Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, has said he has no case to answer in his trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Yakubu is being tried on a six-count charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in which he is charged with failure to declare assets and money laundering.
The EFCC had, on February 3, 2017 raided Yakubu’s house, located on Chikun Road, Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State, from where it claimed to have recovered $9,772, 800 and £74,000 a recovery which informed the charge.
It is the ex-NNPC’s contention, in the no-case submission he filed on November 6 this year, that he has no case to answer.
Yakubu argued that the essential elements of the charge brought against him, was not proved by the prosecution to warrant his being called to enter defence.
According to the defendant, the evidence tendered by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against him to require him to defend himself.
He is praying the court to strike out the charge and discharge and acquit him.
Prosecuting lawyer, Ben Ikani, announced the closure of the prosecution’s case on October 17 this year, at the conclusion of the testimony by Suleiman Mohammed, an official of the EFCC (who testified as 7th prosecution witness), following which the court adjourned to December 5 for the defence to open its case.
In his testimony, Mohammed explained how a team of EFCC’s investigators, which he was a member, recovered the money, estimated at N3 billion, which comprised of $9.7 million and ?£74,000.
Led in evidence by Ikani, Mohammed said the money was hidden in a fireproof safe, allegedly belonging to Yakubu. The huge safe has since been tendered in evidence in the proceedings.
The prosecution’s 7th witness said the recovery process and the counting of the money were recorded and saved in a 32-gigabyte memory card and in another two mini disks, which were admitted as exhibits by the court on October 17 this year.
Yesterday, Ikani was absent in court. There was no reason why he was not in court.
Defence lawyer, Anone Usman told the court that the case was adjourned to December 5 for the defence to open its case.
Usman said, upon the closure of the prosecution’s case, the defence filed a no-case submission on behalf of the defendant, as provided under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
He said the no-case submission was filed on November 6, 2018 and served on the prosecution on the same date.
Usman later applied for a date for parties to adopt the processes in respect of the no-case submission.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned to January 17 next year for adoption of written addresses on the no-case submission.
Justice Mohammed also directed that hearing notice be issued on the prosecution.