FOR the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, it is not yet freedom as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday filed a six-count charge against him for allegedly stealing N6.5 billion belonging to the state government.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the offences were committed between 2009 and 2010 at various places, including Abuja, in breach of Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.
In the charge sheet signed by Festus Keyamo, who is prosecuting on behalf of EFCC, the anti-corruption agency alleged that “Timipre Sylva, as governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010 conspired to convert properties and resources amounting to N2 billion belonging to Bayelsa State government and derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said amount, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.
Sylva and others are also being accused of converting N380million, 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 he knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act.
The former governor is facing trial for allegedly converting another N50 million property of the state government, through the account of one Enson Benmer Limited with Account No. 6152030001946, in First Bank, Plc just as he was alleged to have converted yet another N20 million property of the government, through the account of one John Daukoru with Account No. 04800250000418 in United Bank for Africa Plc.
Other charges against Sylva include that sometime between October 2009 and February 2010 he conspired with others to induce Union Bank, Plc, with the intent to defraud, to deliver to Bayelsa State government N2 billion under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the state government.
The former Bayelsa governor is to face trial for also allegedly inducing Union Bank, Plc, with the intent to defraud, to grant an overdraft facility of N2 billion to the state government under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the government.