The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will today arraign former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, and six others on a 42-count amended charge of money laundering before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The other accused persons are Francis Okuburo, Gbenga S. Balogun, Samuel Ogbuku, Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited and Haloween Blue Construction and Logistics Limited
The former governor was first arrained in June for the alleged misappropriation of N6.46 billion state funds.
The anti-graft agency had in a suit number HC/ABJ/CR/23/2012, claimed that Sylva and the others fraudulently obtained N4 billion loans from Union Bank under the guise of using it to augment workers’ salaries.
The EFCC also alleged that the accused persons had in the same period converted properties and resources of the Bayelsa government amounting to N2 billion to personal use, and another N380 million worth of government property through a Fin Bank account No. 221433478108 belonging to one Habibu Maigida, a bureau de change operator on January 22, 2010
The EFCC further said that Sylva and his accomplices had on February 5, 2010, converted N50 million of the state’s funds through a First Bank account number 6152030001946 of Enson Benmer Ltd.
The EFCC said the offences contravene the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004.
Sylva, however, pleaded not guilty to the six-count charge but his re-arraignment, the Commission says, is sequel to fresh evidence linking him with a bouquet of fraudulent transactions that borders on money laundering to the tune of N19.2 billion during his tenure as governor of Bayelsa State between 2009-2012.