The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday re-arraigned Ziriki Timipre Godwill and Wenibowei Moses Michael, former aides of Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa State.
The duo who served as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Persons Living with Disabilities and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Youth and Conflict Management respectively were re-arraigned before Justice Kate Abiri of the State High Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state on a four-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.
They were first arraigned on the 4th of March, 2013 before Justice J.A Ajuwa Suo Motu of the State High Court.
But the case file had to be returned to the Chief Judge for re-assignment after the trial judge revealed that the 1st accused attends the same church with him.
Zikiri and Moses allegedly conspired and diverted the sum of ten million naira (N10, 000,000.00) approved by Governor Sylva for non- indigenes welfare.
They however, pleaded not guilty to the amended charge when it was read to them
One of the charges reads, “that you Zikiri Timipre Godwill on or about the month of August, 2011 at Yenagoa in the Yenagoa Judicial Division while you were a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the former Bayelsa State Governor, His Excellency, Timipre Sylva on Persons Living with Disabilities did steal the sum of Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira(N4,500.000.00) property of Bayelsa State Government being a part of the take-off grant approved by the former Governor of Bayelsa State for the office of Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Non-Indigenes Welfare and thereby Committed an offence contrary to Section 317(5) of the Criminal Code Law Vol.1 CAP C14 Laws of the Bayelsa State 2006”.
In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, A.I Arogha sought the leave of the court to commence trial as some of the prosecuting witnesses were on hand and ready to testify.
The defence counsel, Eric Deri and Prince D.O Ejinyere, however prayed that the accused persons be granted bail on the previous terms offered them by the court.
Justice Abiri granted the accused persons bail and adjourned the matter till February 28, and March 14 and 17, 2014 for hearing.