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Bayelsa Gov: APC May Dump Sylva Over Alleged N19.5bn Scam

With  agency report

The governorship ambition of former Bayelsa State governor, Mr Timipre Sylva may be scuttled if the rumour from the party leadership turns out to be true.
Sylva has charges of N19.5billion filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a reliable source from his party , the All Pro­gressives Congress (APC) national head office, yesterday said that President Muhammadu Buhari does not feel at ease with him flying the flag of the party over the charges that have not been cleared after an initial one that dismiss by the court on technicalities.
The source also indicated that the leadership of the party particularly the president is not comfortable fielding him as the candidate of APC in the December governorship election because of the corruption charges yet to be cleared.
The party leadership, according to our source, may on Monday ask Sylva to shelve his ambition for the image and integrity of the party.
The party maybe better aligned to other candidates without any integrity baggage as the APC government lays claim to serious bent to anti corruption disposition.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed fresh charg­es against Sylva at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Sylva is charged alongside Francis Okokuro, Gbenga Balogun, and Sam­uel Ogbuku. They are being prosecut­ed for allegedly using three companies – Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Cater­ing Services Limited, and Haloween- Blue Construction and Logistics Lim­ited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false pretence of us­ing the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government work­ers.
The charges by EFCC were before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Fed­eral High Court who dismissed the 42-count charge of stealing brought against Sylva and his co-accused by the EFCC, on grounds that the pros­ecution’s application to consolidate the charges against the defendants amounted to an abuse of court pro­cess. EFCC faulted the ruling as being premature, since the accused persons had not taken any plea before the court.
The action of the trial judge stalled the move by the anti-graft agency to consolidate the charges against the former governor having, days earlier, withdrawn similar charges pending before Justice E.S. Chukwu of the same court.
EFCC said it still awaits the assign­ment of the case to another judge to pave way for the arraignment of Sylva and others.
Sylva was declared winner of the APC governorship primaries of last Monday in Yenagoa but later annulled by the ALC national secretariat for lacking credibility.

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