The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, might escape trial if allowed to travel out of the country.
Sylva, who is standing trial before the court for alleged money laundering related offences, is asking the court for permission to accompany his wife on a foreign trip.
When the matter came up yesterday, counsel to Sylva, Mr. O.I Olorundare (SAN), told the court that the ex-governor's wife was scheduled for surgery in a United Kingdom hospital on May 31 and needed his company.
He, therefore, urged the court to release his international passport to enable him embark on the trip.
Sylva, however, promised to return for trial and to also return the passport to the custody of the court.
The former governor said the grounds for his application was that it was part of the conditions attached to the bail granted him June last year, to always seek the court's leave before engaging in foreign trip.
However, EFCC in objecting to the application filed a counter-affidavit to that effect.
Counsel to the anti-graft agency, John Arieto, urged the court to refuse Sylva's application on the grounds that he could refuse to return for trial.
He noted that since Sylva was arraigned in June last year and granted bail the agency had unearthed fresh evidence that the accused person allegedly engaged in fraudulent acquisition of property through other private persons.
Arieto added that the commission was also ready to file charges against Sylva's wife.
The commission further stated that in view of the new discovery, it got a court order last December, freezing the new assets.
EFCC said investigation was still ongoing and it could be jeopadised should Sylva be allowed to travel.
The commission stated that Sylva had, on several occasions refused to honour its invitations, a development that prompted his last arrest by its operatives.
After listening to argument of both parties, the trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello, adjourned till tomorrow for ruling.