The appointment of Former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva as head of the president-elect’s transition committee on Thursday, April 23, 2015, sent shock waves all around especially as President Goodluck Jonathan’s choice of transition committee members received a lot of backlash from the All Progressive Congress as they pointed out that the committee was made up of people with ‘questionable character’.
It would be recalled that in May 2013, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), invited Chief Sylva to their office to be questioned for offences bordering on fraud and fund embezzlement amounting to billions of naira. He refused to honour that invitation and as soon as he wasn’t returned as governor of Bayelsa State, the EFCC swooped down on him storming his Abuja residence, when the security guard said that Sylva was out of town, they forcefully decided to search the house and they found Silva crouched in a corner hiding from accountability.
Even though he has not been indicted by any court, the mere fact that he has a corruption charge to the tune of N19 billion should have served as a deterrent to Gen. Buhari not to appoint him as the head of his transition committee because he (Buhari), came in riding on the waves of waging an anti corruption war.
His trial resumes today Tuesday, April 28, 2015, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed. He is accused of using three companies to commit the money laundering offences between 2009 and 2012 when he was governor of the tiny but resource rich state of Bayelsa. The companies are Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween- Blue Construction and Logistics Limited.
Others charged with Sylva are Francis Okoburo, Gbenga S. Balogun, Samuel Ogbuku. The EFCC instituted 42 counts of money laundering against the accused persons.