According to report, a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, has filed a case before the Federal High Court in Abuja naming the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) as defendants.
The complainant claimed that despite a court order, the defendants allegedly refused to disclose his $9.8 million.
Yakubu questioned why the Nigerian anti-graft agency and its allies still have access to his funds despite a court decision clearing him of earlier accusations in a lawsuit submitted through his legal representative, Ahmed Raji (Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN).
The EFCC, CBN, and GTB are mentioned as the first, second, and third defendants in the summons, which is dated and filed as FHC/ABJ/CS/231/2023 and has the following designations: first, second, and third.
In 2017, the EFCC raided the home of the former NNPC CEO in Kaduna and found a safe with 9,772,800 dollars and 74,000 pounds (9.7 million dollars and 74,000 pounds).
On March 16, 2017, Yakubu was detained on six counts, however the trial court dropped counts one and two.
According to newsmen, counts five and six were also thrown out, and Yakubu was told to give a defense on counts three and four.
Counts three and four alleged violations of Section 1(1) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011, which are punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Act. They included failing to disclose all assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution, and intending to evade a legal transaction.
All of the allegations against Yakubu had been met with a not guilty plea.
On March 31, 2022, Justice Ahmed Mohammed released and cleared the former NNPC GMD of the allegations related to money laundering.
The EFCC appealed the judge’s ruling because it maintained that it had not established its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Later, Yakubu questioned whether “the court did not become dominus litis of the respective sums of $9,773,200 and £74,000 belonging to” him when they were put in issue and in evidence before the court in charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/43/2017 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Engr Andrew Yakubu, and in respect of which judgement was delivered on March 31, 2022.”
After a sister court ruled in his favor on March 31, 2022, he asked whether the EFCC should still be in possession of the funds it had seized if the answer to the previous question was yes.
Yakubu enquired as a result of whether the money should be delivered to him right once or put into an account managed by the court registry, pending the resolution of the EFCC’s appeal of the aforementioned judgment.
In light of the court’s ruling, he requested an injunction instructing the defendants to give him the money right now.
Alternatively, he requested a court order requiring them to transfer the funds right away into an account managed by the FHC chief registrar or into an account that would be run by the chief registrar, the EFCC, and him, pending the outcome of the appeal.
The EFCC asked the court to reject Yakubu’s plea in a preliminary objection, claiming that the lawsuit amounted to an abuse of the legal system.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter in a motion dated March 20 and submitted on April 12 by Faruk Abdullah.
The commission added that it had relied on earlier court filings in which it had argued that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case and requested the court to dismiss it altogether.
In the meantime, the EFCC claimed that the majority of Yakubu’s depositions did not accurately reflect the state of the case in an affidavit in favor of the motion that was sworn to by a detective with the commission, Sambo Mayana.
It noted that an appeal had been made under the number CA/ABJ/CR/653/2022.
In addition, it noted that Yakubu and the Federal Government each had an appeal pending before the Supreme Court with the appeal numbers SC/CR/241/2020 and C/CR/223/2020, respectively.
The EFCC contended that Yakubu filed an application with the Supreme Court asking the court to order the commission to deposit the cash in a bank account run by the Supreme Court registry while parties awaited a date for the hearing of case SC/CR/223/2020.
It said that Yakubu had submitted a copy of his application to the Supreme Court through this lawsuit and asked for it to be resolved on this count.
The EFCC requested that the court reject Yakubu’s application and uphold its initial objection in the interest of justice.
Yakubu’s attorney, A.A. Usman, informed the court on Thursday that the defendants had submitted counter-affidavits and that he would need time to react.
No one in the case protested, therefore Idaye Imbu, the attorney for GTB, notified the court that a move to regularize their procedures had been filed. The judge then granted her request.
The hearing was postponed to May 18 by Justice Ekwo.
Follow us on Facebook
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Anaedo Online or official policies of the Anaedo Online.