Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Federal High Court in Abuja Thursday told the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, that he had a case to answer in his ongoing trial.
Yakubu who is facing a six-count charge bordering on non-declaration of assets and money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had entered a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case.
However, in his ruling yesterday, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, ordered Yakubu to defend counts one to four of the charge preferred against him just as he struck out counts five and six.
The judge held that the prosecution had failed to prove its case on why Yakubu should answer to counts five and six but that he should defend how he came about being in possession of such a huge amount of money.
In the no-case submission dated November 6, 2018, and filed through his counsel, Yakubu had prayed the court to strike out the charges against him, and discharge and acquit him. He argued that the evidence led by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against him, necessitating him to defend himself. The EFCC had on October 17, 2018, closed its case against Yakubu after calling the seventh witness, Suleiman Mohammed, an operative with the commission.
Mohammed had testified to how operatives on February 3, 2017 operatives of the commission recovered $9. 7 million and 74,000 pounds, stashed in a huge fire-proof safe in a building belonging to Yakubu in Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State.
The matter was adjourned until July 3, for Yakubu to enter his defence.