Court clears ex-NNPC boss of money laundering charge

EFCC had failed to prove the three ingredients of Section I of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act which it relied upon.

Former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the National Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, March 31, 2022, discharged and acquitted Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of a money laundering charge.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a judgement, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to him, to sustain the conviction of the defendant (Yakubu) in this Act, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and the EFCC had failed to prove the three ingredients of Section I of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act which it relied upon.

Though the EFCC called six witnesses against Yakubu, the ex-GMD, while demonstrating the ownership of the money allegedly laundered, said the money were received as gifts and goodwill from friends and well-wishers after his retirement in 2014."

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the anti-graft agency had, in 2017, raided the residence of the ex-NNPC boss in Kaduna 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 the trial court struck out counts one and two.

The Court of Appeal also struck out counts five and six and ordered Yakubu to defend himself on counts three and four.

Justice Mohammed described the vital ingredients in counts three and four to include receiving cash payment above N5 million, failure to go through a financial institution and that a defendant is a natural person.

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