Bayelsa multi-billion naira fraud: Sylva dismisses allegation, accuses committee of bias
From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
Wednesday April 04 , 2012
Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva has dismissed the report presented by Bayelsa Finance Management and Review Committee, which indicted his administration of allegedly mismanaging over N660 billion that accrued to the state as revenue between 2007 and February 2012 leaving a debt profile of N207 billion.
The committee headed by arch-political rival of Sylva, Mr. Ndutimi Alaibe had recommended to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, the recovery of the funds, listing the beneficiaries.
But in a swift reaction in a statement entitled, “Obsession with Sylva’s Ghost” Sylva dismissed the allegations “as unfounded and a failed attempt to divert attention from the calamitous political parodies committed in Bayelsa State by these accusers.”
Sylva, in the statement signed by his media aide, Doifie Ola, said the outcome of the report was not a surprise considering the composition of the committee, which had a mandate to execute a pre-determined judgment.
While insisting that the committee had not proved that any known financial laws had been flouted, he said the biased report was a further demonstration of the desperation of those who derailed democratic process to continue to wage war against Sylva.
The statement reads in part: “To be sure, government is an administrative structure set up to govern human beings with needs. Any normal investigation of government expenditure would try to demonstrate how the financial laws were flouted. The Alaibe committee did not attempt to do this. It simply compiled the incomes that accrued to Bayelsa State within a carefully selected period targeted to smear Sylva and assumed that there were no needs met in the period.
“The Alaibe report did not demonstrate any flouting of the state’s financial laws and regulations. If anyone had proof of such contravention, they knew where to go. And where to go is not an illegal committee unknown to the laws of Bayelsa State and Nigeria.
“Besides, the allegations thrown up by the power usurpers in Bayelsa State are too weighty to be handled by people with vested political interests in the state and whose track record and history smell of corruption. The report by the Alaibe committee is at best biased, petty and heavily tainted. This is yet another manifestation of the constant distress in the camp of those who recently usurped power in Bayelsa State as they live in perpetual fear of Sylva and guilt of the harsh judgment of democratic humanity.
“As we near a judicial resolution of the manifest political travesty in Bayelsa State, those who believe they should do nothing other than fight the ghost of Sylva should learn to mitigate their desperation, at least, for the decency of what remains of our democracy that they have tried so hard to compromise.”