N19.2billion fraud: Court defers case against ex-Bayelsa governor, Sylva

Nigeria's minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva,
Nigeria's minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva,

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday deferred the case against a former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva, who is accused of stealing N19.2billion from the state treasury while he governed the state between 2007 and 2011.

Mr. Sylva’s case failed to resume Tuesday as scheduled after
​the ​judge, A. Y. Mohamed sent in words through one of his assistants that ruling on the case was not ready.

The case was adjourned to May 14 following the judge’s request that the counsel agree on a new date.

The ruling on Mr. Sylva’s case had earlier been adjourned for ruling Tuesday on an application filed by the third accused, Gbenga Balogun, through his counsel, Israel Olorundare.

Mr. Balogun had prayed the court to first determine the legal standing of the lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs to handle the matter. He also asked the court to determine his motion challenging the competence of the 42-count charge against the accused.

The ex-governor alongside his co-accused, Francis Okonkwo, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku, were alleged to have used three companies – Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to fraudulently siphon money belonging to Bayelsa State during his tenure as governor.

The money was collected under the false pretence of using the withdrawn cash to augment salaries of the state government workers.


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