The police said they have a strong case against the Bayelsa officials.
The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Friday; his deputy, Victor Sam-Afeki; and the Clerk of the Assembly, Aaron Timiye, will be in court soon as the police have concluded plans to arraign them for conspiracy and fraudulent misappropriation of N78 million of the state’s fund.
A legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution to the police and made available to PREMIUM TIMES indicates that the police have a “prima facie of conspiracy and fraudulent misappropriation and stealing by conversion of public funds against the leadership of the present Bayelsa State House of Assembly.”
The document stated that Messrs Konbowei, Sam-Afeki and Timiye diverted money purportedly meant for a conference for the leadership of the house. The document exonerated other members of the house on the ground that they were not meant to take part in the conference but were mere observers. It however advised the prosecutor that other members of the house can be used as witness during trial.
It is not clear why the police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) decided not to prosecute other members of the assembly as the document indicated they also partook in the sharing of the money:
“As perusal of the case file reveals the sum of (N21,923,000.00) Twenty-one million nine hundred and twenty-three thousand naira has been refunded or paid back to the Bayelsa government treasury by both the House generally and by individual members of the house from the share of the money,” the DPP said.
However, the police stated that it expected the speaker, his deputy and the clerk of the house to pay the balance of N56.77 million as “restitution to make up for the misappropriated and converted public fund to the treasury of the Bayelsa State government as the use of the money could not be justified for public interest.”
The accused are to be charged in a Bayelsa High Court.
According to the police document, the money they stole belongs to the Bayelsa State Government which makes the state the appropriate place to charge them.
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