Again, a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday dismissed the N19.2billion fraud charges filed against former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva.
This came barely a week after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had dropped a six-count charge of N2.45billion against him.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed’s ruled on a notice of preliminary objection filed by Sylva, dismissing the charges as an abuse of court process, bringing all pending EFCC cases against ‎the former governor to an end.
The judge held yesterday that the charges filed against Sylva by the EFCC were an abuse of court process since they were based on the same set of transactions involved in the N2.45billion charges which were recently dropped against the accused person.
The court also held that the EFCC attempted to interfere with the administration of justice by withdrawing the N2.45billion charges after the court had heard and adjourned for ruling Sylva’s notice of preliminary objection complaining of the multiplicity of the charges filed against him by the EFCC.
The judge also held that if the EFCC was ready to prosecute the accused person, it ought to withdraw the charges that were before it since they were filed after the one before Justice Chukwu.
The earlier withdrawal of the N2.45billion charges and yesterday’ ruling within nine days brought to an abrupt end, two cases which had been pending since 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Sylva was arraigned for the N19.2billion charges in 2012 alongside Nide Francis Okonkwo, Gbenga Balogun and Samuel Ogbuku.
They were alleged to have used three companies – Marlin Maritime Ltd, Eat Catering Services Ltd, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Ltd – to move the N19.2billion from the treasury of Bayelsa State government between 2009 and 2012, under pretence of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government employers.

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