HOTTEST SONGS OF THE WEEK:
Court acquits former GMD of NNPC of money laundering charges after five years –
The Federal High Court, Abuja has discharged and acquitted Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on a money laundering case against him.
In 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided Mr Yakubu’s residence in Kaduna State and found $9,772, 800 and £74, 000 stashed in a fireproof safe.
The presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered the central bank to return the said money to Mr Yakubu.
- On March 16, 2017, Mr Yakubu was arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering.
- Mr Yakubu pleaded not guilty to the charges, he claimed the money was given to him as gifts by well-wishers.
- In counts 3 and 4, EFCC argued that Mr Yakubu received the money without going through a financial institution as stated under the money laundering prohibition act.
- They submitted that Section 1(A) of the money laundering prohibition act states that “No person shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding N5 million or its equivalent.“
- Mr Yakubu in his testimony told the court that the money was received in trenches and not in bulk and that the money was as goodwill from his well-wishers after he left office.
- He told the court that the purpose of keeping the money at home was to think of a business venture that he will invest in.
- The EFCC sought an order for the interim forfeiture of the money which was granted by the federal high court, Kano division.
- However, in an appeal marked: SC/639/2018, Mr Yakubu appealed the decision of the lower court.
- On April 24, 2020, the court of appeal delivered a judgement and ordered Mr Yakubu to open his defence.