Home » Headline » N19.2bn Fraud: Former Gov Sylva’s trial resumes April 29
N19.2bn Fraud: Former Gov Sylva’s trial resumes April 29

N19.2bn Fraud: Former Gov Sylva’s trial resumes April 29

A legal matter involving a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, which holds the potential to embarrass the incoming administration of Muhammadu Buhari resumes tomorrow at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Sylvia is accused of stealing N19.2 billion from the state treasury while he was the governor between 2007 and 2011.

A bitter political opponent of President Goodluck Jonathan, Sylva is co-chairman of the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim.

The former Bayelsa chief executive was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside others in July 2014, for allegedly using three companies to siphon funds from the state treasury between 2009 and 2012.

The companies are Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween- Blue Construction and Logistics Limited.

But Sylva, who mounted the dock with one of his alleged accomplices, Gbenga Balogun, could not enter his plea at that time due to the absence of two other co-accused persons, Francis Okokuro and Samuel Ogbuku.

Consequently, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Adegbite Adeniyi, urged the court to issue a bench warrant against them.

That application was vehemently opposed by Sylva’s lawyer, Isreal Olorundare, who insisted that the court must first determine the competence of his motion challenging the 42-count criminal charge preferred against his client by the EFCC as well as the legal standing of the lead prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, to handle the matter.

Presiding, Justice A. Y. Mohammed ordered that a criminal summon should be issued against the absentee accused persons.

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