© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Court Refuses To Return Yakubu’s Forfeited $9.8 Million
Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, has lost his bid to recover the $9,772,800 found in his Kaduna house by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on February 2, 2017.
The Federal High Court in Kano had granted an application by the EFCC that the money be temporarily forfeited to the federal government, but Yakubu later filed a counter application saying the money should be returned to him.
Yakubu in his application argued among other things that the court in Kano lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
But Justice Zainab Abubakar on Wednesday, ruled that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case, while also holding that the former NNPC boss’ application lacked basic legal framework.
Abubakar posited that the EFCC is authorized under section 29 of its establishment Act to seek for the interim forfeiture.
A cash of £74,000 was also found in Yakubu’s house in Kaduna alongside the $9.8 million.
Yakubu has already been arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the federal high court in Abuja on charges of money laundering and fraud.
He was granted bail on March 3, to the tune of N300 million with two sureties in like sum.
One of the sureties must have a landed property within the Abuja metropolis while the other must be a resident.
On Tuesday, a prosecution witness, Tasiu Abubakar, who is also a superintendent of police attached to EFCC, told the court in Abuja how the money was found.
The witness said though Yakubu was not in the country when the search was conducted, his brother, Yakubu Bitrus, was present during the search which was conducted after a warrant had been obtained.
According to him, the former NNPC boss came with his lawyer to the EFCC zonal office in Kano on February 8 and his statement were taken.
Justice Mohammed then admitted the four-panel safe where the money was kept, the search warrant and the Yakubu’s statement in evidence.
The case was adjourned to May 24 for continuation of the hearing.