Anti-Corruption Group Seeks Sack of Timipre Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum

Paschal Emeka, Abuja

An anti-corruption group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Timipre Sylva as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources over allegations of impersonation brought against him by another anti-graft group.

The Civil Society Organization, Citizens Initiative for Better Nigeria, (CIBN), at a press briefing, in Abuja called on the Federal Government to commence investigations into the allegations to bring the minister to justice for the alleged offence.

In September 2022, “the Incorporated Trustees of Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI), filed a suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1563/2022 at the federal high court in Abuja, accusing Timipre Sylva of identity theft, impersonation, forgery and parading of fake certificates.

“TADI had also prayed the Honourable Court for ”AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS COMPELLING the Director-General of DSS and IGP to perform their legal duties under Sections 1, 2 (3) and 8 of the National Security Agencies Act, 1986 read together with Instrument No. 1 of 1999 as well as Section 4 of the Police Act, 2020 by forthwith arresting and prosecuting Mr. Timipre Sylva sued as 7th Defendant for the offences of identity theft, impersonation and forgery punishable under the extant laws”.

The CIBN alleged that the DSS and Police failed in their duties by not investigating the minister after he presented certain academic certificates which were found to contain anomalies during the Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Screening Committee in 2007 and the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives screening in 2019.

The publicity officer of the CIBN, Abdulmalik Alpha, said the group was not satisfied with Sylva’s defence of the allegations against him which he did by putting in a Deed Poll and Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette dated 11th and 12th May 2022 in his personal defence.

The group claimed: “In those documents, Sylva attempted; albeit belatedly to convince the Honourable Court to accept that the manifestly conflicting names ANAGHA TIMIPERE, MARLIN ANAGHA TIMIPRE, ANAGHA TIMIPRE MARLIN and CHIEF TIMIPRE SYLVA appearing on the academic certificates he parades all belong to him.

“Even though we are not going to act as Judge over the case already pending before the Honourable Court, we wish to let Nigerians know that the said Deed Poll and Gazette are nothing but shams. They are mere pieces of paper fraudulently procured by Sylva to mislead the Court and wriggle himself out of being prosecuted and jailed.

“Chief Timipre Sylva has been unable to prove to the satisfaction of Nigerian citizens that those academic certificates which he parades everywhere till date are not falsified, forged or stolen from a third party.”

Warning that it would resist any ploy to make laws apply only to poor Nigerians, the CIBN threatened to mobilize a mass protest to demand the investigation and prosecution of Sylva.

“In the next few days, we shall lead patriotic Nigerians in their thousands to barricade the National Assembly Complex, Aso Rock Villa, Bayelsa State Government House and other strategic locations for purpose of demanding that Timipre Sylva be brought to book as a matter of urgency”, Alpha said.

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