Posted by News Express | 9 May 2013 | 4,159 times
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has explained why it re-arrested immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, late yesterday morning. Sylva, who had been arrested and released on bail in the past, was picked up at his No. 3, Niger Street, Maitama, home in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
“He is being grilled in connection with fresh evidence linking him with a bouquet of fraudulent transactions that borders on money laundering. Part of the new evidence includes a number of eye-popping real estate acquisitions in Abuja,” said EFCC Acting Head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement.
“The arrest of the former governor is sequel to his refusal to honour invitations by the Commission. Rather than appear before the EFCC, he got his lawyers to inform the Commission that he was unable to appear because he was sick, and hospitalised in Lagos. The lawyer had promised to appear with his client on May 7, 2013 but failed to do so,” Uwujaren added.
He disclosed that “on arrival at the facility at about 10.00 am, the Commission’s operatives were told that the ex-governor was not in town but they insisted on conducting a search of the house having obtained a warrant from the court.”
The EFCC spokesman said that “during the search, vital documents were obtained,” adding: “Ironically, the ex-governor who was said to be out of town was later found hiding in a dingy corner in the upper chamber of his expansive mansion. He was immediately whisked away and is currently being interrogated at the Abuja headquarters of the anti-graft agency.”
Uwujaren warned that EFCC would no longer “tolerate the antics of suspects who treat its invitations with levity.”
News Express reports that Sylva, who ruled Bayelsa from May 29, 2007, was removed on court orders on January 27 last year at the height of his quarrel with President Goodluck Jonathan, his Ijaw kinsman and whom he succeeded as governor. He has been having running battles with the EFCC since his ouster.
•Photo shows Timipre Sylva after his arrest.
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