Judge Erred In Law By Dismissing Fraud Case Against Ex-Gov. Sylva – EFCC

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efcc-sylvaThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday faulted the ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which dismissed the case of alleged N19.2 billion fraud levelled against a former Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva.

The anti-graft commission’s position was contained in a statement by its head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.

According to the statement, the trial judge, Justice A.R Mohammed erred in law by dismissing the case even when the accused persons had not taken any plea.

It said no proof of evidence was placed before the court and trial had also not commenced.

“The dismissal of the charge by Justice Mohammed, following the application of the Commission to consolidate the charges against the former governor and his accomplices, does not amount to a discharge or an acquittal, and it does not preclude the power of the agency to bring fresh charges against the defendants”, the statement read.

The Court had dismissed the case Wednesday, accusing the EFCC of abusing the court process.

The court’s decision came more than a week after the EFCC withdrew part of the charges – a N2 billion fraud case – against the former governor because similar charges were pending against him in two other Federal High Courts in Abuja.

The anti-graft agency wanted to consolidate all the charges against Mr. Sylva, who is a senior member of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC.

His other co-accused are Francis Okokwo, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku.

They were accused by the EFCC of 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Limited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State treasury between 2009 and 2012, under false pretext of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.

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