DPP Withdraws Charges Against Sylva | Independent Newspapers Limited
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DPP Withdraws Charges Against Sylva

Posted: Jun 2, 2015 at 9:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo –  Abuja

The Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, M.S Diri, on Monday withdrew the N2.45billion fraud charges instituted against a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charges were withdrawn on the grounds that a similar charge was pending against Sylva before another judge of the Federal High Court.

Sylva was accused of offences, including conversion of various sums of money belonging to the state with the aim of concealing their illicit origins.

He was accused of knowing the illegal sources of the money and allegedly converted the funds through the bank accounts of a Bureau de Change operator, a company and other individuals in order to conceal their illicit origin.

He was also accused of inducing Union Bank Plc to fraudulently grant him a N2bn overdraft facility under the pretext of using the money to augment workers’ salary.

He allegedly committed the offences in conspiracy with other unnamed persons said to be at large.

The EFCC had on May 18, 2015 re-arraigned Sylva before Justice Evoh Chukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

But the EFCC, represented by its Assistant Director, Legal and Prosecution, J.O Ojogbane, said the anti-graft agency was not part of the decision to withdraw the charges.

Mr Festus Keyamo, who was intially prosecuting the case, withdrew last week following which the case was handed over to the DPP.

The case was then given to another private lawyer, O.J. Nnadi, SAN for prosecution.

Nnadi, during the Monday’s proceedings tendered the fiat given to him before the court and told the judge that the EFCC had instructed him to withdraw the suit.

He then urged the court to strike out the case.

He said, “We are ready for trial, but following the instruction this morning, EFCC directed that this charge be withdrawn. I received instruction from Ojogbane that this charge against the defendant be withdrawn. We urge this court to strike out the charge.”