Hard currencies found in my house are gifts, ex-NNPC GMD, Yakubu, tells court

The Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, on Wednesday, told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that the $9.7 million and £74, 000.00 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) found in his Kaduna residence in 2017, were part of monies people gave to him as gifts.

Yakubu, who is facing a money laundering charge, opened his defence yesterday, telling the court that he received the monies in tranches of not more than $10, 000 and not more than £5, 000.

Testifying as his own witness, the former NNPC boss told the court that people gave him monetary gifts on occasions such as birthdays, thanksgiving services, and other celebrations he hosted after he left service.

Officials of the anti-graft agency had on the strength of a tip-off by a whistleblower, raided the Andrew Yakubu’s guest house situated at Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State, and recovered the alleged loot which was in foreign currencies.

EFCC said it discovered the sum of $9.7 million and £74,000 that Yakubu hid in a fireproof safe inside the house.

Following the discovery, a Federal High Court in Kano, on February 13, 2017, issued an interim order that forfeited the recovered monies to the federal government.

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Though the anti-graft agency later preferred a six-count criminal charge against Yakubu who was GMD of the NNPC between 2012 and 2014, the trial court, on May 16, 2019, struck out counts 5 and 6 of the charge based on a no-case-submission that he made.

Similarly, following an appeal by Defendant, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal further struck out counts 1 and 2 of the charge and ordered him to open his defence with respect to only counts 3 and 4 of the charge.

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