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Ex-Petroleum minister, Timipre Sylva lands in identity theft scandal

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The Citizens Initiative for Better Nigeria (CIBN), a civic group, has accused former governor and minister, Chief Timipre Sylva of identity theft, claiming that he is not eligible to run for the governorship poll.

According to the group, Sylva has been involved in impersonation, forgery of academic documents, and giving false evidence. CIBN demanded that Sylva be prosecuted by the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies.

The group claimed that Sylva, who has always held himself as “Timipre Sylva,” doesn’t have a valid name known to law or recognized by any government agencies.

Comrade Kabiru Matazu, Chief Convener of CIBN, stated that it was completely illegal for anyone who did not have a valid recognized name to occupy any public or private office in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said Sylva’s attempt to go back as governor so that he could have immunity over all the atrocities he had committed would not help him.

CIBN revealed that Bayelsa State political activist, anti-corruption crusader, and former Deputy Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, had engaged the law firm of Graylaw Practice LP based in Abuja to author petitions and Freedom of Information letters to various agencies regarding Sylva’s identity.

The petitions and letters were dated 31st March 2023 and addressed to the Lagos State Ministry of Education, West African Examinations Council (WAEC), University of Port Harcourt, Inspector-General of Police, Department of State Services, Code of Conduct Bureau, among other agencies.

Comrade Timi Frank requested the schools purportedly attended by Chief Timipre Sylva between 1976 till 2011 to verify whether the certificates bearing different names being paraded by Chief Timipre Sylva actually belong to him or were stolen from third parties.

It is public knowledge that Chief Timipre Sylva intentionally presented inconsistent academic certificates before the Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Screening Committee in 2008 and the National Assembly in 2019 under oath for the screening into the position of Governor of Bayelsa State and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, respectively.

The group noted that the action of Chief Timipre Sylva by using conflicting academic certificates to attain public offices is illegal, fraudulent, and ought to be sanctioned by law enforcement agencies.

It also alleged that in a bid to launder his image and escape the long arms of the laws, Chief Timipre Sylva has concocted a Deed Poll and Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette dated 11th and 12th May 2022 to cover up his alleged offences.

CIBN declared that the Deed Poll and Official Gazette were mere pieces of paper fraudulently procured by Sylva to mislead people and wriggle himself out of being prosecuted and jailed.

It asked the former minister to debunk the claims with his valid name on his birth certificate, stating that the fact that he doesn’t have a name cannot be overemphasized, hence a nameless person could not occupy any public or private office in Nigeria.

 

 

This article was updated 3 months ago

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