By Ola Adeola
Timipre Sylva, former Bayelsa governor, has denied owning 48 properties in Abuja as ascribed to him in multiple reports. The properties were the ones said to have been seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from the former governor and had just been returned to him.
Sylva, in a statement by his aide, Doifie Buokoribo, described the report as ‘strange, speculative and malicious’. Sylva also threatened to sue publishers of “wholly speculative and vindictive report.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, Sylva does not own 48 buildings in Abuja or anywhere in the world. So the issue of reclaiming ‘48 houses’ does not arise”, the statement said.
“He has only three houses in Abuja, which he built before he became the governor of Bayelsa State. This point has been made several times before, and neither EFCC nor those who had used EFCC as a tool of persecution against Sylva during the Goodluck Jonathan administration have contradicted this fact.
“EFCC had taken their allegations of property ownership against Sylva to several courts without establishing anything against the former governor during the Jonathan era. Beyond the commission’s routine media prosecution, no court of law has found Sylva guilty of any crime. Indeed, in the course of the trials at the Federal High Court, Abuja, owners of some of the properties wrongfully attributed to him joined to claim their houses. The court ruled on the matter of the said 48 properties since 2013. Why is it now a subject of media attention? Clearly, this is a sponsored publication.
Slyva also accused EFCC of using the media against him, adding the agency istrying to burnish its battered image.
“After failing to prove any crime against Sylva in a democratic court of law for the past four years, this latest media show is another desperate attempt to rubbish him politically.”