Sylva opens up on Yar’Adua, rift with Jonathan, ‘owning 48 houses’

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A former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva has spoken on the rift between him and ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

He said the latter never wanted him to become governor and that the annulment of his election in 2008 was political.

Sylva, in an interview with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, added that late ex-president, Umaru Yar’Adua, was aware of the battle he had with Jonathan.

He said: “As governor in Bayelsa State, I had ongoing battles with the Jonathan system. He wanted a different succession plan but I didn’t and without him being in control, I ended up as governor.

“So, as vice president, he started fighting me from day one. And that was why my election was annulled in 2008; but then I went back for re-election.

“Yar’Adua as president then protected me because he saw the good in what I was doing. But as soon as Yar’Adua died, my problems began because I was not part of that succession arrangement. So, they concocted all kinds of lies against me,” he said.

Sylva also spoke on allegation that 48 houses belonging to him were confiscated and later returned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His words: “If I own 48 houses, I’ll have a street in Abuja. But that is not true. The Jonathan administration at the toppest level had vowed to indict and jail me but they could not find anything against me.

“They said they found money in my account, let them come and tell me how much they found in my account all over Nigeria, I challenged them because I didn’t have.

“So, they come up with another story, any house belonging to anybody in any way connected to me, they ascribe to me. Even in that process, they were not able to gather properties.

“In fact, there was a friend of mine that was constructing a house, he came and told me that it is down my street. I’ve not even visited the house before but they said it was my house. Houses belonging to people that I didn’t know, they said it was my properties.

“When we went to court, what happened was that all those whose who owned the house applied to join the case.

“So, when everybody came to say this house belongs to me and that, the judge had no choice than to say, look you cannot ask EFCC to confiscate these properties because every owners of these properties have conclusively proven that these houses do not belong to Sylva.”

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