The Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal today 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 Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
On 3 February, 2017, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stormed a house allegedly belonging to the former NNPC boss and uncovered the sum $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Eight Hundred Dollars ) and another £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pounds Sterling) stashed in a fireproof safe.
The money according to Yakubu, were gifts from well wishers.
However the Commission suspected that the money was a proceed of crime and secured an interim forfeiture from the Federal High Court on the money.
Yakubu being dissatisfied with 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 filed on the 22nd of May, 2017 while the Commission filed its response which was subsequently adopted on the 29th of January 2018 and matter was then adjourned to today for judgment.
The respondents in their reply contended that the ruling of the lower court validating its order was not perverse and that sections 28 and 29 of EFCC Act are valid and operational notwithstanding the alleged failure of the AGF to make regulations for their operations.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Obietonbara Daniel Kalio who headed the panel of the three judges, the appellate court resolved all the issues in favour of EFCC.