Monday, 20 February 2017

Andrew Yakubu Asks Court to Return Seized $9.8m to Him

Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu has filed an appeal at the Federal High Court, Kano demanding the refund of the $9.7m and £74,000 seized from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and which the court that sat in Kano had ruled that it be forfeited to the Federal Government.

In an appeal filed by his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), Yakubu challenged the ruling of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Zainab B. Abubakar, saying the court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to try the case since the crime was allegedly committed in Abuja, which is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Kano court.

Raji argued that “by Section 45 of the Federal High Court Act, an offence shall be tried only by a court exercising jurisdiction in the area or place where the offence was committed. No aspect of the perceived offence in respect of which the Order of 13th February 2017 was made, was committed within the Kano judicial division of this Honourable Court,” Raji said.

He said, “By Section 28 of the EFCC Act, only the commission, i.e. the EFCC has the vires to seek an Order for the interim forfeiture of property under the Act.

“The power of this Honourable Court to make interim forfeiture Order(s) pursuant to Sections 28 & 29 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 (hereinafter “EFCC Act”) is applicable ONLY to alleged offences charged under the EFCC Act and not to offences cognizable under any other law.

The ex-parte Order of this Honourable Court dated 13th February 2017, was made in respect of alleged offences under the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act (hereinafter “ICPC Act”) and not the EFCC Act as prescribed by Section 28 & 29 thereof.

“The conditions precedent to the grant of an interim forfeiture Order under Sections 28 & 29 of the EFCC Act were not complied with by the Applicant before the Order was made. “In the instant case, no charge was brought against the Respondent/Applicant before the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act were activated to grant the ex-parte Order of 13th February 2017.”

A Federal High Court which sat in Kano on the 13th February, 2017 and presided over by Justice Zainab B. Abubakar, had ordered the forfeiture of the sum of $9,772,000 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand United States Dollars) and £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling) recovered from Mr. Andrew Yakubu to the Federal Government.
Mr. Yakubu has however denied stealing from the government while stating that the money seized from him were gifts from persons he did not mention.

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