Chris Steven, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday dismissed the 50-count fresh criminal charges brought against former governor of Bayelsa state, Mr. Timipre Sylva by the Federal Government.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola who dismissed the charge held that the action of the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the endless prosecution of the former governor constituted a gross abuse of court processes that must not be encouraged.
The Judge, while delivering ruling in a preliminary objection filed by Sylva against the fresh charge and third in the series, preferred against him said that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person was first put to trial in 2012 and later in 2013 and now 2015 on the same subject matter.
Justice Ademola said that the action of EFCC constituted a desperate and clear case of bias and harassment by seeking to get the accused persons convicted at all cost.
The Judge specifically said the former governor was arraigned before Evoh Steven Chukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja where the charge was struck out in 2012 and later re-arraigned him on the same issue before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, who in 2013 dismissed the charge against the accused person.
Justice Ademola said for the same case to be resuscitated in 2015 before the same Federal High Court was nothing but a gross abuse of court processes and contempt against the Federal High Court.
The Judge said, “having perused the charge against the accused persons in 2012, 2013 and in 2015 and found that the charges were based on the same subject matter and transactions and that the witnesses listed in the fresh charge were the same witnesses listed in the previous charges, same with the proof of evidence and exhibits”.
He therefore said that no court of law will allow the reckless show of power by the anti-graft agency saying, ‘to commence a fresh trial in 2015 is a complete abuse of court process and that will occasion miscarriage of justice if allowed.
“In this circumstance, this court lacks the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the charges against the accused persons”.
“From the foregoing, this court hereby dismiss the charges filed against the defendants in this suit for lacking in merit and for been frivolous and constituting abuse of court process”, the Judge held”.