Court Sets March 31 For Ruling In Ex-NNPC Boss, Andrew Yakubu’s $9.8million Fraud Case


Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed March 31 for judgment in the $9.8million fraud charge filed against Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Judge on Tuesday fixed the date after counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Farouk Abdullah, and the defence lawyer, Ahmed Raji, adopted their final written addresses in the matter.





The defence lawyer when the matter was called said the matter was adjourned for the adoption of the final written addresses and that he was ready for the business of the day. Abdullah too spoke in the same vein.
Raji explained that the defendant (Yakubu) was before the court pursuant to the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered in the matter on April 24, 2020, wherein it directed that Yakubu should come and explain his own side of his story by entering into his defence with respect to count three and four.
“Having listened to the final arguments of counsel to the prosecution and defence, this case is reserved for final judgment on March 31,” the Judge said.
Mr. Andrew Yakubu had on July 8, 2020 open his defence in his alleged $9.8million fraud trial at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the date for Yakubu to enter his defence shortly after he declined to stay proceedings in the trial in deference to two appeals already in the Supreme Court relating to the trial.
The EFCC had on March 16, 2017, arraigned Yakubu on a six-count charge of failure to make full disclosure of his assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution, which borders on money laundering and intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law, transported at various times to Kaduna, the aggregate sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000.
According to the commission, the said amount was recovered by its agents from a safe allegedly hidden by the defendant in a house in a community in Kaduna State.
In prosecuting the case, the EFCC called in seven witnesses before closing its case on October 17, 2018, after its seventh witness, Suleiman Mohammed (an EFCC operative) gave evidence on how his team, had on February 3, 2017, recovered $9,772,000 and £74,000 stashed in a huge fire proof safe in a building belonging to the defendant, located at Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State.
But rather than defending himself, the former NNPC boss made a no-case submission, claiming that the prosecution failed to establish the ingredients of the charge.
In his ruling on the no-case submission on May 16, 2019, the judge however partially upheld the no-case submission by striking out two of the six counts contained in the charge and ordered Yakubu to enter defence in relation to the remaining four counts.
Justice Mohammed had held that the prosecution failed to prove counts five and six of the charge which borders on transportation of the money.

 



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