NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Kpodo, has told President Muhammadu Buhari not to interfere in the corruption charges brought against a one-time governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Kpodo, who was a former Security Adviser to Sylva, said Buhari should instead give the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and judges handling the case a free hand to prosecute Sylva.
He who spoke in Yenagoa during a news conference, Sunday, said the re-arraignment of Sylva by the EFCC on charges bordering on corruption allegations was proper and in order.
“Rearrangement of Sylva to court is the right step in the right direction. I also want to use this opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for who he is. He said it clearly that he belongs to nobody. So, nobody will think Buhari will support anybody who has a corruption case.
“When Sylva was discharged, a lot of people said it was because he is Buhari’s man, but we know that Buhari will not indulge in supporting criminality.
“Sylva is accused of over N19bn fraud. Look at Bayelsa State, we are still living in slum and squalor – no development, no road, no nothing. And one man is being accused of stealing N19bn and some people want the case thrown out without trial, that is wrong. Is it because he was in Buhari’s transition committee and people want the matter to be quashed? No, let him face the full wrath of law,” Kpodo said.
Kpodo continued, “My appeal is that President Buhari should not intervene in the case. He should give the court and the EFCC free hands to handle the case. Sylva should be tried and if they find him guilty, he should be jailed to serve as a deterrent to others.”
He said Sylva was not tried during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan because of ethnic sentiments and appeals by kinsmen.
“Now, we are under a new era, an era of corruption fighter. That is why these cases are coming up now. Remember, Buhari had said ‘he belongs to all Nigerians and belongs to nobody.’
“EFCC has now come up with fresh charges to say Sylva has case to answer, he (Sylva) should not be shielded but be made to answer EFCC’s questions in the court.”
Kpodo, who was the Interim Chairman of defunct New Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa, also asked his former boss to stop nursing an ambition to come back as governor of Bayelsa.
The APC leader, who wondered what Sylva forgot in office that he wanted to take, warned the APC against fielding Sylva for 2016 Bayelsa governorship poll.
Kpodo insisted that the party would lose woefully if it failed to listen to his warning, stressing that the APC has credible persons in the state to fly the flag of the party.
“I know Sylva very well because I worked for him. I do not want such a person to come back again. We have many credible persons in Bayelsa State that can run under the platform of the APC but not Sylva. Bayelsans do not need him again.
“But if APC insists and fields Sylva as its candidate, the APC will lose woefully. Let people mark my word, APC will lose Bayelsa State is it fields Sylva.
Hear him, ” A person who was governor for more than five years could not win in his unit or wards during the last general elections. If he cannot win in his place is it in my place or other places he will come and win? Charity begins at home.”