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‘Probe source of $9.8m, £74,000 ‘gifts’ found in Yakubu, ex.GMD of NNPC’

Aggrieved Nigerians have called on the federal government to go a step further to investigate the sources of the $9.8m, £74,000 ‘gifts’ found in Andrew Yakubu, former Group managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

In an interview, Lagos lawyer and human rights advocate, Barr. Tunde Adeyemi said “If the recovered money is actually gifts as claimed, it means that the type of favours, he, Yakubu may have done to the givers must be more of an unconstitutional act which may have created a damage to the Corporation or the entire economy or the government within the period under review”.

“Granted it was so, it then means that he is an accomplice to a financial crime yet to be found out by the security agencies handling his case.

Adeyemi added that “We all know how gifts are packaged. I have not seen such gifts or end of the year hampers that are money and hard currency throughout in my life”.

“In fact, the law demands that he, Andrew Yakubu must explain and clear name the givers of the gift as only this can help unravel the nature of the financial crime leading to such gifts.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Friday disclosed that Andrew Yakubu, former group managing director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), claimed that the sums of $9.8m and £74, 000 found in his house were gifts.

Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, who disclosed this in a statement, said the money was found in a hidden fire-proof safe.

“A special operation conducted by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 3rd February, 2017 on a building belonging to a former group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Andrew Yakubu in Kaduna yielded the recovery of a staggering sum of $9,772,800 and another sum of £74,000 cash,” he said. “The huge cash was hidden in a fire proof safe.”

According to EFCC spokesman, the successful raid of the facility was sequel to an intelligence which the anti-graft agency received “about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna”.

“On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belong to his brother, Andrew Yakubu.

“When the safe was opened it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Eight Hundred United States Dollars) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling).

“On February 8, 2017, Andrew Yakubu reported to the commission’s Zonal office in Kano and made statement wherein he admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was gift from unnamed persons. He is currently assisting the investigation.”

Business Hilights can recall that Yakubu was appointed NNPC GMD in 2012 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, and was replaced by Joseph Dawha in 2014 who did not stayed long.