N19.2bn Fraud Allegation: Sylva Knows Fate Wednesday | Independent Newspapers Limited
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N19.2bn Fraud Allegation: Sylva Knows Fate Wednesday

Posted: Jun 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Hassan Zaggi, Abuja


Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, June 9, 2015, will decide on the fraud case involving former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva.

Sylva is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly colluding with three others and using three companies to defraud Bayelsa State to the tune of N19.2 billion. .

Those who allegedly colluded with Sylva, according to the EFCC, are Francis Okonkwo, Gbenga Balogun and Samuel Ogbuku, while the three companies are Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited.

In the charge against he accused, the prosecution said they moved about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false pretence of using the money to augment salaries of the government workers in the state.

At the last adjourned date, the trial judge had fixed Monday, June 8, 2015 for ruling on two pending applications by the defendants challenging the competence of the charge and the jurisdiction of the court.

However, rather than give a ruling on Monday as expected, the case only came up for mention in court.

Mohammed said, “Hearing is already concluded, but certain issues have now come up, which will delay ruling as was expected.”

He attributed the new development to a letter dated June 1, 2015, which he received from counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs.

He said that the prosecution was requesting to amend the charges against Sylva, because “the case against Sylva before Justice E. S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court had been withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecution.”

He noted that the prosecution, according to the letter, intended to consolidate the charges against Sylva.

Mohammed, thereafter, adjourned till June 10, 2015 to give his ruling, noting that the content of the letter must be part of the proceedings.