Fraud: Court Insists Ex-GMD of  NNPC Has Case to Answer 





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By Wandoo Sombo

The Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday, told the former Group Managing Director, (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu that he had a case to answer in his ongoing trial.

Yakubu, who is facing a six-count charge bordering on non declaration of assets and money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had entered a no case submission after the prosecution closed its case.

However, in his ruling on Thursday, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, ordered Yakubu to defend counts one to four of the charge preferred against him just as he struck out counts five and six.

The judge held that the prosecution had failed to prove its case on why Yakubu should answer to counts five and six but that he should defend how he came about being in possession of such a huge amount of money.
In the no-case submission dated Nov. 6, 2018, and filed through his counsel, Yakubu had prayed the court to strike out the charges against him, and discharge and acquit him.

He argued that the evidence led by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against him, necessitating him to defend himself.
The EFCC had on Oct. 17, 2018, closed its case against Yakubu after calling the seventh witness, Suleiman Mohammed, an operative with the Commission.

Mohammed had testified to how operatives on Feb. 3, 2017 operatives of the commission recovered 9. 7 million dollars and 74,000 pounds, stashed in a huge fire proof safe in a building belonging to Yakubu in Sabon  Tasha area of Kaduna State.

The charges read: “That you Andrew Yakubu( former GMD of NNPC) on or before Aug.18  2015 at the  EFCC office at No.5 Fomella Street, Wuse II Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court,, knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets to wit: 9. 7 million dollars only in the Declaration of  Assets Form you filled at the EFCC.

“You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(3)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3) (c) of the same Act.

“That you Andrew Yakubu, on or before Aug.  18, 2015 at the  EFCC office at No.5 Fomella Street, Wuse II Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets to wit: 74,000 pounds only in the Declaration of  Assets Form you filled at the EFCC.

“That you Andrew Yakubu sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court without going through a financial institution received cash payment of the sum of 9.7 million dollars only and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

“That you Andrew Yakubu sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court without going through a financial institution received cash payment of the sum of 74,000 pounds only and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the same Act.

“That you Andrew Yakubu, sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court with intent to avoid a lawful transaction under the law transported at various times to Kaduna the aggregate sum of 9.7 million dollars.

“This is when you knew or reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceed of some form of unlawful activity and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7(4) (b) (ii) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 7(5) of the same Act.

“That you Andrew Yakubu, sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court with intent to avoid a lawful transaction under the law transported at various times to Kaduna the aggregate sum of 74,000 pounds.

“This is when you knew or reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceed of some form of unlawful activity.

The matter was adjourned until July 3, for Yakubu to enter his defence.

(NAN)

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