TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

When A Supposed Saint Is Ushered In By An Accused Thief - A Clarion Call For A Clean Beginning

By Femmy Lawson
Listen to article

The National Youth Democratic Vanguard NYDV wishes to use this meduim to once again state our express opinion on the on the State of the Nation and our resolve to defend the integrity of the Nigerian nation and avoid situations that seeks to threaten our nation’s democracy. The Nigerian Nation at a new beginning is starting off in the hands of the accused despite the assurances of the President elect, General Muhammadu Buhari that he will fight corruption. It is amazing that the accusers belonging to same party with the accused has deliberately kept silent in the present circumstance. We as a people and a group cannot pretend that all is well. As the transition process for a new government started, it came to us as a rude shock that a personality accused and standing trials with a number of his assets seized has been appointed to head the Inauguration committee of the APC and General Muhammad Buhari a supposed saint and anti corruption crusader. Where then is the purity and where lies the assurance that there is a will to fight corruption when the corrupt gets to lead. For the avoidance of doubt, here are the allegations as advanced by Festus Keyamo, the prosecutor for the EFCC against Mr. Timipre Sylva, a former Governor of Bayelsa state and now head of Inauguration committee of the APC. In a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Sylva was accused and still standing trial on the following count charges:

COUNT 1: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did conspire to commit a crime to wit: conversion of properties and resources amounting to N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) belonging to Bayelsa State Government and derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said amount and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.

COUNT 2: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 22nd of January, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N380,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Eighty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Habibu Sani Maigidia, a Bureau De Change Operator with Account No. 221433478108, in Fin Bank, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.

COUNT 3: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Enson Benmer Limited with Account No. 6152030001946, in First Bank, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.

COUNT 4: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one John Daukoru with Account No. 04800250000418, in United Bank for Africa, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.

COUNT 5: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did conspire to commit a crime to wit: inducing Union Bank, Plc, with the intent to defraud, to deliver to Bayelsa State Government the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira), under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004.

COUNT 6: That you, Timipre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court induced Union Bank, Plc, with the intent to defraud, to grant an overdraft facility of the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) to the Bayelsa State Government under the false pretence of using the amount to augment salaries of the Bayelsa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

Over the years, we have maintained that this nation deserves only our best to rule us, hence our consistent struggle for SYSTEM CHANGE in the direction of unblemished transformation of the Nigerian society. Irrespective of the party that rules in the nation, we cannot afford to be led by individuals that has track records of impunity and corruption let alone at transition period like this, lest we be a laughing stock. · There is the fundamental issue of change. To achieve change we must build a Genuine Working People’s Alternative devoid of corrupt personalities.

While we strongly hope that the anti-corruption mantra of General Buhari, on which platform he secured the mandate of Nigerians will not end up being a mere sloganeering, we wish to call the attention of Nigerians to the likely tendencies that may raise its head in the days ahead as we call on Nigerians to ensure that every promises of Change made by General Buhari and the APC towards the 2015 elections does not end up as a “change of promises”.

God bless Nigeria.
Olufemi Lawson,
National Coordinator