$9.7m Cash: Court Remands Ex-NNPC GMD, Yakubu In Kuje Prison
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director, GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering, non-disclosure of assets and fraud.
Yakubu’s journey to the dock started on February 3, 2017, when operatives of the EFCC stormed a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered a staggering sum of $9,772,000 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand United States Dollars) and £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling) stashed in a huge fire proof safe.
Following the raid, Yakubu on February 8, 2017 reported to the Commission’s Kano Zonal Office where he admitted being the owner of both the house and the money recovered.
The offence breaches Section 7(4)(b)(ii) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 7 (5) of the same Act.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Andrew Yakubu, (while being the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation-NNPC) sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law transported at various times to Kaduna the aggregate sum of $9,777,800 (Nine Million Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Eight Hundred United State Dollars) only when you knew or reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceed of some form of unlawful activity and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7(4)(b)(ii) of the Advance Fee Fraud & Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 7(5) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of his plea, the counsel to EFCC, Prince Ben Ikani informed the court that the prosecution is ready for trial in line with the ACJA.
However, Yakubu’s counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, through an application dated March 13 prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail pending trial.
He urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on self recognisance or on the alternative, admit him to bail on liberal terms.
Raji also brought a prayer asking the court for the interim release of his client’s international passport to enable him embark on a three week medical trip.
Arguing the application, the learned silk told the court that the defendant had no criminal record, adding that he was invited by the EFCC and voluntarily surrendered himself.
In response, Ikani kicked saying, “We cannot question the discretion in matters like this. Your Lordship has been enjoined by law in this circumstance on what to consider”.
He urged the court to “enforce stringent conditions that will make the defendant stand his trial and refuse his prayer for bail on self recognizance”.
Justice Mohammed adjourned to March 21, 2017 for ruling on the bail application and ordered the defendant to be remanded in Kuje prison.