EFCC takes possession of ex-Bayelsa gov’s - My houses are intact - Sylvaproperties
Category: Lead stories Written by Ronald Mutum
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday said it carried out an interim forfeiture order and took possession of 48 properties of the former governor of Bayelsa state, Mr. Timpre Sylva, who is being prosecuted at a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged misappropriation of N6.46 billion state funds when he was governor of the state.Spokesman of the commission Wlson Uwujaren said in a statement that the anti-graft agency yesterday took possession of the properties in fulfillment of the order to attach Sylva’s properties which was granted by Justice A. R Mohammed on December 28, 2012.
The properties taken over by EFCC, according to the statement include a mansion at 3 River Niger Street, plot 3192 Cadastral zone AO, Maitama District Abuja; nine units (comprising six one bedroom and 3 two bedroom apartments) at 8 Sefadu Street Wuse zone 2, plot 262 Cadastral zone AO2, Wuse Abuja; 2 units duplexes at 5 Oguta Street, plot 906 Cadastral zone Wuse 11 Abuja.
Others are a duplex at Plot 1271 Nike Street Cadastral zone AO5, Maitama District Abuja; a duplex at Phase 1 Unit No. 1 (Villa 1) Palm Springs Gold Estate, Cachez Turkey Projects Limited, Mpape, Abuja; 10 units of one room apartments at 8 Mistrata Street plot 232 Cadastral zone Wuse 11 Abuja; 5 units duplexes at Plot No 1070 Dakibiyu District Cadastral zone B10, Abuja; 16 units service apartments at Plot 1181 Thaba Tseka Crescent, Off IBB Way, Wuse 11, Abuja and 3 units of three bedroom flats at No. 1 Mubi Close, Plot 766. Cadastral Zone A01, Garki, Abuja.
But in a swift reaction, Sylva who spoke through his Media Adviser Doifie Ola said the claims by EFCC are completely misleading because the houses in question were not his.
Sylva said he was not surprised knowing that it was a style “in line with EFCC’s known bully-boy tactics and media hysteria.”
A statement signed by the former governor’s spokesman reads: “The houses in question do not belong to Sylva” stressing that “Sylva’s properties are intact and fully covered by the order validly issued by Justice M.M. Kolo of the Abuja High Court on 27 December 2012.
The statement further said: “Sylva had applied to the court for “an interim order of court for the service of the originating process on the respondent to serve as a stay of all actions in respect of the properties - plot no 262, Cadastral Zone A02, Wuse 1, District, Abuja, plot 3192, located within Cadastral zone A06 Maitama District, Abuja, plot 232, Cadastral Zone A07,(No. 8 Mistrata Street; Wuse II, Abuja) - by the respondents, their agents, privies, representative or any other person deriving his/her authority from them; either by sealing off, confiscating, ejecting any person from the properties, trespassing into the properties or doing any other thing how ever so described relating to the said properties pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.’ This application was granted and hearing in the matter is fixed for 04 January 2013.
“Justice A.R. Mohammed never granted any temporary asset forfeiture order to the EFCC on 21 December 2012. Rather he directed EFCC to put Sylva on notice and the substantive matter is fixed for 10 January 2013.
“EFCC as a creation of the law cannot be seen to be acting lawlessly, and with impunity,” the statement added.
Sylva was first arraigned on Tuesday June 5, 2012 with a six count charge of fraud and money laundering.
“The substantive suit is adjourned to 10th January, 2013,” the EFCC statement said.