ABUJA—Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday, challenged the jurisdiction of a Federal High Court, Abuja, to try him on a fresh 42-count charge, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In the objection by his lawyer, Mr. Isreal Olorundare, SAN, Sylva insisted that the anti-graft agency ought to have filed the charge in Bayelsa State where the alleged offence was committed.
He was accused in the charge of using three separate companies to siphon the sum of N19.2 billion from the state treasury.
He maintained that the Federal High Court in Abuja lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the charge, since none of the particulars of the crime levelled against him took place within the Federal Capital Territory.
Sequel to the preliminary objection, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, could not take the plea of the former governor.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned to May 16, to determine Sylva’s contention, as well as another preliminary objection that was filed by one of the accused persons in the matter.
Others the EFCC accused of complicity in the alleged fraud were Mr. Francis Okokuro, Mr. Gbenga Balogun, Samuel Ogbuku and the three companies, Marlin Maritime Ltd, Eat Catering Services Ltd, and Haloween- Blue Construction & Logistics Ltd.