$19.4 Billion Fraud Case: EFCC Returns 48 Properties Seized From Timipre Sylva
Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa state, has retrieved 48 of his property which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seized during the investigation of an alleged N19.4 billion fraud caseagainst him.
According to Punch, some of the property are located in Wuse II and Maitama, highbrow areas of Abuja.
Back then, the commission had slammed 50 charges against the ex-governor and arraigned him before three federal high courts in Abuja.
Sylva, who contested the 2015 governorship election in Bayelsa, had accused the anti-graft agency of witch-hunt and political persecution.
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When President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, he reportedly ordered that the case against the All Progressives Congress chieftain be dropped and consequently, Festus Keyamo, also an APC chieftain, who was prosecuting the case for the EFCC abruptly withdrew from the case.
Buhari appointed Sylva as the chairman of his transition committee and the former Bayelsa governor is believed to be one of the major funders of his presidential campaign along with former Rivers governor, Timipre Sylva.
A reporter visited some of the houses, observed that the inscription ‘EFCC, Keep Off’, on the gates or fences of the property, had been wiped off the buildings while some had been rented out.
The correspondent, who posed as a prospective tenant, was informed that the rent for the property ranged between N2.5m and N6m per annum.
Sixteen units of service apartments at Plot 1181 Thaba Tseka Crescent, off IBB Way in the Wuse II area of the federal capital territory (FCT), cost N6m per annum including a N1.5m service charge.
The building provides seven hours of power supply from a generator. One wing had been painted while the other was under reconstruction.
“When the EFCC sealed off this property, it was rotting away. However, it was re-opened a few months ago so we started to refurbish the property. We have repainted the property and we have started renting the apartments out,” a guard at the property was quoted to have said.
At a block of flats, which comprises nine units (six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats) located at 8, Sefadu Street, Wuse, Zone 2, PUNCH was told that the rent ranged from N1.5m to N3m.
“Immediately the EFCC inscriptions were erased, all the flats were taken. There is no vacant apartment now,” the security guard said.
At a property located at 8 Mistrata Street, Wuse II, Abuja, it was observed that the property was a hotel, which charged between N25,000 and N45,000 per room.