Fresh facts emerged yesterday on how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered the $9.772,800 million loot from a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu.
The anti-graft agency, while acting on an “intelligence” report, allegedly carried out the surprise raid on the building which is located around Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State, from where the operatives stumbled on the $9.8 million loot.
Prior to the official clarification, earlier reports, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), had estimated that the loot was $9.2 million until the commission yesterday clarified that the recovered money was $9.772,800.
It was also gathered that the clarification came barely 48 hours after the acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had told a committee of the House of Representatives during the presentation of an appraisal of the commission’s 2016 budget performance as well as to defend the 2017 budget, that the $9.2 million and 750,000 pounds were recovered from a residence in Kaduna State.
But the commission in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the foreign currencies were allegedly recovered from the former GMD’s house in Kaduna, during a surprise raid on February 3 on a building belonging to Yakubu in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State where another 74,000 cash was also recovered.
The huge cash, it was gathered, was hidden in a fire proof safe following an intelligence which the commission received about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the house. Sabon Tasha is a poverty stricken area of the capital.
“On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Yakubu disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belonged to his brother (Yakubu).
“When the safe was opened it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 and another sum of £74,000,” the statement stated.
It was also gathered that on February 8, Yakubu had reported to the EFCC’s Zonal office in Kano and made statement wherein he admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was gift from “unnamed persons”.
Yakubu, who was GMD of the NNPC between 2012 and 2014, is said to be assisting the EFCC in its investigation and is already facing trial for money laundering, having been charged by the EFCC in June 2016.
Findings by this newspaper revealed that the huge money, which is in excess of N3 billion by official exchange rate, was the largest ever recovered by the agency in recent weeks.