A former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, has restated his claim that the $9,772,800 and £74,000 recovered from where he kept them in a house in Kaduna last month were gifts he got over a period of time.
In an affidavit, which he filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, the ex-NNPC boss however stated that the sums of money, which amounted to about N3bn, were not gifts he got “as a public servant or while he was a public servant”.
He explained that the funds were gifts he got through goodwill, which he enjoyed during various celebrations and ceremonies he hosted in a period of five years.
Yakubu, who left office as the NNPC GMD in August 2014, did not disclose the details of the ceremonies in the affidavit, but insisted that the money came from well-wishers and friends.
But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has maintained that the money is part of proceeds of crime, adding that the ex-NNPC GMD did not declare them as part of his assets when asked to do so as far back as 2015.
A counter-affidavit by the EFCC, opposing a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Yakubu, stated, “That investigation into the allegations against the applicant (Yakubu) is ongoing and the interim findings reveal that the monies found in his house are not gifts but are monies suspected to be proceeds of crime.
“That the monies were purportedly given to him as gifts within 2010 and 2014 during which period he served as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
“That he was a public servant as of the time the purported monies were given to him.
“That in July 2015, the applicant completed an asset declaration form at the office of the first respondent (EFCC).
“That the money recovered from the Gubbai safe in the sum of $79,772,800 and another £74,000 was not declared in the aforementioned asset declaration form.”
On February 13, upon an ex parte application by the EFCC, Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Kano granted an order of interim forfeiture of the money.
Following the recovery of the money from his house on February 3, Yakubu has since February 8, been on remand in the custody of the EFCC in Kano.