By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Federal Government, on Friday, preferred nine-count money laundering charge against former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, who was accused of stashing over N3billion at his house in Kaduna.
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, recovered the alleged loot which was in foreign currencies, from Yakubu’s guest house situated at Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State, following a tip-off by a whistle-blower.
EFCC said it had while raiding the house, discovered the sum of $9.7million and £74,000 that Yakubu hid in a fireproof safe inside the house.
A Federal High Court in Kano, on February 13, granted an order that forfeited the recovered money to FG, a decision Yakubu had since challenged, maintaining that the money was accumulated gifts he received during different ceremonies.
Meantime, in the charge marked FHC/Abj/ CR/ 43/ 2017, which was filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, FG, alleged that Yakubu failed to declare the money in the assets form he filed at the EFCC on August 18, 2015, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 27(3) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under section 27(3) (c) of the same Act.
In count three and four of the charge dated March 9 and signed by three EFCC prosecutors led by Prince Ben Ikani, FG, alleged that Yakubu had between 2012 and 2014, without going through a financial institution, received cash payments of $9, 772, 800 and £74, 000, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 and punishable under section 16(2) of the Act.
In count five and six, FG alleged that Yakubu had with intent to avoid a lawful transaction under the law, transferred at various times in Kaduna, aggregate sums of $9,772, 800 and £74, 000, when he reasonably ought to know 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 Act, 2006.
Meantime, no date has been fixed for arraignment of the defendant who was GMD of the NNPC between 2012 and 2014.
It will be recalled that Yakubu was sacked by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged insubordination and corruption.