Former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu has been discharged and acquitted of the $9.8 million money laundering charge filed against him by the Federal Government.
Recall that residence of the ex-NNPC boss in Kaduna was raided by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2017, and 9, 772, 800 dollars and 74, 000 pounds (9.7 million dollars and 74, 000 pounds) were discovered in a safe.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja who gave the judgement on Thursday March 31 after a five year legal battle, said the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), prosecuting Andrew Yakubu on behalf of the Federal Government could not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Justice Mohammed agreed with Yakubu that the hard currencies found at his Kaduna residence were gifts and donations from friends and well-wishers after he retired as NNPC GMD.
“The prosecution ought to have investigated the claim of the defendant and subsequently, lead evidence to contradict its claim.
“A prudent investigator could have asked the investigator to asked the defendant to provide the names of some of his friends and other individuals who had given him monies as gifts or as goodwill and find out how much each person had given him and thereafter invite them to find out the truth or otherwise.”
The court held that the money was not collected in bulk but in tranches, adding that part of the amount was from his savings from his official foreign trips while he was in office.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed also ordered that the huge foreign currency seized from him in 2017 and kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) be refunded to him forthwith.