EFCC Drags Sacked Bayelsa Governor, Sylva To Court For Laundering N 5 billion

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday instituted criminal charges against Timipre Sylva, the former Governor of Bayelsa State who was sacked by the Supreme Court recently.  The anti-graft agency has accused the former Governor of laundering close to N5 billion belonging to Bayelsa state. Apart from money laundering, Sylva was also accused of conversion and obtaining by false pretence.

Many have envisaged that Sylva would run into trouble as he had fallen out with President Goodluck Jonathan who is presently Bayelsa’s biggest political export. They fell out when it became clear that Jonathan opposed the second term bid of the former Governor. There were rumours that the former Governor went as far as threatening to kill the President and his family members.

President Jonathan later threw his weight behind Seriake Dickson who emerged as the PDP’s candidate despite legal steps taken by Sylva to stall the primaries. Sylva’s case worsened when he was sacked by the Supreme Court sacked Sylva and some of his colleagues. Though there are insinuations that former Governor Sylva has fled to Ghana, speculations are rife that a bench warrant might be issued on him.

The Counts proffered against Sylva include:

That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did conspire to commit a crime to wit: conversion of properties and resources amounting to N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) belonging to Bayelsa State Government and derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said amount and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.

Count 2:

That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 22nd of January, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N380,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Eighty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Habibu Sani Maigidia, a Bureau De Change Operator with Account No. 221433478108, in Fin Bank, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.

Count 3:

That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Enson Benmer Limited with Account No. 6152030001946, in First Bank, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.

Count 4:

That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one John Daukoru with Account No. 04800250000418, in United Bank for Africa, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.

Count 5:

That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did conspire to commit a crime to wit: inducing Union Bank, Plc, with the intent to defraud, to deliver to Bayelsa State Government the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira), under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004.

Count 6:

That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court induced Union Bank, Plc, with the intent to defraud, to grant an overdraft facility of the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) to the Bayelsa State Government under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

 

 

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