Nigeria: Court rules on ex-NNPC GMD’s no case submission May 16,
London, March 28, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has fixed May 16, for ruling on the no case submission entered by the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu in relation to his trial.
The court also adjourned until April 1, to rule on an application by him seeking leave of the court to travel abroad for medical treatment.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the date on Wednesday after counsel to Yakubu, Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, and the prosecutor, Mr Ben Ikani adopted their written addresses on the no case submission.
Yakubu had been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a six-count charge bordering on failure to declare assets and money laundering.
At the last 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, Yakubu had filed a “no-case” submission on December 5, 2018, through Anone Usman who stood in for his counsel, Ahmed Raji.
He had then 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.
One of the prosecution witness against Yakubu, Sambo Maina on Thursday, May 10, 2018 narrated how Yakubu concealed the sum of $9,772,800 found in his apartment in the EFCC Asset Declaration Form.
Maina, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, narrated this while testifying as the fourth prosecution witness before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He also told the court that the former NNPC boss also failed to declare the sum of £74,000 (seventy four thousand pounds sterling) found in his building to the EFCC in the said form.
While narrating how EFCC came about the ‘Declaration Form’, Sambo said: “We commenced investigation into two categories of NNPC contract. The contracts were awarded by NNPC and its subsidiaries.
“The first category of the contract relates to strategic alliance agreement between the NNPC, its subsidiaries NPDC (Nigerian Petroleum Development Company) and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd.
“The first strategic alliance agreement was on oil mining lease 26/30/34/40/42 and the second contract was on oil mining lease 60/61/62/63”.
He added that the investigation was sequel to intelligence report received by the EFCC relating to suspicious fund transfers from the Nigerian account of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept to its sister company in Switzerland called Atlantic Energy Holdings, including additional transfers from Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd to Atlantic Energy Holdings.
“It was on the basis of this suspicious transaction that investigation commenced. In the course of our investigation, we found it necessary to seek clarifications from Engineer Andrew Yakubu and he was invited to EFCC”, Maina said.
He added that while interacting with the defendant, EFCC found out that the two strategic alliance agreements were executed between 2011 and April 2014 when Yakubu was the GMD.
The PW4 further stated that after the defendant volunteered his statement he also declared his assets to the EFCC sometimes between June and August, 2015.
The witness told the court that the declaration form given to the defendant to fill and declare his assets was based on the allegation that the company, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, was allowed to lift crude oil worth over a billion dollars without carrying out the necessary obligation on their part upon which some officials of the NNPC were charged to court.
The asset declaration form was tendered and admitted as ‘Exhibit