FG withdraws N2.45bn fraud suit against Timipre Sylva

It was learnt that the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. M.S. Diri, on Monday withdrew the N2.45bn fraud charges instituted against a former governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on May 18, 2015 re-arraigned Sylva on six counts of fraud before Justice Evoh Chukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

But the EFCC, represented by its Assistant Director, Legal and Prosecution, Mr. J.O Ojogbane, said the anti-graft agency was not part of the decision to withdraw the charges.

Following the withdrawal of the former prosecuting counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, from the case on May 25, 2015, it was handed over to the DPP.

But instead of the DPP appearing in court on Monday for the commencement of trial, he issued a fiat to a private lawyer, O.J Nnadi (SAN), to continue prosecuting the case.

Nnadi, during the Monday’s proceedings tendered the freshly issued fiat before the court and told the judge that the EFCC had instructed him to withdraw the suit.

He then urged the court to strike out the case.

He said, “We are ready for trial, but following the instruction this morning (Monday morning), EFCC directed that this charge be withdrawn.

“I received instruction from Ojogbane that this charge against the defendant be withdrawn. We urge this court to strike out the charge.”

But Ojogbane who appeared together with Nnadi and other lawyers for the prosecution, expressed surprise over the team leader’s claim that the EFCC gave the instruction for the withdrawal of the case.

The EFCC lawyer said, “I’m a little bit surprised by the submission of the learned silk (Nnadi).

“The instruction from my own Director, Legal and Prosecution of the EFCC, Mr. Chime Okoroma, is for me to appear with the DPP of the Federation who he said would be coming to court this morning to withdraw this charge on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation.

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