N3bn recovered fund: Court rules ex-NNPC boss, Andrew Yakubu, has case to answer

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday ruled that a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Andrew Yakubu, had a case to answer in respect of the charges of money laundering and non-declaration of assets instituted against him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Yakubu with six counts relating to the sums of $9,772 and £74,000 recovered from his home in Kaduna State on February 3, 2017.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency had raided Yakubu’s house on Chikun Road in the Kaduna South Local Government Area from where about N3bn was allegedly recovered.

Ruling on the no-case submission instituted by Yakubu after the prosecution closed its case, Justice Ahmed Mohammed struck out two of the six counts but ruled that the defendant had a case to answer in respect of the remaining four.

The judge said he agreed with Yakubu’s lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), that the prosecution had failed to prove the essential ingredients of counts 5 and 6.

He discharged the defendant on the two counts.

But ruling in respect of the remaining four counts, Justice Mohammed held, “Even though I am tempted to discharge the defendant on counts one to four, I am, however, constrained to ask the defendant to explain how he came about the money recovered from his house; the defendant is hereby ordered to enter his defence in respect of counts one to four.”

The judge fixed July 3, 2019 for the accused to open his defence.

Yakubu had, through his lawyer, filed his no-case submission on December 5, 2018 arguing that the evidence led by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against him.

(PUNCH)

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