Nigeria: Prosecuting counsel, Adeogun-Phillips Withdraws From Justice Ngwuta’s Case, Protests Selective Justice

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Prosecuting counsel, Adeogun-Phillips Withdraws From Justice Ngwuta's Case, Protests Selective Justice
Adeogun-Phillips noticed that the government was not ready to prosecute the Chief Registrar and others because all the three are northerners.

Mr. Charles Adeogun-Phillips a private legal practitioner and former prosecutor at the International Criminal Court who is the lead prosecuting counsel to the government in the fraud suit against Justice Ngwuta has withdrawn from the case.

Justice Ngwuta is one of the Supreme Court Justices being prosecuted for various financial crimes. His case is an allegation of money laundering to the tune of about N500 million.

Mr Adeogun-Philips withdrew from the case in protest of the federal government’s withdrawal of the case against Saleh, Muhammed Abdulrahman Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal which involved alleged diversion of N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme court.

Though he was the lead counsel, the federal government withdrew the case in his absence. Inside information indicates that the relationship between Mr Adeogun-Philips and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had long gone sour, with both parties disagreeing more than they agreed.

The source said “his withdrawal from Ngwuta’s trial on Thursday was an inevitable end because of recent, he disagreed more than he agreed with AGF office.”

Throwing more light on the issue, another source said “The Chief Registrar’s case is the biggest among these cases concerning judges but if you notice they were never arraigned.

“The claim that they dropped the charges so that he could be used as witness in Ngwuta’s trial is just a facade.

“The truth is that his evidence is not going to do much in Ngwuta’s case.

“Adeogun-Phillips noticed that the government was not ready to prosecute the Chief Registrar and others because all the three are northerners.

“He asked the authorities, ‘why do you prosecute one and leave the other? If we are fighting corruption let us know we are fighting corruption, if we are not, let us know we are not’.

“When he could no longer agree on a number of issues he had to quit.

“That was why despite the fact that he was the lead prosecuting counsel, the Chief Registrar’s case was withdrawn in his absence on Tuesday.”

In the meantime, a counsel from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mrs. Hajara Yusuf has taken over as lead prosecutor pending a reconstitution of the team.

Source: Punch

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