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N2bn Loan Scam: Court Grants Sylva Bail

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ABUJA, June 07, (THWILL) - Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva was on Thursday granted bail by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, after the trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello said he found merit in the submissions of Sylva’s counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).

“I am persuaded by the submission of the learned senior advocate as well as the contents of the affidavit in support of the bail application, and hereby exercise the discretion of the court in favour of the applicant,” Justice Bello said.

“He is hereby granted bail in the sum of N100 million and one surety in like sum. The surety must be resident in Abuja and must be an owner of a landed property worth the bail sum. The title document of the property must be deposited with the court registrar for verification before the release of the applicant from custody.”

The former governor was equally ordered to deposit his International passport with the court, meaning he cannot travel out of the country without obtaining leave of the court.

Sylva, whose trial is to commence on 19th September, was arraigned before the court last Tuesday on a six-count charge of financial crime involving a N2bn loan his administration obtained from Union Bank Plc for the augmentation of salaries of the state's civil servants.

He was alleged to have connived with some state officials and other people currently at large in defrauding the state of N2bn while he held the reins of the state.

“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 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 1 of the charges reads.