Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva denied ownership of 48 houses in Abuja. We all know that Sylva, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been having problems for quite sometime now. It all started when he was under investigations for an alleged massive fraud of N19bn and then he was arraigned by EFCC on a 50 count charge but the matter was struck out. But the drama won’t end there as the EFCC was said to have sealed off 48 houses which allegedly belonged to Sylva according to reports from Punch.
Nevertheless, Sylva claims to own only three houses in Abuja, the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, insists that the ex-governor owns the 48 houses and that the commission had begun fresh moves to re-arraign Sylva before the Court of Appeal. The current victory recorded by Ex Governor Sylva enabled him reclaimed ownership of his 48 houses.
But in a statement on Monday issued by his Media Adviser Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, Sylva denied ownership of the houses, insisting that he owned only three houses in Abuja. He described the report as “strange, speculative and malicious; as he does not own 48 buildings in Abuja or anywhere in the world.” according to Punch.
The statement reads
“We have read a report in a national newspaper, which was reproduced by a few online publications and in the social media, claiming that Chief Timipre Sylva had “retrieved 48 of his property which the EFCC seized during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
“We view this report with disgust, given its unconcealed speculation and vindictiveness regarding such a sensitive matter.
“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.
“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.”
However, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the existence of the houses to Punch correspondent on the telephone.
He said the anti-graft agency had filed an appeal at the Appellate Court demanding that Sylva should not have access to the properties.
Uwujaren said, “I have just spoken to Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) who is in charge of the case. He confirmed to me that the EFCC has begun moves to appeal the case, which means that he (Sylva) should have no access to the houses.”
Some of the houses, according to Uwujaren, include: a mansion at 3, River Niger Street, Plot 3192 Cadastral Zone AO, Maitama District, Abuja; nine units (comprising six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments) at 8, Sefadu Street, Wuse, Zone 2, Plot 262 Cadastral Zone AO2, Wuse, Abuja, and two duplexes at 5, Oguta Street, Plot 906 Cadastral Zone, Wuse II, Abuja.
Others include a duplex on Plot 1271 Nike Street, Cadastral Zone AO5, Maitama District, Abuja; a duplex at Phase 1 Unit No. 1 (Villa 1) Palm Springs Gold Estate, Cachez Turkey Projects Limited, Mpape, Abuja; 10 units of one-room apartments at 8 Mistrata Street, Plot 232 Cadastral Zone, Wuse II, Abuja; five units duplexes on Plot No 1070 Dakibiyu District, Cadastral Zone B10, Abuja; 16 units service apartments at Plot 1181 Thaba Tseka Crescent, off IBB Way, Wuse II, Abuja, and 3 units of three-bedroom flats at No. 1 Mubi Close, Plot 766 Cadastral Zone A01, Garki, Abuja.
We say, amazing.