Court remands former NNPC boss in prison, FG slams six-count charge on him
A former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, was on Thursday arraigned on a six count criminal charge bordering on money laundering and corruption.
Yakubu, who served as the NNPC chief executive in the last administration, was accused of money laundering, receiving money without going through a financial institution and failing to declare same.
He however, denied all the charges brought against him by the federal government.
Yakubu, was among other allegations accused of failure to declare the sum $9.7 million in his assets declaration form which he filed at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the 18th of August, 2015.
The anti-graft agency, prosecuting the former NNPC GMD on behalf of the Federal Government also alleged that Yakubu transported the foreign currencies to his house in Sabon Tasha, Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State with the intent to avoid a lawful transaction。
He was also accused of receiving payment of 74, 000 pound sterling without going through a financial institution， as required by law during his tenure。
Shortly after pleading not guilty to the charges, the prosecution counsel, Ben Ikani asked the trial Judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed asked the court for a date to commence trial.
However， counsel to the defendant， Ahmed Raji (SAN) applied to the court for the bail of his client on self-recognition or in the most liberal terms。
Raji argued that Andrew Yakubu was in the United Kingdom (UK) on medical trip when the EFCC’s invitation came to him and he hurriedly came down to Nigeria to honour the invitation after suspending the medical attention。
The senior counsel, beside the application for bail, also asked for the temporary release of his travel documents to enable him complete his treatment。
He further argued that the defendant has no criminal records and has been co-operating with the EFCC since the commencement of investigation and as such， the claim by the prosecution that he would not be available to face his trial is not tenable.
Opposing the bail application, the prosecution counsel urged the court to either refuse the defendant bail or in the alternative impose stringent conditions that would enable the defendant attend his trial, adding that the charges attract imprisonment of ten years or with fine。
Having listened to both parties in the matter， the trial judge Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed adjourned the matter till March 21, 2017 and also ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kuje prison pending the determination of the application for his bail.