EFCC’s Explanation for Withholding Seized Funds from Ex-NNPC Boss Andrew Yakubu

EFCC’s Explanation for Fund Seizure

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) provided clarification on Monday regarding its decision not to release the $9.7 million and £74,000 it confiscated from former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.

Ongoing Legal Dispute

The anti-graft agency explained that the alleged hidden wealth, which its operatives recovered from Yakubu’s residence, is still entangled in an ongoing legal dispute before the appellate court.

Thus, returning the seized funds to Yakubu would be improper due to the unresolved legal matters.

EFCC’s Appeal and Litigation Status

Naija News has learned that the EFCC, represented by its lawyer, Mr. Faruk Abdullah, had filed an appeal against the ruling of a High Court that dismissed money laundering allegations against the former NNPC boss.

As a result, the EFCC informed the Federal High Court in Abuja that the seized money is currently a subject of an ongoing legal dispute.

EFCC’s Request to Dismiss Yakubu’s Application

The lawyer representing the EFCC asked the court to dismiss an application filed by the former NNPC GMD, seeking to compel the agency to return the confiscated funds to him.

Seizure of Funds and Legal Background

In 2017, based on a tip-off by a whistleblower, the EFCC conducted a raid on Yakubu’s guest house in Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State, where they discovered $9.7 million and £74,000 hidden inside a fireproof safe.

A Federal High Court in Kano issued an interim order on February 13, 2017, for the forfeiture of the recovered money to the federal government, a decision that was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Kaduna in 2018.

Yakubu’s Defense and Source of Funds

However, during his arraignment on money laundering charges, Andrew Yakubu contended that the seized monies were gifts he received on various occasions.

He stated that people had given him monetary gifts during events such as birthdays, thanksgiving services, and other celebrations he hosted after his tenure as NNPC’s GMD.

Yakubu’s Tenure at NNPC

Andrew Yakubu served as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC from 2012 to 2014.

The legal battle surrounding the seized funds underscores the complexity of the case and the ongoing dispute regarding their ownership.

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