The Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services (DSS) have been told to probe the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva over alleged certificate forgery and identity theft.
The call was made by a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, Naija News learnt.
It was gathered from Sahara Reporters that Frank made the request in a petition signed by his lawyer and Principal Partner of Graylaw Practice LP, Edward Omaga Esq.
Copies of the petitions as learnt were sent to the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the DSS, among others.
Frank, who is the petitioner asked the National Assembly to summon the former Governor of Bayelsa State who recently emerged the governorship candidate of the APC in Bayelsa State to explain the inconsistencies in his identity.
The petitioner alleged that Sylva’s primary school certificate carried his name as Anagha Timipere as evident in documents the former minister filed before a court in the United States as part of an ongoing defamation suit brought by his lawyers.
Frank explained that on different certificates obtained by Slyva, there are different names on them.
He said Anagha Timipere which is on the said court document was different from Marlin Anagha Timipre, which is the name on Sylva’s WAEC certificate, and it’s different from Anagha Timipre Marlin, which is on his Bachelor’s Degree certificate in English from the University of Port-Harcourt, and also contradicted Sylva’s 2011 doctoral degree certificate in International Relations from Ubis University, Switzerland, with the name Chief Timipre Sylva.
Frank also claimed that the former minister neither participated in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme nor did he obtain an exemption certificate as required by law.
The obvious discrepancies in the documents caused the petitioner to insist that Sylva may have forged his academic certificates or had them stolen from a third party, “an offence that violates Section 438 of the Criminal Code Act and carries a 14-year prison sentence.”
He urged both chambers of the National Assembly to summon the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), and State Security Services (SSS) officials for their roles in screening and approving Sylva’s ministerial appointment as well as his successful governorship bid in 2007.
Frank asserted that after learning that his identity inconsistencies could imperil his governorship quest, Sylva filed processes to change his name to Timipre Sylva in an official Government Gazette of May 12, 2022.
He said before seeking to change his name in an official gazette, Sylva had already served as Bayelsa State governor between 2007 and 2012 and also Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, among other top-level state and federal positions.
The petition reads in part: “Obviously, the certificates mentioned above have visible anomalies and do not depict the true identity of CHIEF TIMPRE SYLVA. It is confusing as to who CHIEF TIMIPRE SYLVA is; who ANAGHA TIMIPRE MARLIN is; who MARLIN ANAGHA TIMIPRE is and who ANAGHA TIMIPERE is.
“There is no evidence anywhere showing that CHIEF TIMPRE SYLVA ever changed his name from ANAGHA TIMIPRE MARLIN to TIMIPRE SYLVA in 1986 after he purportedly graduated from University of Port Harcourt,” stated the petition.
“Investigation by our client reveals that there is also no record that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge or Exemption Certificate, as the case may be, either in the name of ANAGHA TIMIPRE MARLIN or TIMIPRE SYLVA.”
Frank however called on the the National Assembly to summon Sylva and officials from all the academic institutions that issued him certificates to confirm the actual identity of who they awarded the academic certificates
The institutions include Ajeromi Central School in Apapa, Lagos, West African Examination Council (WAEC), University of Port-Harcourt and Ubis University, Switzerland.
Frank also requested that the Nigerian Immigration Service, through the National Assembly, should seize Sylva’s International Passport to prevent him from fleeing the country and seeking refuge in Western nations like U.S., Dubai, Canada, etc.