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Sylva accuses EFCC of political vendetta

By  Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa— Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of political vendetta.

The governor also raised alarm over an alleged plot by some political elements to destabilize the state.

Governor Sylva spoke Tuesday evening shortly after visiting the Medium Security Prison, Kuje, Abuja, to share in the difficult moments of the detained state government treasury officials currently standing trial for alleged financial misconduct.

The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Doifie Ola, condemned the EFCC for trying desperately to compromise the laws of the land which state that an accused must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Accountant General, Mr. Francis Okokuro, Director of Treasury, Mr. Abott Clinton, and his predecessor, Mr. Anthony Ikhoboh, were taken into custody by the EFCC on 16 March 2010.

They were charged to court after over a week in EFCC detention, despite securing a court order from the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, directing their release.

The Federal High Court trying them for alleged corruption subsequently ordered that they be kept at Kuje Prisons until the case comes up on 13 April 2010.

They have, however, filed an application for bail, which will be ruled upon today.

The statement quoted Chief Sylva as saying that  “The EFCC has continued to treat these officers as if they are already guilty when the allegations against them have not been tested in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The allegations against the Bayelsa State officials are steeped in politics. As far as our laws go, the EFCC is not a political party. This is a commission that was established for the purpose of fighting corruption. Regrettably, it has chosen to dabble into politics.”

The governor, according to the statement, revealed that the state government has uncovered a plot by a few political elements, supported by highly placed individuals, to stage protests in the state capital  in the same way same agents of destabilizations moved against ex-Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

He warned political leaders in the state and beyond not to set in motion a chain of events, the end of  which they were not in a position to determine.


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