Just In: Lead Prosecutor withdraws from Justice Ngwuta’s trial

There was mild drama on Thursday at the resumed hearing of the trial of a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, holding at the Federal High Court in Abuja, The Punch reports.

The lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, withdrew from the trial of Justice Ngwuta, who is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on money laundering charges involving over N500m.

Adeogun-Philips, a private legal practitioner, announced his decision to withdraw from the case before Justice John Tsoho.

At the continuation of the trial, Justice Tsoho asked if both the prosecuting and the defence teams, were ready for Ngwuta’s trial.

In response, Adeogun-Philips, rose to inform the judge that he had decided to withdraw from the case.

Adeogun-Philips, who is a former International Criminal Court’s prosecutor, gave no reason for his decision, but he sat back when the case was eventually called.

When the case was called, Mrs. Hajara Yusuf, a counsel from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, took over as the leader of the prosecuting team.

Informing the judge of the change, she said, “I have been instructed to inform the court that Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, the lead prosecuting counsel, will no longer be appearing in this matter.

“In view of this change, myself and my colleagues will be appearing subject when arrangement will be made in due course.”

Justice Tsoho thanked Adeogun-Philips for his “courtesy” in the course of his appearance for the prosecution.

“He is wished success in his further endeavours,” the judge said.

The lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), also commended Adeogun-Philips’ conduct and wished him success too.

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