By Alex Enumah
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday turned down request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to inspect cash amounting to $9,772,800 and £74000 seized from a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu.
The monies recovered from a fireproof safe at Yakubu’s house in Kaduna in 2017, has been in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kano branch.
The anti-graft agency is alleging corruption and fraud against Yakubu, accusing him of receiving the huge sums without going through a financial institution.
The EFCC also accused Yakubu of not including the monies in the EFCC Asset Declaration form he filled in 2015.
But Yakubu in his defence against the six-count charge bordering on money laundering and false declaration of assets, maintained that the monies were gifts.
In its bid to prove the allegations, the prosecution through its lawyer, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar had on January 14, 2021, prayed the court for an order to move to CBN Kano branch for the purpose of inspecting the sums of money mentioned in counts three and four of the charge.
But Yakubu through his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN) objected to the request and urged the court to dismiss the application.
Delivering ruling yesterday, Justice Mohammed however held that it was unnecessary to move the court to Kano to inspect the cash.
“It is clear to my mind that a visit to the bank is at the discretion of the court. I find no basis in the request by the prosecution to visit the bank. I find it unnecessary, consequently, this application is hereby refused,” Mohammed held.
The matter has been adjourned to March 10 for continuation of trial.