Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has reiterated his stand that he does not own 48 properties as claimed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Counsel to the former governor, Benson Ibezim Esq, in a statement debunked the agency’s allegation, saying “Chief Timipre Sylva is not having 48 properties anywhere in the world”. He addied that Sylva has only three properties in Abuja.
“The three properties he has in Abuja had been secured by an order of court granted by F.C.T. High court and the Attorney General of the Federation and EFCC have been duly served since the 27th day of December, 2012”Ibezim said.
Below is full text of statement by Sylva’s lawyer.
STATEMENT ISSUED BY BENSON IBEZIM IN RESPONSE TO THE ALLEGED CONFISCATION OF 48 PROPERTIES OF CHIEF TIMIPRE SYLVA.
We were astonished to read from virtually all Nigerian News papers that 48 houses belonging to Chief Timipre Sylva were seized.
In the first instance, Chief Timipre Sylva is not having 48 properties anywhere in the world. The three properties he has in Abuja had been secured by an order of court granted by F.C.T. High court and the Attorney General of the Federation and EFCC have been duly served since the 27th day of December, 2012.
The three properties covered by the order of F.C.T. High Court are properties that were legitimately acquired by Chief Timipre Sylva and his wife before he became the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State . The records are quite clear on these properties as there is no iota of doubt as to the period of their acquisition, moreso as these properties were duly declared by Chief Timipre Sylva on his assumption of office as the Governor of Bayelsa State.
It must be observed that we became aware of the interim order of attachment granted to EFCC on 4th day of January, 2013 as same was attached to the court process that was served on us by EFCC on the said 4th January, 2013. It is elementary knowledge of law that a party can only be bound by an order of court upon service of the court order on the party. Chief Timipre Sylva was not aware of the existence of any order of Federal High court against him as none was served on him.
It is worthy to note that the Attorney General of the Federation and EFCC were duly served with the order of F.C.T. High Court on the 27th day of December, 2012. Rather than obeying the order of court, EFCC in flagrant disregard to the order of court are taking steps in respect of the properties by writing to the occupants of the properties covered by the order of court. EFCC being a creation of law is expected to be law abiding and are advised to have respect for the order of court of FCT High court of 27th day of December, 2012 regarding the properties covered by the court order.
It should also be mentioned that when Chief Timipre Sylva became aware of the sinister plan of EFCC to humiliate him by throwing him out of his house that was bought before he became the Governor of Bayelsa state, we wrote a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Chairman of EFCC. Till date both of them did not response to the said letters.
We seriously frown at the practice of media trial and commendation without getting to the root and substance of the facts. Trials are done in Courts of law and not on the pages of newspapers where the general public is fed with all manner of falsehood, including imaginary 48 houses. We humbly and respectfully call on media to exercise due diligence in their reporting.
Benson Ibezim Esq