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A former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has filed a criminal complaint case against the immediate-past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, at a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja.
In the suit filed by his Counsel, Edward Omaga Esq., of Graylaw Practice LP Chambers, Frank urged the Chief Magistrate of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to cause a direct criminal compliant to be issued against Sylva, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, over alleged inconsistencies in his name and doubts over participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
Frank, who is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, averred that based on documents before him, the actual identity of the former minister seems to be in doubt.
The suit reads in part: “Over the years, the complainant (Frank) has also shown his resolve in fighting and exposing corruption in public places and holding public officers accountable to their oath of office.
“The defendant (Sylva) on his part once served as the Executive Governor of Bayelsa state between2008 till 2012 and recently resigned his position as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources sometime around 30th March 2023.
“Facts and documents available to the complainant reveal that the actual identity of the aforesaid defendant is in serious doubt.
“Recently, the complainant while undertaking a private investigation visited the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania where Chief Timipre Sylva instituted a libel case against one Jackson Ude.
“In the course of hearing, Chief Timipre Sylva signed a verification of interrogatories answers dated April l, 2022 and attached various documents in proof of his identity.
“The said academic documents include a First School Leaving Certificate with No. 092915 dated 1st July, 1976 issued to Anagha Timipere who finished from Ajeromi Central School, Araromi-Apapa, Lagos State.
“Also, the defendant claims to hold a West African Examination Council (WAEC) General Certificate of Education with certificate No. PO851528 and Candidate No. 21735215 dated December 1981 issued to Marlin Anagha Timipre…
“The complainant equally discovered that the erstwhile Minister of State for Petroleum Resources parades a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with Second Class (Upper Division) from University of Port Harcourt dated 19th August, 1986 issued to Anagha Timipre Marlin.
“The defendant equally holds a Doctorate in International Relations (Honoris Causa) from UBIS University in Geneva, Switzerland, dated 22nd September, 2011 and issued to Chief Timipre Sylva.
“The certificates mentioned above have visible anomalies and do not depict the true identity of Chief Timipre Sylva. It is confusing as to who Chief Timipre Sylva is.
“There is no evidence anywhere showing that Chief Timipre Sylva ever changed his name from Anagha Timipre Marlin to Timipre Sylva in 1986 after he purportedly graduated from University of Port Harcourt.
“Investigation by the complainant further reveals that there is also no record that the defendant has National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge or Exemption Certificate, as the case may be, either in the name of Anagha Timipre Marlin or Timipre Sylva.
“Records abound in public domain that Chief Timipre Sylva intentionally presented the aforementioned inconsistent, conflicting or forged academic documents before the Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Screening Committee in 2007 as well as the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives in 2019 under oath for purposes of screening into the positions of Governor of Bayelsa State and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
“In a bid to escape the long arms of the law, Chief Timipre Sylva concocted a Deed Poll and Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette dated 11th and 12th May, 2022 to cover up his alleged offences.
“In the documents…Sylva attempted, albeit belatedly to make the general public believe that the manifestly conflicting names: Anagha Timipere, Marlin Anagha Timipre, Anagha Timipre Marlin and Chief Timipre Sylva appearing on the academic certificates he has been parading for decades all belongs to him.
“The complainant believes that the said Deed Poll and Official Gazette are nothing but mere pieces of paper…procured by Sylva to mislead people and wriggle himself out of being investigated, prosecuted and jailed for the alleged offence.
“The Complainant is worried like every other reasonable Nigerian as to why the defendant waited till May 2022 before procuring the Deed Poll and Official Gazette…
“That the complainant is crying for justice in this matter and only an intervention by the Court can answer the cry.
“That it will be in the best interest of Justice to bring the defendant to answer to the complaint.
“Based on the foregoing, the complainant humbly prays the Honourable Court to direct the Nigeria Police Force to carry out investigation of the alleged offences concerning the defendant.
“Whereof the action of the defendant constitutes the offence of forgery contrary to Section 366 of the Penal Code.”