The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday explained why it could not release the $9.7 million, £74,000 it seized from a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.
According to the anti-graft agency, alleged stashed loot that its operatives recovered from the home of Yakubu was still a subject of an ongoing litigation before the appellate court, it would therefore be wrong to return them back to Yakubu.
Naija News understands that the EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr Faruk Abdullah, had appealed the judgement of a High Court, which dismissed allegations of money laundry levelled against the former NNPC boss.
The anti-graft agency told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday that since the commission had appealed the earlier judgement of the court, the seized money is still considered a subject of an ongoing litigation.
The EFCC ‘s lawyer, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss an application the erstwhile NNPC GMD filed to compel it to return the money to him.
It will be recalled that the EFCC, on the strength of a tip-off by a whistleblower, raided Yakubu’s guest house situated at Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State, in 2017 and discovered the sum of $9.7million and £74,000, which he hid in a fireproof safe inside the house.
In a February 13, 2017, the Federal High Court in Kano, granted an interim order for the recovered monies to be forfeited to the federal government. A verdict that was upheld by the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna, in 2018,
However, following Yakubu’s arraignment on a money laundering charge, he told the trial court that the seized monies were part of gifts he received on various occasions.
He told the court that people gave him monetary gifts on occasions such as birthdays, thanksgiving services, and other celebrations he hosted after he left service.
Yakubu served as the GMD of the NNPC between 2012 and 2014.
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