A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Kpodo, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow a former governor of the State and now candidate of the party’s candidate in the December 5 governorship election, Timipre Sylva, to face prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC).
Sylva, who was governor of the state for five years between 2007 to 2011 had been in and out of the EFCC over financial offences allegedly committed while in office.
However, the EFCC had been unable to prosecute Sylva on the said offences because of what is believed to be his “solid connection” with some influential citizens in the Presidency.
Kpodo the letter dated October 16, 2015, Kpodo raised a lot of questions on Sylva’s case and its implications on the image and integrity of President Buhari and his administration in the war against corruption.
The APC chieftain who claimed that about N1.4trilion accrued to the state coffers during a five-year period under Sylva but without anything to show for such huge expenditure, said inability to prosecute Sylva based on “clear cases of corruption” will invariably justify the accusation that the Buhari administration is biased in its fight against corruption.
According to him, while leading figures in the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan were being prosecuted like the case of former Petroleum Minister, Diezeani Allison-Maduake in Britain, others like Sylva were being covered, stating further that the impression was being created that it is only the enemies or opponents of the APC-led federal government that could only be prosecuted for financial crimes offences.
He stated: “It is a known fact that Chief Timipre Sylva, who has been charged with barrage of criminal charges by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is allowed, as usual, to walk with the flag of the party for the December 5 election despite protests. He was even accorded the position of Deputy Chairman of the Transition Committee of the present administration. Are we now robbing Peter to pay Paul? Is this not a game plan to discredit the hard work of your administration and the APC?
“How can a man that had over N1.4trillion accrued to his administration in five years and fail to justify the spending? Sylva had all the State monies from the Ecological fund, the Federal Allocation and many others, but yet left the state with huge debt profile. The issue of non-prosecution of Chief Timipre Sylva is being counted against your administration and the APC by the people.
“Many asked if the Anti-corruption posture of your administration is targeted to fight the enemies and the opposition under the last administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan or to protect friends hiding under the progressive status of the All Progressive Congress (APC).? And we agreed that though the fight against corruption is total as promised by you, the Sylva’s issue must be allowed to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted by the EFCC”.
The party leader drew Buhari’s attention to a disturbing accusation that a powerful cabal was already existing in the Aso Villa which he said had been deciding those to face prosecution or otherwise. These power brokers, he noted, included the National Security Adviser to the President, the Secretary to the government of the federation, the Nigerian military and others he said were behind the covering of Timipre Sylva over prosecution.
He was emphatic that Sylva has a “strong relationship” with these listed individuals or bodies and prosecuting him won’t be in their strategic interest.
“A cabal has been formed within the Presidency and providing embarrassing cover to some selected persons, including Chief Timipre Sylva. We are worried that they are deep in the corridors of your Presidency and have become known to the people.
What we have continued to ask is why is this cabal protecting Timipre Sylva? Why are they not allowing him to be prosecuted? Why are they out to rubbishing you and the APC? Why did they rubbish the hard earned reputation of the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiohmole and the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for the advancement of Chief Sylva? Is it meant to get power in Bayelsa and advance their shady oil interest? he asked.
“It is laughable that the cabal has arrogated power to themselves and playing “God” with the future of the APC and your administration”, he further noted.
Kpodo also accused the alleged cabal of plotting to rig the December 5 governorship election in the state, warning of the consequences as he said the people will resist any imposition of Sylva on them as governor “by
“It’s to the greatest interest on President Buhari, his administration and history that the Niger Delta must not be allowed to be thrown into chaos again over any selfish and irresponsible action. The president must be a statesman”, he said.
He stated that in furtherance of their agenda to rig the election, they have also resorted to dropping names of key security operatives and strategic leaders of national institutions to deceive the people and security apparatus in Bayelsa State.
“They claimed to have your National Security Adviser (NSA), Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Nigerian Military and others in their list of “contingency support” for the election. Today, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is making progress with the coming December 5 Governorship election in Bayelsa State. But the progress made by the party, so far, is worrisome because it is tainted with fraud.
“How is he (Sylva) expected to carry out change in Bayelsa under the APC? Sylva is a name synonymous with death, blood and violence”, he asserted.
According to Kpodo, Sylva represented the old way in Bayelsa, adding that if the APC, Sylva and his alleged cabal in Abuja believed they could deploy the federal might against the people of the State to rig the election, they were wrong.
“We, the APC members, will “sidon look” and allow the people to decide”, he stated.