A civil society group under the aegis of New Nigeria Global Initiative (NNGI) has petitioned the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), asking it to prosecute Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva over alleged perjury.
The group alleged that Sylva deliberately made false statements under oath in a United States Federal Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Federal penalties for perjury include fines and/or prison terms upon conviction. United States Federal law (18 USC § 1621), states that anyone found guilty of the crime of perjury will be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.
The group also petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and intends to petition US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to urge them to prevail on Buhari to immediately sack the minister.
The group is also pushing for the sacking of Sylvia's cousin, Engr. Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) over allegations of fraud, violations of United States Banking Rules and Regulations, racketeering, financial misappropriation, incompetence, and acts of treachery bordering on treason against the Nigerian State and the person and family of President Buhari.
The group, represented by Ahmed Yusuf in a statement issued to journalists in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja plans to also petition the German Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst), and the Italian Intelligence Service to immediately commence a global scale bribery, fraud and racketeering investigation into the origin of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 $4 billion contract awarded in a joint venture led by Italy’s Saipem for engineering, procurement and construction of Nigeria LNG’s seventh production unit at its Bonny Island plant in Rivers State.
The case of alleged perjury against Sylva emanated from a defamation suit brought by Sylva and his cousin, Wabote, in a US Federal Court against the Publisher of PointBlankNews.com, Mr. Jackson Ude.
Sylva deposed in his affidavit of support in a United States Federal Court in the Eastern District of the Great State of Pennsylvania that he attended the University of Port Harcourt for his bachelor’s degree, a doctoral degree in International Relations from the UBIS University, Switzerland and another doctoral degree in Public Administration from the Africa Institute For Public Administration in Nigeria.
According to the group, UBIS University in Switzerland has disowned the doctoral degree in International Relations being paraded by Nigeria’s Minister for State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
Also, according to the group, Aiko Juvet, the UBIS University’s Global Admissions Representative, in an email, said the school does not offer any programme leading to the award of a Doctorate Degree in International Relations and have never awarded such to Mr. Timipre Sylva who claimed to have acquired the degree from the University in 2011.
Sylva has been quizzed in the past by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria on allegations of fraud and corruption amounting to millions of dollars, including the case of alleged fraudulent ownership of 48 properties.
However, the group said in a sworn statement before a US Federal Court, Sylva allegedly lied that he had never been arrested by the EFCC, thus Sylva committed the alleged perjury.
“Due to privacy concerns and sensitivity on the issues of acts of treachery bordering on treason against the Nigerian State and the person and family of President Muhammadu Buhari, to avoid the global embarrassment which our revelations of these individual's actions will cause President Muhammadu Buhari and his family, we will be submitting petitions to the Nigeria Department of State Services (DSS), the Office of the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to provide them with the opportunity to commence their internal investigations on how Timipre Sylva and his cousin, Engr. Simbi Wabote committed the alleged acts of treachery bordering on treason against the Nigerian State and the person and family of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Yusuf warned Sylva and his cousin, Wabote against filing frivolous lawsuits in the United States Federal Courts where they lack standing and can’t prove their frivolous cases.
He said, “These individuals are aliens, public officers from a country amassed with corruption known all over the world. The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari had in several public speeches complained of the insane levels of corruption in Nigeria. These aliens claim to have been defamed by the publisher of PointBlankNews.com, Mr. Jackson Ude, these aliens have filed frivolous cases against an American citizen in US Federal Courts where they have no standing, and not only that, but they also can’t prove their cases of defamation, fraud, bribery and corruption.
“Assuming these aliens are able to get past the issue of standing which no Federal Judge in the United States will grant them. Will the Nigeria Presidency and the Attorney General of Nigeria allow these individuals to provide official government documents such as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) official bank statements for the past two (2) years as a public record to an American court for review?
“Will these individuals be able to provide all their bank statements to the Court for review? Will these individuals be able to provide all official correspondence and letters of contract awards, bank statements of the German company Kelvion, the Italian company Saipem and the thousands of documents dating back years from the origins of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 Contract awarded in a joint venture led by Italy’s Saipem in the amount of USD 4 billion? All these documents will be requested by the court and Mr. Jackson’s Attorney for them to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt in an American Court against Mr. Ude.
“Are they ready for this legal battle or were they ill-advised by people looking to make money from them? Are they ready to come to the United States Federal Court and swear under penalty of perjury and seat in the witness box to be cross-examined by Mr. Ude’s Attorneys? Maybe they thinking that their Attorneys will shield them from this cross-examination process.
"These aliens will be deposed as part of the court process and the court will allow for discovery as this is within Mr. Ude’s fundamental rights. During this process, all these aliens past issues whether business or personal, previous petitions against them and business dealings will be exposed and presented to the public. They must understand that the American Judicial system is different from the Nigerian Judicial system where six (6) different Judges were accused of dishing out six (6) different rulings on the same matter to the highest bidder.”
Yusuf commended Mr. Jackson Ude for having the tenacity to stand up to bullies and for exposing the inhumane and insane levels of corruption in Nigeria. He assured Mr. Ude of their group’s unwavering support and welcomed Mr. Ude’s countersuit of $15 million against Engr. Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and encouraged Mr. Ude to counter sue Sylva for a greater amount. He urged Mr. Ude to use these aliens as an example to teach other corrupt officials who roam around freely in Nigeria, harassing journalists daily as a lesson.
“People all around the world must know that when you bring frivolous cases to an American Court and fail to provide the court’s required documents to prove their case, thereby causing an American citizen to spend his hard-earned funds to defend himself, the courts will award damages against you for wasting the court’s time and for putting the defendant(s) through financial, emotional, psychological and security stress. Over the years, American courts have awarded millions of dollars in damages to defendants in order to stern the influx of these frivolous cases.
“If these individuals think that they will never pay the damages assessed by an American court, then they must be ready to have their assets within the United States and in friendly countries frozen. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Department of State will get involved for visa cancellations and travel restrictions to the United States and its friendly countries until these aliens fulfil the court’s judgement(s),” Yusuf said.