Andrew Yakubu Sues EFCC Over His N3bn ‘Gift’
By Oladapo Okeowo
Andrew Yakubu, erstwhile Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the return of the money found in his house in Kaduna.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on February 9 raided a nondescript house in Kaduna and found $9.7million and £74,000 buried in a fire-proof safe.
He insists that the money recovered by the EFCC was a gift from unnamed friends and not from any criminal activity.
Yakubu filed a petition before a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, asking that the Court order the Federal Government to return the money an earlier judgement by Justice Zainab had asked him to forfeit.
His suit was filed by Ahmed Raji (SAN).
He insists that the Court, sitting in Kano, that ordered the forfeiture does not have the jurisdictional authority to entertain the motion since the alleged crime was committed in Abuja.
According to him, going by section 45 of the Federal High Court Act, an offence should 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 February 13 2017 was made, was committed within the Kano judicial division of this Honourable Court.”
Going on, he said the FG lacked the locus-standi to seek the interim order of the court granted on February 13.
“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 (herein after referred to a “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 February 13, 2017, was made in respect of alleged offences under the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act (herein after “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 (FG) before the Order was made.”