Ex-NNPC GMD, Yakubu, denies money recovered in his Kaduna residence was from Bola Shagaya, Omokore

Mr Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has denied that part of the recovered money in his Kaduna residence was given to him by a businesswoman, Hajiya Bola Shagaya.

Yakubu also refuted the allegations that some of the money was given to him by Mr Kola Aluko and Mr Jide Omokore, both of who are in oil and gas business.

The ex-GMD denied the allegations during cross-examination by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), G. Ofulue, before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the anti-graft agency had, in 2017, raided the residence of the ex-NNPC boss in Kaduna and found 9, 772, 800 dollars and 74, 000 pounds (9.7 million dollars and 74, 000 pounds) in a safe.

Yakubu was, however, arraigned on March 16, 2017, on six counts but the trial court struck out counts five and six.

The Court of Appeal also ordered the former GMD to defend only count three and four which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through financial institution.

NAN reports that Yakubu had, on July 8, 2020, told the court that a substantial part of the money found at his Kaduna residence by EFCC was given to him as a gift after leaving office.

Yakubu, who was the first defence witness (DW1) in the money laundering case against him, on Wednesday, said though he knew Shagaya, who is said to be the chief executive officer of Voyage Oil and Gas Limited, he said he was unaware that her company was awarded an exploration license in 2012 when he was the NNPC GMD.

“Will I be correct to say that the company was awarded an exploration license in 2012 when you were GMD of NNPC?” the EFCC counsel, Ofulue, asked.

“I am not aware because NNPC does not issue oil licenses but DPR,” he responded.

“Will I be correct to say some of the money recovered from your house in Kaduna was given to you by Bola Shagaya?” the lawyer also asked, and Yakubu gave a negative response.

The counsel asked further if some of the money was given to him by Aluko and Omokore and the former NNPC boss said the allegation was incorrect.

Yakubu’s counsel, Anone Usman from the chamber of Ahmed Raji, SAN, said he had no reexamination and the ex-GMD was discharged from the witness box.

Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency informed that the commission had a pending motion dated June 18 and filed June 25, seeking an order of the court for a recall of third prosecution witness, Ahmed Yahaya, and six prosecution witnesses, Suleiman Mohammed, for further examination-in-chief and possible further cross-examination in respect of the extant counts three and four of the charge.

The EFCC said it sought the order on the grounds that the witnesses were led in evidence by former prosecuting counsel and that the lawyer did not make maximum use of the witnesses being sought to be recalled in extracting relevant evidence from the said witnesses in proof of counts three and four.

The commission argued further that the witnesses being sought to be recalled were very material in proving counts three and four, among other grounds.

However, Usman, who acknowledged that a counter affidavit was filed by June 28 in opposition to the EFCC’s motion, urged the court to dismiss the application for being unmeritorious and highly vexatious.

After the parties in the suit adopted their processes, Justice Mohammed reserved the case for ruling on November 18.

(NAN)

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