Former Bayelsa state governor, Timipre Sylva, has denied media reports that the EFCC has returned 48 houses seized from him in 2013 while the anti-graft agency was carrying out investigations into allegations of misappropriation of funds while he was in office.
In a statement released yesterday by his media adviser, Doifie Buokoribo, the former governor described the report as strange, speculative and malicious, claiming that he owned only 3 houses in Abuja which he built before he became governor.
The statement read in part:
“We have a read report in a national newspaper, which was reproduced by a few online publications and in the social media, claiming that Timipre Sylva had ‘retrieved 48 of his properties which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seized during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan’.
“We view this report with disgust, given its unconcealed speculation and vindictiveness regarding such a sensitive matter.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Sylva does not own 48 buildings in Abuja or anywhere in the world. So the issue of reclaiming ‘48 houses’ does not arise. He has only three houses in Abuja, which he built before he became the governor of Bayelsa State.”
EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, has however, insisted that the ex-governor owned the 48 houses, allegedly returned to him by a court’s order.
Mr. Uwujaren added that the commission had begun fresh moves to challenge the return of the said houses to Sylva before the Court of Appeal.
The houses allegedly owned by the former governor included a mansion at 3 River Niger Street, Plot 3192 Cadastral Zone AO, Maitama District, Abuja; nine units (comprising of six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments) at 8, Sefadu Street, Wuse, Zone 2, Plot 262 Cadastral Zone AO2, Wuse, Abuja, and two duplexes at 5, Oguta Street, Plot 906 Cadastral Zone, Wuse II, Abuja.
A duplex on Plot 1271 Nike Street, Cadastral Zone AO5, Maitama District, Abuja; a duplex at Phase 1 Unit No. 1 (Villa 1) Palm Springs Gold Estate, Cachez Turkey Projects Limited, Mpape, Abuja; 10 units of one-room apartments at 8 Mistrata Street, Plot 232 Cadastral Zone, Wuse II, Abuja; five units duplexes on Plot No 1070 Dakibiyu District, Cadastral Zone B10, Abuja; 16 units service apartments at Plot 1181 Thaba Tseka Crescent, off IBB Way, Wuse II, Abuja, and 3 units of three-bedroom flats at No. 1 Mubi Close, Plot 766 Cadastral Zone A01, Garki, Abuja.