Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Company (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu has stated 98 per cent of the $9,772,800 and £74,000 money recovered from a protected in his home in Kaduna State was reward from well-wishers.

Yakubu stated two per cent of the cash is from the financial savings he constituted of the estacode he acquired whereas in workplace.

The ex-NNPC GMD spoke earlier than a Federal Excessive Courtroom in Abuja whereas testifying as the primary defence witness in his trial on expenses of cash laundering. He formally opened his defence on Wednesday.

Led in proof by his lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), Yakubu stated: “Sure, my lord, I affirm that the cash in a protected, which is referred to in counts three and 4 of the cost, was taken from my property.

“As I stated in my assertion to EFCC, the cash discovered within the protected is mine. The cash was not acquired in bulk, it was acquired in tranches of no more than $10,000 {dollars} and no more than £5,000.

“And the substantial a part of the quantity was given to me after I left workplace and it was given to me on the events of birthday, thanksgiving service and different celebration I hosted after leaving workplace.

“Sure, it additionally included mariages of my daughters. Roughly the substantial quantity of about over 98% was given to me.

“The aim of preserving the cash is usually because because it got here to me unplanned, the plan was to consider enterprise enterprise I’ll embark on after my retirement.

“For the reason that cash was given to me sudden, I stored the cash in security within the protected pending when I’ll determine on the enterprise enterprise to embark on, and as quickly as that call is crystalised, the enterprise might be funded by a monetary establishment.

“For over 25 years, I had causes, by purpose of my schedule, to many components of the world outdoors Nigeria, and so, I used to be entitled to estacode in US {dollars}.

“And any financial savings I made in the course of the journey, I got here again with no matter I’ve and saved it. The cash I saved from my journey constitutes 2 per cent of the cash.”

Underneath cross-examination by the prosecutor, Mohammed Abubakar, Yakubu stated he joined the service of NNPC in 1980, grew to become the Managing Director of Warri Petrochemical and Refining Firm Ltd in 2007.

The witness stated he was appointed Govt Director in command of Exploration and Manufacturing at NNPC headquarters in 2011, be got here GMD of NNPC in 2012 and retired as GMD, NNPC in 2014.

Yakubu stated his brother, Bitrus Yakubu was current when EFCC officers performed a search in his premises in Kaduna, the place the cash was discovered.

“I used to be advised that the EFCC stormed into my property, took the protected and requested my brother to accompany them.

“Once I reported on the EFCC workplace in Kano, my brother was there,” he stated.

When requested what number of statements he made to the EFCC whereas being interrogated, Yakubu stated two, however when confronted with copies of the assertion, they turned out to be 4.

Yakubu defined that he initially stated two as a result of he made the statements about 4 years in the past and had forgotten their quantity.

At some extent Raji objected to Abubakar asking the defendant a query on a doc referring to the continued trial of businessman, Olajide Omokore and others earlier than one other courtroom, and during which Yakubu had testified as a safety witness.

READ ALSO: Andrew Yakubu’s $9.7m stands forfeited to FG—Enchantment Courtroom

Raji argued that the content material of the doc didn’t relate to counts three and 4, which at the moment are left within the unique six rely cost on which Yakubu was arraigned in 2017.

He stated by advantage of the April 24, 2020 judgment of the Courtroom of Enchantment in Abuja, the defendant was solely required to enter his defence in relation to counts three and 4 and due to this fact, can’t be requested questions on a doc that bears no hyperlink with the 2 counts.

Responding, Abubakar argued in any other case, insisting that the paperwork associated to the 2 surviving counts within the cost.

Abubakar was nonetheless making his submission when the trial decide, Justice Ahmed Mohammed famous that each legal professionals had taken a lot of the courts time.

Justice Mohammed then adjourned until July 22 for the prosecution to conclude his reply on the defence’s objection to cross analyzing the defendant on Exhibit J.

Yakubu was charged with cash laundering by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) in a six-count cost on which he was arraigned on March 16, 2017.

The alleged offences embody failure to make full disclosure of property, receiving money with out going by a monetary establishment, which borders on cash laundering and intent to keep away from a lawful transaction below legislation, transported at numerous occasions to Kaduna, the combination sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000.

EFCC stated the cash was recovered by its brokers from a protected allegedly hidden by the defendant in a home in a group Kaduna State.
In a ruling in Could 2019 Justice Mohammed partially upheld Yakubu’s no-case submission by placing down two out of the six counts.

The Courtroom of Enchantment, Abuja, within the April 24, 2020 judgment partially upheld Yakubu’s enchantment by placing down one other two counts and ordered him to return to the trial courtroom to enter his defence in relation to the remaining two counts.

Yakubu and the EFCC have since appealed the choice on the Supreme Courtroom.

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