NEWS

“I AM NOT ON THE RUN” CLAIMS SYLVA

Former Governor Sylva speaks

 

We can’t comment —EFCC
By Henry Umoru &  Samuel Oyadongha
ABUJA — Former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, yesterday, said he was not on the run from justice as reported by a section of the media.

Sylva in a statement by his media aide, Doifie Ola, said he had remained a private citizen since his removal from office by the Supreme Court and as such has the right to move freely wherever he wishes.

The former governor who expressed surprise why his whereabouts had become a subject of conjecture and controversy said he chose to maintain a low profile as he would not want his security compromised.

The statement reads: “With respect to insinuations in sections of the media on the whereabouts of Chief Timipre Sylva, especially since the Abuja High Court granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leave to paste its summons on the gate of his Abuja residence, we wish to clarify that Sylva is not on the run.

“He is not a fugitive from justice. Since January 27 when the Supreme Court removed him as Governor of Bayelsa State, Sylva has been a private citizen. As a private citizen, he has the right to move freely to wherever he wishes. It is surprising how his whereabouts had become a subject of conjecture and controversy.

“Sylva is a firm believer in the law and has been at the forefront of efforts to etch respect for law, rules and regulations on the national conscience.

“To set the record straight, Sylva has decided to keep a low profile because he does not want his security to be compromised. The whole world has been living witness to the brazen disrespect for our laws which those charged with the maintenance of law and order in the land have exhibited since the outbreak of their riotous governorship adventure in Bayelsa State. If those we all should rely on for our security could so blatantly run riot on our laws and liberties, it is not hard to determine the extent they can go against the one they have openly declared the target of all their illicit manoeuvres in the state.

“The charges brought against Sylva by EFCC are not new. They are charges for which some former and serving officials of the Bayelsa State Government have already been standing trial since April 2010.

“What the EFCC has done is to simply add Sylva’s name. Specifically, the suit brought against Sylva by the EFCC involves N2.45 billion Bayelsa State funds, not N6.450 billion as a section of the media has reported. This is because charges one, five and six refer to the same money. This is government money used for government business. Since 2010 when the matter went to court, no evidence has been produced by the prosecution to support the claim of money laundering and other financial crimes against any of the defendants.

“The last time we checked, no agency of the law has extended any invitation to Sylva, which he did not honour. As far as we know, he has not been declared wanted by any authority, local or international.

“Sylva is a believer and advocate of the rule of law. He is, as usual, undaunted and will face the current onslaught squarely. Sylva will take the necessary legal steps to discharge the present canards. We are happy that the Abuja High Court has fixed May 8, 2012 for Sylva to have his day in court. Our laws are clear that any accused person is innocent until proved guilty.”

On efforts the EFCC has made to reach the former governor, the commission’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the matter was already before the court and that as such, he would not comment on it.

 

He explained that since the former governor had been dragged before the court he expected the court to summon him.

Via Vanguard Newspapers

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