Nigeria ex-governor charged with $15m in fraud

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Associated Press

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 24 at 10:05 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A lawyer for Nigeria's antigraft body has filed fraud charges against a former governor in the oil-rich West African nation.

Festus Keyamo from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement Friday that Timipre Sylva, the governor of oil-rich Bayelsa state, has been charged with six counts of money laundering and attempted fraud.

The statement accuses Sylva of laundering $2.8 million of state assets and attempting to defraud the state of another $12.5 million.

Sylva could not immediately be reached for comment.

Nigeria's Supreme Court fired Sylva last month along with four other governors who it said overstayed their tenures.

Under Nigeria's federal system, states receive large shares of the nation's oil revenues that have proven to be tempting targets for graft.

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