while he sat on a seat.

“There were two wardrobes in the room. One was by a closet and the other was facing the closet. As we opened the one facing the closet, there were bags. We opened the bags and asked the defendant to see the content. The content was money.

“The second wardrobe was concealed with a cloth.”

“When the wardrobe was opened, we saw a lot of bags and we filled with foreign currencies.”

The witness added, “He took us to another bedroom. We searched it again and we also discovered money.

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“After the second bedroom, he took us to his study.

“In the study room, we recovered bank statements, building plans, land documents, documents relating to the defendant’s salary and some vehicle papers.”

The witness also said that his team searched other the remaining parts of the building but found nothing incriminating.

“We brought down the items recovered to the sitting room downstairs, where we counted the money.

“We documented everything on the back of the search warrant.

“The documentation was done in his presence.

“I endorsed the documented items recovered and also gave it to him to see.

“After seeing it, he read through and signed on it.

“Thereafter, I assembled all items recovered and told the defendant to search us just like we did when we came in.

“The defendant declined to search us but we searched ourselves in the presence of the defendant.

“We then requested the defendant to follow us and he did follow us.”

The case will continue Wednesday for the cross-examination of the witness by the defense counsel.