Sambo Maina, a prosecution witness in case of money laundering and false declaration of assets involving a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, GMD NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, on Thursday, May 10, 2018 narrated how the defendant concealed the sum of $9,772,800 found in his apartment in the EFCC Asset Declaration Form.
Maina, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stated this while testifying as the fourth prosecution witness before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He also told the court that the former NNPC boss also failed to declare the sum of £74,000 (seventy four thousand pounds sterling) found in his building to the EFCC in the said form.
While narrating how EFCC came about the ‘Declaration Form’, Sambo said: “We commenced investigation into two categories of NNPC contract. The contracts were awarded by NNPC and its subsidiaries.
“The first category of the contract relates to strategic alliance agreement between the NNPC, its subsidiaries NPDC (Nigerian Petroleum Development Company) and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd.
“The first strategic alliance agreement was on oil mining lease 26/30/34/40/42 and the second contract was on oil mining lease 60/61/62/63”.
He added that the investigation was sequel to intelligence report received by the EFCC relating to suspicious fund transfers from the Nigerian account of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept to its sister company in Switzerland called Atlantic Energy Holdings, including additional transfers from Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd to Atlantic Energy Holdings.
“It was on the basis of this suspicious transaction that investigation commenced. In the course of our investigation, we found it necessary to seek clarifications from Engineer Andrew Yakubu and he was invited to EFCC”, Maina said.
He added that while interacting with the defendant, EFCC found out that the two strategic alliance agreements were executed between 2011 and April 2014 when Yakubu was the GMD.
The PW4 further stated that after the defendant volunteered his statement he also declared his assets to the EFCC sometimes between June and August, 2015.
The witness told the court that the declaration form given to the defendant to fill and declare his assets was based on the allegation that the company, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, was allowed to lift crude oil worth over a billion dollars without carrying out the necessary obligation on their part upon which some officials of the NNPC were charged to court.
The asset declaration form was tendered and admitted as ‘Exhibit I’.
Thereafter, Justice Ahmed adjourned to July 3, 2018 for continuation of trial.
Yakubu, is facing trial on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and false declaration of assets.
It would be recalled that, on the 3rd day of February, 2017, operatives of the EFCC had stormed a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered a staggering sum of $9,772,000 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand United States Dollars) and £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling) stashed in a huge fire proof safe.
Yakubu, who admitted to be the owner of the monies, claimed it was gifts given to him by friends and well wishers and also savings accumulated over a period of years.
Head, Media & Publicity
May 10, 2018