Alleged Money Laundering: Ex-NNPC Boss Yakubu To Know Fate In March

Alleged Money Laundering: Ex-NNPC Boss Yakubu To Know Fate In March
A file photo of former NNPC GMD, Mr Andrew Yakubu.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed March 27 for the adoption of written addresses in a no-case submission filed by Mr Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the date at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday in the nation’s capital.

Mr Yakubu was arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He is standing trial for six charges bordering on money laundering offence and false declaration of assets.

READ ALSO: EFCC Seeks Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m, N7.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan

At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel informed the court that he had filed a written address dated January 15, 2019, in respect of the application of the former NNPC GMD which was dated November 6, 2018.

Earlier, Mr Yakubu filed a “no-case” submission on December 5, 2018, through Anone Usman who stood in for his counsel, Ahmed Raji.

He had asked the court to strike out the charges against him and acquit him of any wrongdoing.

The defence counsel had argued that the evidence led by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against the former NNPC boss, noting that there was nothing for him to defend.

On February 3, 2017, the EFCC based on intelligence report raided Mr Yakubu’s house located at Chikun Road in Sabin Tasha area of Kaduna State.

During the raid, operatives of the anti-graft agency recovered $9,772,800 and £74,000 stashed in a huge fireproof safe, which Mr Yakubu said were gifts given to him by friends and well-wishers.

Appeal Court Affirms Forfeiture Of Andrew Yakubu’s $9.7m, £74,000

Appeal Court Affirms Forfeiture Of Andrew Yakubu's $9.7m, £74,000
File Photo: Andrew Yakubu

 

The Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal has affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court, Kano which ordered the interim forfeiture of the money found in a house in Kaduna belonging to a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu.

Spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

Operatives of the Commission had stormed a house allegedly belonging to the former NNPC boss on February 3, 2017. Upon raiding the house, the EFCC personnel uncovered the sum of $9,772,800 and another £74,000 stashed in a fireproof safe.

While Yakubu claimed the monies were gifts from well-wishers, the Commission suspected that they were proceeds of crime and proceeded to secure an interim forfeiture from the Federal High Court on the money.

The former NNPC boss, through his counsel Ahmed Raji, approached the Federal High Court in Kano asking the court to revoke the order.

The court presided over by Justice Z.B Abubakar on May 20, 2017, however, dismissed Yakubu’s application and affirmed the order of interim forfeiture it granted on February 13, 2017.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court, the former NNPC GMD approached the Court of Appeal in his bid to reverse the interim forfeiture order and recover his money.

He filed the appeal on May 22, 2017, while the EFCC filed its response which was subsequently adopted on January 29, 2018, and the matter was then adjourned till April 27, 2018, for judgment.

The appeal was brought on grounds of jurisdiction and misrepresentation of fact by EFCC that the money was suspected to be proceeds of illegal activities.

Mr Raji argued that Section 29 of the EFCC Establishment Act was null and void as well as submitted that Section 28 of the EFCC Act offended the provision of Section 44 (2)(k).

In Section 43 of the EFCC Establishment Act, the learned silk argued that the Attorney General of the Federation did not make regulations and guidelines consequently, all forfeiture made shall be null and void.

However, the respondents contended that the ruling of the lower court validating its order was not perverse and that sections 28 and 29 of EFCC Act were valid and operational, notwithstanding the alleged failure of the AGF to make regulations for their operations.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Obietonbara Kalio who headed the panel of the three judges, the Appellate Court resolved all the issues in favour of EFCC.

Court Rejects Andrew Yakubu’s Application To Recover Forfeited $9m

File Photo: Andrew Yakubu

A former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, on Wednesday failed to recover the $9.8m seized from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mr. Yakubu had filed an application before a Federal High Court in Kano asking the court to overturn an interim order of forfeiture secured by the EFCC in February for the cash.

Read Also: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Andrew Yakubu’s $9.8m  To FG

How We Recovered $9m From Andrew Yakubu’s House – EFCC Witness

EFCC_IkuforijiThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday opened its case in the of a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporaton, Mr Andrew Yakubu.

The EFCC opened its case by calling one of its investigative officers, Mr Tamiu Abubakar, as the first witness.

During his testimony, Mr Abubakar gave details of how the anti-graft agency recovered over $9m and £74,000 from Mr. Yakubu’s house in Kaduna.

According to the witness, sometime in February this year, the Kano zonal office of the EFCC received information that there was a house in Sabon Tsah, Kaduna State where a huge sum of money suspected to be proceeds of corruption was being kept.

Mr. Abubakar said when the house was raided, a safe was recovered from the premises in which the stated sum of money was found.

He told the court that after the money was counted, the legal unit of the EFCC applied and obtained an interim forfeiture order, which led it to keep the money in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s office in Kano State.

Following his testimony, Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the case till May 24 for the cross examination of the witness.

Andrew Yakubu Withdraws Suit Against EFCC, AGF

yakubuThe embattled former group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Andrew Yakubu, has withdrawn his suit seeking compensation over his detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Yakubu had filed the suit before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja following his arrest by the anti-graft body on February 8 2017.

In the suit, he had claimed that his continued detention by the EFCC with respect to the sums of $9,772,800 and £74,000 recovered from his house in Kaduna on February 3, is a violation of his fundamental human rights.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, his counsel Mr Adeola Adedipe, informed the judge that he had filed a notice of discontinuance of the suit on behalf of his client based on the bail granted him by the court.

Justice Mohammed thereafter struck out the suit.

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Yakubu’s $9.8m To FG

Andrew Yakubu, EFCC, Court, NNPCA Federal High Court in Kano has ordered the forfeiture of the sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 recovered from a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, to the Federal Government.

The order was sequel to an ex parte application by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking an interim forfeiture of the recovered money to the Federal Government.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed that the ex parte application was moved by the counsel for the applicant, Salihu Sani.

In her ruling, Justice Zainab Abubakar held that “the sum of $9,772,000 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand United States Dollars) and £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling), which are now in the custody of the applicant (EFCC), are in the interim forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

The EFCC said that some its operatives on February 3, 2017, stormed a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered a staggering sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 stashed in a huge fire proof safe.

The commission added that Mr Yakubu reported to its Kano Zonal Office on February 8, 2017 where he admitted being the owner of both the house and the money recovered.

The EFCC said “Yakubu is still in custody assisting the investigation”.

How EFCC Recovered $9.8million From Ex-NNPC GMD

recovered-money
Bundles of cash recovered from Former GMD of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says it has recovered 9.8 million dollars and 74,000 Pounds, from the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.

A statement signed by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, revealed that the money was hidden in a fire proof safe, inside a building in Kaduna, allegedly belonging to Mr Yakubu.

recovered-money3
Bundles of cash recovered from Former GMD of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu

The EFCC explained that it conducted a raid on the facility on February 3, 2017, after receiving an intelligence report about suspected proceeds of crime, believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State.
recovered-money-4On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belonged to his brother, the former NNPC boss.

EFCC officials

Meanwhile Mr Yakubu has reported to the EFCC zonal office in Kano where he has admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was a gift.

‎A source confirmed that he has since been detained by the EFCC to enable him to speak up on how he came about the huge cash; what it was meant for and why.

Nigerian Governors Hold Meeting On Developmental Issues

adams oshiomole at governors forumGovernors from the 36 states of the federation under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have met on how to find lasting solutions to some developmental issues that are calling for attention in their domain.

The meeting, which was held at the old banquet hall in the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, was said to have been initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari to keep the governors abreast of the goings on in the government departments and agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said that the briefings were designed to encourage synergy.

“The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, has given us a very interesting presentation of the reforms that are going on in the NNPC.

” We all have renewed confidence that we would have a national corporation that is run like a business outfit with good corporate governance and transparency that people can see through its operations.

“Having listened to all the presentations, we are very excited that the President is providing the right leadership and the GMD is at home with the issues and he’s dealing with all the impurities and the result is already manifesting,” Oshiomhole said .

Giving his view about the outcome of the meeting, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said, “I think for the first time in the history of me being a Governor, this is a very commendable effort. We discovered that many states can now partner with NNPC in the area of dam stream, business activities, distribution activities and refining activities.”

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, added, “We’ve learnt a lot of things today and I think everybody will go back to his state, more informed and more aware of what is presently happening and how we can move forward.”

NNPC Vs House Of Reps: Court Orders House To Correct Impression

house_of_repsA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has asked the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts to address a news conference to correct the erroneous impression that the court issued an order restraining the House from investigating the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the plaintiffs, Mr Etigwe Uwa, berated the actions of the House of Representatives for stalling the hearing of the suit challenging the constitutionality of the House of Representatives’ summon to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and some parastatals under the ministry.

Lawyer to the House of Representatives, Abubakar Mahmoud, however, apologised to the court for the misrepresentation of facts by his client, saying that it was not done intentionally.

Efforts by the plaintiff’s counsel to move his application for an order restraining the House of Representatives from investigating the Minister of Petroleum Resources was turned down by the court as Justice Ahmed Mohammed promised an accelerated hearing of the suit.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, after listening to all the parties adjourned the hearing of the suit to June 19 and ordered that all processes must be served before the date.

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account had on Thursday, May 22, issued fresh summons to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before it over the alleged expenses of 10billion Naira on private jets.

Also summoned were the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu; Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Engr. Saleh Dunoma; the Managing Director of Pipeline and Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPPMC, Mr Haruna Momoh; Vistajet International Limited and other stakeholders.

Lawyer Tells NASS To Suspend Petroleum Minister’s Probe

A legal practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye has urged the House of Representatives to put a hold on its probe on the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who has been answering questions over the alleged expenses of ten million naira on private jets.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-13h29m35s41

Mr Ogunye argued that “when you submit a matter to adjudication, the law says that you must allow the court to determine the matter first before you take any step” insisting that this is so because our democracy is guided by the principles of separation of powers.

He said in as much as “Judges cannot take over the functions of legislators, legislators cannot also take over the function of the judicial arm of government”.

Also speaking during Sunrise, Mr Igho Akaeregha, agreed that the probe be halted by the House until it is decided by the court. He noted that “once a case is in court, it becomes compelling for all the parties to wait for the outcome of what the court will say” .

Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Thursday, instituted a fresh legal action against the two chambers of the National Assembly, challenging their powers to probe allegations that she spent N10 billion on chartered private jets.

The Minister filed the suit on a day the House Committee on Public Accounts invited  her, the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, and Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) to appear before it on June 15 to explain their roles in the alleged N10 billion jet scam.

N10bn Private Jet: Reps Give Allison-Madueke Fresh Summons, Lawyer Protests

Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke
Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account has issued fresh summons to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before it over the alleged expenses of 10billion Naira on private jets.

Also summoned are the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu; Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Engr. Saleh Dunoma; the Managing Director of Pipeline and Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPPMC, Mr Haruna Momoh; Vistajet International Limited and other stakeholders.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, said that all those summoned were to appear between June 15 and 17 to shed light on various aspects of the alleged N10 billion expenses.

He added that anyone who refuses to appear would face a subpoena under the law.

You Can’t Probe Deziani For Now, Lawyer tells House

Meanwhile, Constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has warned the House of Representatives against making any move to resume probe of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, on the alleged N10B aircraft charter scam.

The senior lawyer asked the House to put the probe on hold for now since the Minister has a legal action before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the legality of the House of Representatives’ decision on the over-sight function.

In a letter of protest delivered to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambawal, Mr Ozekhome faulted the announcement of the fresh move to begin the probe, warning that the move would amount to an affront to the law court where the legal action was pending.

The human rights activist, in the letter also copied to the Senate President, Senator David Mark, said that the practice in the world especially in a civilized society is for both parties in a dispute to take their hands off the disputed matter once a law court has been invited for adjudication on the issue.

He said that it was wrong and abnormal for the House to proceed to probe the Minister even when the House has already joined issued with her in a law court of record and in competent jurisdiction.

Federal Government Backs Oil Industry On Shale Gas Reforms

oil and gasThe Federal Government on Thursday pledged to support the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry in its quest to square up against daunting global industry challenges and compete for relevance in the international energy space.

The Vice-President of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo, who was speaking at the 2014 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum organized by the Nigerian Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, said that with the change in global demand and supply balance; the industry must begin to expand and grow processing capacity for local utilization as well as export of finished products.

Sambo, who was represented by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, noted that the Government was ready to support the industry to join the Shale gas revolution in the next decade.

“I have no doubt that we have the required capacity and competence to tackle these challenges. Government has been and is ready and willing to support your effort in this direction. There is no doubt that oil and gas have played a big role in the economic development and transformation of our country over the last half century,” he said.

Vice-President Sambo stated that oil and gas has enabled the building of infrastructure as well as aided in the development of other sectors of the economy and national life. “We must therefore continue to maintain focus in doing the right things to transform the industry so as to meet the new challenges of the next century,” he said.

Fielding questions from members of the audience in the course of his presentation, Mr. Yakubu lamented the spate of negative criticism and public misconceptions of the operations of the NNPC. He noted that such comments were not only unfair to the Corporation but come as a morale dampener to the thousands of staff in the NNPC who toil day and night to ensure that the country reaps bountifully from proceeds of its hydrocarbon resources.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Alison–Madueke, who was represented by Engr. Abiye Membere, Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the NNPC, acknowledged the growing level of indigenous participation in mainstream exploration and production of the oil and gas business in the country.

The Minister stated that from a little over one percent some few years back, Nigerian companies now account for 10% of total daily crude production of 2.3 million barrels with a projected rise to 30% by the year 2020.

Also responding to questions on the purported stringent fiscal regime in the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly for legislative action, Membere cautioned the International Oil Companies against undue criticism of the bill and advised them to come forward with their numbers for proper debate.

“In 1993, under the existing Production Sharing Contracts, royalty was zero. The question now is, do the IOCs still want royalty to remain zero in 2014? We cannot as a nation have zero royalty in the eight most prolific oil and gas assets,” he argued.