Famous lawyer, Festus Keyamo has been asked to step down as prosecuting counsel in a corruption case between the Federal government and former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State.
In a statement made available to pressmen, Mr. Keyamo said he withdrew as the lead prosecutor for the case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, due to recent developments which could prevent him from prosecuting the case commendably.
He said “Kindly recall that sometime in 2012, the Commission briefed my Chambers to prosecute Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/23/2012; Between: The Federal Republic Of Nigeria V. Timipre Sylva, he wrote in a letter to the EFCC.
“Since then, we have diligently prosecuted the Charge and successfully opposed the bid of the accused person to quash the Charge in limine. The court ruled in our favour for the trial to commence and the Court of Appeal also refused to stay proceedings in the trial.
“However, certain recent developments (in respect of which I would prefer not to elaborate) have necessitated my decision to withdraw from further prosecution of the said Charge. This is because these recent developments may hamper my effective, efficient and vigorous prosecution of the Charge, duties that are expected of every prosecutor.”
Meanwhile, an inside source in the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus, who preferred anonymity revealed that it was the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari , who ordered Keyamo to stay off the case as part of attempts to kill the case for Timipre Sylva who is the Chairman of the Buhari May 29 Transition Committee.
Keyamo, who is a devoted supporter of the Buhari presidential campaign, is believed to have the ears of the incoming President on legal matters.
The source further revealed that with Keyamo’s involvement in the case as prosecuting counsel, Timipre Sylva would not escape conviction.
He said: “Timipre actually begged the President-Elect to soften the grounds for him as his possible conviction would do more damage that Buhari will not recover from”.
Mr Timipre Sylva’s trial has been fixed for Monday.