EFCC Seized $9.7m Gifted to Me After My Tenure in Office – Former NNPC MD
A former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu has said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized $9.7 million gifted to him after he left the employment of the NNPC.
Andrew Yakubu told a Federal High Court in Abuja that $9.7 million and £74,000 seized from him by the EFCC in February 2017 were gifts received after he retired from the public service.
The EFCC arraigned Yakubu in court on six counts of money laundering after the monies were seized from him. The anti-graft agency alleged that;
“as group managing director of NNPC, between 2012 and 2014, within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to avoid lawful transaction, transported to Kaduna $9.7million and €74,000.”
He was also accused of failing to disclose the seized funds to the agency in his asset declaration form in contravention of section 27 (3) of the EFCC Act.
Yakubu however disputed the claim of the EFCC saying most of the funds were gifts received during celebrations which he hosted.
“The money was not received in bulk but in tranches of not more than $10,000 and not more than £5,000. And a substantial part of the money was given to me after I left office,” he said.
And it was given to me on the occasions of birthdays, thanksgiving services, weddings of my daughters and other celebrations that I hosted after leaving office.”
He said he decided to save the funds until he could think of a venture to invest in because it came unplanned.
“Because the money came unplanned, the plan was to think about the business venture I’ll embark on after retirement.
I kept the money in the safe pending when there is a specific business venture I’ll embark on and as soon as that decision is crystalised, the business would be funded through a financial institution.”
The former NNPC boss explained that the other half of the funds came from savings from estacodes over a period of time.
“For over 25 years, I had reasons by virtue of my schedule, to travel to many parts of the world. So, I was entitled to estacodes in USD. And any savings made during a trip, I came back with whatever I had and saved it. The savings estimated time of start was around 2010 to 2014.”
The court struck out two counts of the six against Yakubu while an appeal court struck out two others. He is currently standing trial on just two counts of the original six proffered against him by the EFCC.