N6.46bn fraud: EFCC opposes Sylva's bid to travel abroad

By The Rainbow

The Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Adamu Bello on Tuesday adjourned to May 30, ruling on the

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opposed the application by Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa State, seeking the release of his International passport.

Mr. Sylva in his motion claimed that he wanted his international passport to enable him travel to the United Kingdom to attend to his wife who is to undergo a surgical operation.

The former governor was charged to court by the EFCC for allegedly misappropriating Bayelsa funds totaling N6.46 billion when he was governor.

At the hearing, the prosecution counsel, John Ainetor, asked the court to refuse and dismiss the application in the interest of justice, saying granting such an application might hamper the course of justice..

According to him, there was nothing compelling in the former governor's request since he was not the one that would undergo medical treatment.

He said accused did not need any medical attention personally, but only wanted to accompany his wife who he claims needed medical attention.

The EFCC counsel also revealed that there were pending allegations against the accused person and his wife and that the trip was a ploy to escape current investigation and possible trial.

Sylva's counsel, Mr. O.I. Olorondaye, said he had filed a motion seeking the release of the applicant's international passport brought pursuant to section 33, 36 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution. The application was supported with an eleven paragraph affidavit and written address.

Mr. Olurondaye told the court that the former governor had given an undertaking that as soon as he returns from overseas, he would return the passport to the registrar of the court. He further stated that the accused person always come to court regularly.

The defence counsel further told the court that the accused person surrendered himself voluntarily to the court in June 2012 when he was arraigned. He reminded the court that the passport was released to the accused last year to enable him travel and that upon his return, he brought it back to the court.

Justice Bello adjourned the case to May 30 for ruling on the application.