Former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva has retrieved 48 properties that were previously seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Punch reports.
The properties, located mostly in affluent areas of Abuja such as Wuse II and Maitama, are said to range from N2.5 million to N6 million per annum in rent.
The properties were reportedly seized during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure in office, with the EFCC taking ownership of the residences in 2013.
Sylva hit back at the EFCC shortly thereafter, describing the development as a witch-hunt and claiming that he did not have 48 properties anywhere in the world, according to Vanguard.
Sylva was subsequently charged with N19.2 billion fraud, with the ex-Governor being accused of stealing funds from the state between 2007 and 2011.
Fifty additional charges were then leveraged against Sylva, following which he was arraigned before three Federal High Courts in Abuja.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the EFCC has since refused to confirm whether or not the anti-graft agency had filed an appeal before the appellate court.
“Now that Sylva has reclaimed the properties, he has the right to sell them. The moment he does that, we will not be able to recover anything from him and our ultimate goal, which is to recover stolen funds or stolen property, would have been defeated,” a source at the EFCC said.
Shortly after Buhari won his presidential election, Timipre Sylva was announced Chairman of the APC Transition Committee that was set up to work out modalities of the handover of power from the Jonathan administration to the incoming government of President Buhari. The move shocked many Nigerians as Sylva was undergoing prosecution in court for corruption at the time.
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