Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
Mr John Ebokpo, a defence counsel to Chief Timipre Sylva on Tuesday applauded the dismissal of a certificate irregularity issue suit filed against the Minister of State for Petroleum by Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI).
It will be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on March 8, 2023, dismissed a suit against the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva alleging irregularities on Sylva’s certificate.
Justice Emeka Nwite, the Court dismissed the suit sequel to an application by the Plaintiff’s Counsel to withdraw the suit.
Ebokpo who reacted to the court’s decision in a statement issued in Yenagoa describe the suit as a failed attempt to blackmail Sylva.
According to him, TADI had taken steps to withdraw the suit and filed an application for the withdrawal but the application was opposed by defence counsel who established before the court that there was no merit in the case.
Ebokpo explained that the defence informed the court that the application to withdraw the case was based upon the Plaintiff’s realisation that the case was baseless, having been adequately defended by the minister, hence he asked the Court to dismiss the case as against striking the same out.
“Further inquest into the nature of the matter revealed that the Plaintiff had disguised to be an advocacy non-profit and instituted the suit which to blackmail the serving Minister and alleged thereby that Minister ought to be suspended from office and prosecuted.
“The plaintiff had alleged that Sylva intentionally gave false evidence and forged academic credentials for all political positions held so far.
“The Plaintiff further contended that it had investigated and found that the Minister had mismatched names on his academic credentials amongst other allegations.
“In defending the suit, the Minister who deposed to his counter-affidavit in person asserted that the Plaintiff’s suit was predicated on falsehood and constitutes an attempt to ridicule his person as his credentials are legitimate.
“The minister went further to provide a deed poll and gazette publication which laid the issue regarding the name differences on some of his credentials to rest,” Ebokpo said.