EFCC Files Fresh Charges Against Sylva In N19.5 Billion Case
The last is yet to be heard of the N19.5 billion corruption case against Bayelsa State former governor, Timipre Sylva who was discharged on Wednesday by an Abuja court.
In a swift response to the unexpected dismissal of the case, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed fresh charges against Sylva at the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday.
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Limited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false pretence of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.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 two days after Justice A. R. 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stalled the move by the anti-graft agency to consolidate the charges against the former governor having, days earlier, withdrawn similar charges pending before Justice E.S. Chukwu of the same court,” Uwujaren said, adding that EFCC awaits the assignment of the case, to pave way for the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.
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