sylviaThe last is yet to be heard of the N19.5 billion corruption case against Bayelsa State’s former governor, Timipre Sylva, who was discharged by an Abuja court.
A highly placed source in the office of the National Legal Advisor to the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday told Nigerian Pilot Saturday that the governorship ambition of former Governor Slyva is hanging in the balance over the corruption charges brought against him before an Abuja High court.
According to the source, the leadership of the party, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari, is not comfortable fielding him as the candidate of the APC for the December gubernatorial election because of the corruption charges.
Further, the source added that recently the President allegedly asked Sylva to go and trash the allegation of N19 billon before contesting the said election.
He said that apart from the President, party leaders like the national chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun; Bola Ahmed
Tinubu, Bisi Akande and Chief Audu Ogbeh, are more comfortable with the emergence of Timi Alaibi as the party’s candidate in the election.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, filed fresh charges against Sylva at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren stated that Sylva is charged alongside Francis Okokuro, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku.
They are being prosecuted for allegedly using three companies, Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false pretence of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.
The action of the anti-graft agency comes after Justice AR Mohammed of the Federal High Court dismissed the 42-count charge of stealing brought against Sylva and his co-accused by the EFCC, with the excuse that the prosecution’s application to consolidate the charges against the defendants amounted to an abuse of court process.
The commission faulted the ruling on the ground that it was premature, as the accused persons had not taken any plea before the court.“The action of the trail judge stalled the move by the anti-graft agency to consolidate the charges against the former governor having, days earlier, withdrawn similar charges pending before Justice ES Chukwu of the same court,” Uwujaren said, adding that EFCC awaits the assignment of the case, to pave way for the arraignment of Sylva and others.
Sylva was declared winner of the controversial APC governorship primary held on Monday in Yenegoa the Bayelsa State capital, but the national secretariat of the party cancelled the exercise, saying it was marred with violence and malpractices following protest by the Edo State governor, Adams Oshomole, who served as the returning officer for the primary.