Appeal Court Affirms EFCC’s Rights on Andrew Yakubu’s Loot
The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna on, April 27, 2018, affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court Kano, which forfeited in the interim, the money found in a house in Kaduna, allegedly belonging to former Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engineer Andrew YAKUBU.
It would be recalled that on the 3rd of February, 2017, operatives of the 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 Only) 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 were proceeds of crime, a development which prompted the EFCC to secure an interim forfeiture of the money from the Federal High Court.
Yakubu, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, approached the Federal High Court in Kano, asking the court to revoke the order.
The Federal High Court, Kano, presided over by Justice Z.B Abubakar, on the 10th of May, 2017 dismissed the application and affirmed its decision on interim forfeiture order it granted on the 13th February 2017.
Dissatisfied, the former NNPC boss approached the Court of Appeal. The appeal was filed on the 22nd of May, 2017 while the Commission filed its response brief which was subsequently adopted on the 29th of January 2018 and matter was then adjourned to today for judgment.
The appeal was brought on grounds of Jurisdiction, misrepresentation of fact by EFFCC that the money is suspected to be proceed of illegal activities.
He further argued that Section 29 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 is null and void while at the same time submitted that, Section 28 of the EFCC Act offends the provision of section 44 (2)(k).
In section 43 of the EFCC Establishment Act, the learned silk argued that since the Attorney General of the Federation did not make regulations and guidelines, all forfeiture made shall be null and void.
However, the EFCC 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 Honourable Justice Obietonbara Daniel Kalio who headed the panel of the three judges, the presiding judge resolved all issues in favour of the EFCC.
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