The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told a Federal High Court in Abuja,…
Ex-NNPC GMD rebuffs EFCC over $9.7m donors’ list
Detained former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu has allegedly refused to tell the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) those he claimed gave him the $9.7million cash seized from his house in Kaduna
However, the anti-graft agency has relocated Yakubu from Kano to Abuja ahead of his arraignment later this week.
His counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN) said yesterday that there is no law requiring the suspect to disclose those who gave him the money.
Raji said the bulk of the cash was given to Yakubu during socials and as sympathy gift after he left office.
A court has already ordered that the $9.7million and £74,000 impounded from him be forfeited to the Federal Government for the meantime.
The EFCC has filed a six-count charge against him.
An EFCC source said yesterday that Yakubu had refused to list his benefactors to “enable us to crosscheck whether or not those affected did him any favour.”
“We suspected that the cash came in between 2012 and 2014 but Yakubu has refused to disclose the sources,” the source said.
“Maybe when his trial begins, he will open up in court. We believe he owes it a duty as a citizen to name those who showered the huge gifts on him.
“Apart from that, since the gifts allegedly came while in office, the constitution makes it mandatory for him to declare them and the sources.”
Section 6 (3) of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the constitution says: “A public officer shall only accept personal gifts or benefits from relatives or personal friends to such extent and on such occasions as are recognized by custom;
“Provided that any gift or donation to a public officer on any public or ceremonial occasion shall be treated as a gift to the appropriate institution represented by the public officer, and accordingly, the mere acceptance or receipt of any such gift shall not be treated as a contravention of this provision.”
But reacting, Mr. Raji, Yakubu’s counsel said: “There is no law that says that Andrew Yakubu must disclose the sources of the gifts. This is more so because he is no longer a public servant.
“It is like asking him to prove his innocence. Is there any money missing? He does not owe the EFCC any duty to submit the list of those who gave him gifts
“You can declare gifts if you are only a public servant. My client told me that the bulk of gifts came after he had left office during ceremonies, occasions and as sympathy gifts because of the way he was sacked.
“The burden of proof is on EFCC if any money is missing or any money has been stolen. Yakubu is no longer a public servant.”
It was gathered that Yakubu has been relocated from Kano to Abuja preparatory to his arraignment this week.
Another source added: “The ex-GMD has been moved from Kano to Abuja. We are set for his trial.”
“He will face trial for Advance Fee Fraud, money laundering, failure to declare over $9.7million gifts in Assets Form.”
The Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren said a special operation conducted by operatives on February 3, 2017 yielded the recovery of a staggering $9,772,800 and another sum of £74,000 cash.
According to him the huge cash was hidden in a fire proof safe, adding: “the surprise raid of the facility was sequel to an intelligence which the commission received about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna.
“On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belong to his brother, Andrew Yakubu.
“When the safe was opened it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000 .
“On February 8, 2017, Andrew Yakubu reported to the Commission’s Zonal office in Kano and made statement wherein he admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was gift from unnamed persons. He is currently assisting the investigation.”