N6.5 billion theft: Court remands former Bayelsa State governor in EFCC custody

Channels Television  
Updated June 5, 2012

A Federal High court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday remanded former Bayelsa State governor, Timiprie Sylva in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) until Thursday 7 June when the court will decide on his bail application.

Mr Sylva who voluntarily appeared in court even with speculations that he is outside the country is standing trial for alleged corruption and conversion of N6.5 billion belonging to Bayelsa State for personal use.

The former governor took a not guilty plead to the six count corruption charges read to him by the Clark of the court.

He there after asked for bail through his counsel Lateef Fagbemi who told the court that the charges against Mr Sylva are offences that will allow the defendant bail until his guilt or otherwise is proven.

He asked the court to take notice that the accused appeared in the court voluntarily and will continue to do so.

Mr Fagbemi added that the court should also be lenient with the conditions of bail.

Opposing the bail application, counsel to EFCC, Festus Keyamo argued that the accused had evaded service for several months and that such a person cannot be trusted to be available through out the trial.

Mr Keyamo told the court that though the offences for which the former governor is standing trial are bail-able, it is not enough to secure bail as bail still lies at the discretion of the court.

Haven listened to the two lawyers the trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello fixed ruling for Thursday 7 June while remanding the former governor in prison custody.

However, based on the agreement between the prosecuting and defence counsels, the presiding judge change his earlier pronouncement and remanded the former governor in the EFCC custody.