Court frees Timipre Sylva of N19.2bn Fraud Charges
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the N19.2bn fraud charges instituted against a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva.
This came nine days after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission dropped six counts of N2.45bn against him.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, by Wednesday ruling on a notice of preliminary objection filed by Sylva, dismissed the N19.2bn charges as an abuse of court process. This brought to an end all pending EFCC cases against the former governor.
The judge held on Wednesday that the N19.2bn charge instituted against Sylva by the EFCC was an abuse of court process since it was based on the same set of transactions involved in the N2.45bn charge that was recently dropped.
Justice Evoh Chukwu of the same Federal High Court in Abuja had on June 1, 2015, struck out the six counts of N2.45bn charges, after the EFCC filed and moved an application withdrawing them.
But Justice Mohammed also held on Wednesday that the EFCC attempted to interfere with the administration of justice by withdrawing the N2.45bn charges after the court had heard and adjourned for ruling on Sylva’s notice of preliminary objection complaining of the multiplicity of the charges filed against him by the EFCC.
The judge also held that the withdrawal of the charges before Justice Chukwu was an admission on the part of the prosecution that the N19.2bn charges were an abuse of court process.
Justice Mohammed held, “It is thus clear that even with the withdrawal of charge at Court 8, when a ruling is being awaited in the application to quash the charge before this court, is in itself an abuse of court process.
“The withdrawal of the charge at Court 8 (Justice Chukwu’s court) is clearly intended to interfere with the decision of the court on the motion dated May 15, 2015 (Sylva’s notice of preliminary objection).
“It is nothing but an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice.
“It is also a clear admission that by the prosecution that both charges in Court 8 and this court should not exist side by side.”
Full story at PunchNG