By Doris Ferdinard
The registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Hadizatu Uwani Mustapha, has given details on the death of Justice Ngwuta, disclosing that he died at the National Hospital, Abuja not in his sleep as reported by many media outlets.
The Chief Registrar said the deceased judge died at about 2.30 am on Sunday morning at the Intensive care unit of the National Hospital, Abuja.
Mustapha said Justice Ngwuta passed on after he fell sick about a week ago and was admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja.
“He felt sick and was admitted, in the last week, in the National Hospital, Abuja. “But, before he was moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital on Friday, March 5 he tested negative to COVID-19 investigative test conducted on him.
“Hon. Justice Ngwuta was due to retire from the Supreme Court bench on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 years on March 30, 2021.
“His remains have been deposited in the National Hospital mortuary pending the arrangement for his burial.”
An investigation by Daybreak further revealed the senior judge was due for retirement on March 30, 2020, when he would have attained the mandatory retirement age of 70
Justice Nguta was born in 1951 in Amofia-Ukawu, Onicha Local government Area of Ebonyi State. The senior lawyer commenced his private legal practice at Abakaliki from July 1978 to October 1995.
Ugwuta was later appointed a judge of the High Court Abia in October 1995 and then promoted to the Court of Appeal on May 22, 2003.
The deceased was finally sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in May 2011.
Ngwuta was the chairman of the judicial panel of inquiry into the Obegu Enyibichirikwo Disturbance in 1997-1998 and has been a member of several Election Petition Tribunal, Governorship and Legislative House Election Petition Tribunal; Nasarawa State held at Lafia in February 1999, National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal Plateau State, held at Jos in April 1999, among others.
The federal government had in 2018 accused the senior judge of corrupt practices.
An Abuja Federal High Court, however, absolved Ngwuta of all allegations. The senior justice was also on the supreme court panel that gave the controversial pronouncement that saw to the emergence of Hope Uzodinma as the government of Imo state