A Federal High Court in Abuja struck out a no-case submission made by Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), while also ordering him to begin defense.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed delivering the ruling on Thursday stated that Yakubu has a case to answer and must appear before the court to explain how he was in possession of $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash recovered from his Kaduna house by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Yakubu is being tried for not making full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution, money laundering and intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law.
The EFCC argued that he allegedly failed to make full disclosure of assets and receiving cash without a financial institution, an offence that is against Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended in 2012.
He is being tried on a six-count charge but the judge struck out two of the charges by the EFCC saying, “the prosecution has failed to prove the essential elements of transportation of money on counts five and six.”
Delivering the ruling at the continuation of the case, Justice Mohammed mandated Yakubu to enter defense on count one to four of the charges against him.
“I agree with the defence counsel that the prosecution has failed to prove the essential elements of transportation of money on counts five and six.
“I accordingly discharge the defendant on counts five and six.
“Even though I am tempted to discharge the defendant on counts one to four, I am however constrained to ask the defendant to explain how he came about the monies recovered from his house.
“Fortified with my position, the defendant is hereby ordered to enter his defence in respect of counts one to four,” the judge ruled.
The case was adjourned till July 3, 2019, for Yakubu to open his defence on counts one to four.
Yakubu was first arraigned in court on March 16, 2017, but filed for a no-case submission on December 5, 2018, arguing that the prosecution has failed to link him with the offences he is being tried for.