A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Lagos - The case involving a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has been adjourned Wednesday next week.
Sylva, along with Francis Okokwo, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku, allegedly used three companies, Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to move about N19,2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false pretence of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.
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Since the matter began in 2013, several applications filed by the defence, have made it difficult for Sylva to be arraigned.
At the last sitting last Thursday, Justice Mohammed had in his ruling dismissed an application brought before it by the third accused, Gbenga Balogun, through his counsel Israel Olorundare, praying the court to first determine the legal standing of the lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, to handle the matter, as well as a motion challenging the competence of the 42-count charge.
At the resumed sitting this Thursday, the court was to hear all pending applications before it with regards to the matter. Notable was an application filed by counsel to Sylva, challenging the charges brought against his client by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and another application by Ogbuku, challenging the power of the EFCC to prosecute the case, claiming that only the Attorney General had the power to do so.
In his argument, Jacobs told the court that, he only got the application filed last week and that he would need time to go through it for appropriate action.
He argued that the application seemed like a calculated attempt to drag the matter further, since the charges which they are challenging was served them since 2013.
"We served them this charges since 2013, why are they now just waking up from their slumber," Jacobs said.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the case for hearing on all pending applications.