Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, has passed on.
Ngwuta died in the early hours of Sunday, March 7, after a protracted illness. His health took took a different turn for the worse on Thursday, March 4 and was subsequently taken to the intensive care unit.
Spokesperson of the court, Ahuraka Isah, who confirmed his death, said,
“He has been ill for a while. He was supposed to preside over a matter on Thursday but the illness became severe. He was moved to intensive care unit on Friday. They even conducted COVID-19 test on him but he tested negative. We were already preparing for his valedictory service slated for March 30.” Isah said.
Ngwuta was absent from the bench between 2016 and 2019 while he faced trial for corruption after the secret police claimed it found hard currencies believed to be proceeds of corruption in his Abuja residence. He was asked to step aside from his duties to face charges of money laundering brought against him at a federal high court in Abuja.
Born in 1951 in Amofia-Ukawu, Onicha LGA of Ebonyi state, Ngwuta got his LLB from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1977 and a bachelor of law at the Nigerian Law School in 1978.
During his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program between August 1978 and October 1979, he was deployed as the state counsel in charge of the ministry of justice, Otukpo, Benue state.
In July 1978, he started his private legal practice in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital. In October 1995, he was appointed a judge of the Abia state high court. He was elevated to the court of appeal in May 2003 and was sworn in as a justice of the supreme court in May 2011.