APPEAL COURT RULES ON ANDREW YAKUBU’S FORFEITED 9.7MIL DOLLARS

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Gbenro Adeoye

The Kaduna State Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court, Kano, which ordered the interim forfeiture of the money found in a house in Kaduna belonging to a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu.

On February 3, 2017, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stormed a house allegedly belonging to the former NNPC boss and found the sum $9,772,800 and another £74,000 stashed in a fireproof safe.

The money, according to Yakubu, was given to him as gifts by well-wishers.

However, the EFCC suspected that the money was proceeds of crime and that prompted the agency to secure an interim forfeiture from the Federal High Court on the money.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria,Yakubu, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), approached the Federal High Court in Kano, asking the court to revoke the order.

The Federal High Court, which was presided over by Justice Z. B. Abubakar, on May 10, 2017, dismissed the application of Yakubu and affirmed the order of interim forfeiture it granted on February 13, 2017.

Yakubu, who was dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court, approached the Court of Appeal in a bid to reverse the interim forfeiture order and get his money back.

The appeal was brought on grounds of jurisdiction and misrepresentation of fact by the EFCC that the money was suspected to be proceeds of illegal activities.

But the respondents, in their reply, contended that the ruling of the lower court validating its order was not perverse.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Obietonbara Daniel-Kalio, who headed the panel of three judges, the appellate court resolved all the issues in favour of the EFCC.

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