Former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, on Wednesday, told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that substantial part of the money found at his Kaduna residence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2017 was given to him as gift after leaving office.
The ex GMD disclosed this while testifying before Justice Ahmed Mohammed as defence star witness in an alleged money laundering case instituted against him by EFCC,
In 2017, EFCC raided his house in Kaduna State and found 9,772, 800 dollars and 74, 000 pounds (9.7 million dollars and 74, 000 pounds) in a safe.
Yakubu was, however, arraigned on March 16, 2017 on six counts but was ordered by the Court of Appeal to defend counts 3 and 4 which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution and intent to avoid a lawful transaction in alleged violation of Section 1(1) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Act.
Responding to questions from his Counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, Yakubu confirmed that the money discovered in his property by the EFCC belonged to him.
He said: “Yes, my lord, I confirm that the money in a safe in counts 3 and 4 was taken from my property. As I stated in my statement to EFCC, the money found in the safe is mine. The money was not received in bulk, it was received in tranches of not more than 10, 000 dollars and not more than 5000 pounds. And the substantial part of the amount was given to me after I left office and it was given to me on the occasions of birthday, thanksgiving service and other celebration I hosted after leaving office”.
He said part of the ‘monies’ are: “gift I got from the marriages of my daughters. Approximately, the substantial amount of about over 98 per cent was given to me”.
He said he kept the money while thinking of the business to do with it.
“My lord, since the money was given to me unexpected, I kept the money in safety in the safe pending when I will decide on business venture to embark on and as soon as that decision crystalised, the business will be funded through a financial institution,” he said.
On the remaining two per cent of the money, he revealed that for over 25 years, he had reason by virtue of m his schedule to travel to many parts of the world outside Nigeria and received extacodes in the United States dollars. He said he also saved the money he made the trips.