Yakubu faces under-declaration of assets, illegal transaction charges – Punch Newspapers
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes is set to charge a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, with various offences, including under-declaration of assets and avoiding lawful transaction, The PUNCH learnt on Wednesday.
Our correspondent learnt from reliable sources that the EFCC was proposing seven counts likely to be filed against the ex-NNPC boss before the end of the week.
The proposed charges were said to be in connection with the sums of $9,772,800 and £74,000 recovered from his house in Kaduna last month.
It was learnt that the prosecution was considering charging him with failure to declare the money as part of his assets contrary to Section 27(3) of the EFCC Act and avoidance of lawful means of transaction, contrary to Section 7 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 2006.
Yakubu, who has been in the custody of the EFCC in Kano since February 8, had reportedly claimed in his statement to the anti-corruption agency that the sums of money recovered from his house were gifts he received over the years.
In an affidavit filed in support of his N1bn fundamental human rights enforcement suit, which he instituted against the EFCC, Yakubu claimed that the money was accumulated gifts he received from friends and well-wishers during ceremonies and celebrations for a period of over five years.
But the EFCC had insisted that the money was part of proceeds of crime, adding that Yakubu had failed to declare the money as part of his assets when he was invited for questioning in 2015.
In a counter-affidavit, opposing Yakubu’s suit, the commission stated, “That investigation into the allegations against the applicant (Yakubu) is ongoing and the interim findings reveal that the monies found in his house are not gifts but are monies suspected to be proceeds of crime.
“That the monies were purportedly given to him as gifts within 2010 and 2014 during which period he served as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
“That he was a public servant as of the time the purported monies were given to him.
“That in July, 2015, the applicant completed an assets declaration form at the office of the first respondent (EFCC).
“That the money recovered from the Gubbai safe in the sum of $79,772,800 and another £74,000 was not declared in the aforementioned assets declaration form.”
Our correspondent learnt that while Yakubu is being investigated for other alleged crimes in relation to the recovered money, he might be charged with failure to declare the money to the EFCC in 2015, since he claimed to have been accumulating it for a period of five years.
Section 27(3) of the EFCC Act, under which he will likely be charged with under-declaration of assets, reads, “Any person who – (a) knowingly fails to make full disclosure of his assets and liabilities; or (b) knowingly makes a declaration that is false; or (c) fails, neglects or refuses to make a declaration or furnishes any information required in the Declaration of Assets Form; commits an offence under this Act and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term of five years.”
Investigators were also said to have found out that the suspect deliberately avoided using lawful means of depositing the money in the bank in order to conceal its origin in violation of Section 7 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 2006.
Other charge likely to be pressed against him may include money laundering contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.
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