PEREKEME Kpodo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Bayelsa State, wants the Presidency to allow Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa State, to face prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Kpodo in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari alleged that Sylva, now candidate of the APC in the December 5 governorship election, should rather be behind the bars instead of contesting an election.
Sylva, who was governor of the state between 2007 and 2011 had been in and out of the EFCC over financial offences that he allegedly committed while in office.
But the EFCC has been unable to prosecute Sylva on the said offences because of what is believed to be his “solid connection” to the Presidency.
Kpodo’s letter dated October 16, 2015, raised a lot of questions on the former governor’s case and its implications on the image and integrity of President Buhari and his administration in the war against corruption.
The APC chieftain claimed that about N1.4trilion accrued to the state coffers during the tenure of Sylva as state governor but there was nothing to show for the money. He alleged that the inability to prosecute Sylva based on clear evidence of corruption would invariably justify the accusation that the Buhari administration was biased in its fight against corruption.
Kpodo said while leading figures in the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan were being prosecuted like the case of Diezeani Allison-Maduake, a former petroleum minister, in Britain, others such as Sylva were being covered.
he party chieftain said that the impression had thus being created that only the enemies or opponents of the APC-led federal government that could only be prosecuted for financial crimes offences.
“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 said, included the national security adviser to the president, the secretary to the government of the federation, the Nigerian military and others whom he accused of protecting Sylva against prosecution.
“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 force.”
He warned against allowing the Niger Delta to be thrown into chaos over selfish and irresponsible action of a person or group of persons.
— Oct 19, 2015 @ 12:50 GMT