Ex-NNPC boss claims $9.8m (N5bn) is gift

Former NNPC GMD Andrew Yakubu
Former NNPC GMD Andrew Yakubu

A former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Andrew Yakubu, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the staggering sums of $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash recovered from a building belonging to him in Kaduna were gifts.

Yakubu reportedly owned up to the ownership of the huge cash when he submitted himself to the anti-corruption commission’s zonal office in Kano, where he made a statement to the commission.

The former NNPC boss, who presided over the country’s petroleum corporation between 2012 and 2014, according to a statement made available to Saturday Tribune by EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, could not, however, disclose the persons who gave him the ‘gifts’.

The huge cash was discovered in Yakubu’s building during a special operation conducted by EFCC operatives in the building on Friday, 3 February. The money was hidden in a fire proof safe.

The statement disclosed that the raid on the building was sequel to an intelligence report which the commission received about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of the Kaduna metropolis.

“On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother of Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belonged to his brother, Andrew Yakubu.

“When the safe was opened it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven hundred and Seventy two thousand, eight hundred United States dollars (about N5billion) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy four thousand pound sterling),” the statement informed.

The anti-graft agency stated that the former NNPC boss was assisting the commission in its investigation.

EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, had on Thursday while appearing before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Crimes revealed that operatives of the commission recovered huge cash from a building in Kaduna, though he did not reveal when the operation was carried out.

Magu, who appeared before the committee to explain the anti-graft agency’s budget performance in 2016 and defend its 2017 budget proposal, also disclosed that another N1.25 billion was recovered from a public servant, all in the last two weeks.

EFCC had on 20 June, 2016, dragged Yakubu alongside the chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Jide Omokore, before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on a four-count charge of money laundering.

Apart from Omokore, Yakubu is facing trial along with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited over the allegation.

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