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A Federal High Court in Abuja, Thursday ordered the remand of Mr. Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in Kuje Prison, and fixed March 21 for ruling on the bail application.
He had been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a six-count charge bordering on non-disclosure of assets and fraud, charges to which he pleaded not guilty.
Key in the charges read as follows, “Group Managing Director of NNPC, between 2012 and 2014, within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to avoid lawful transaction, transported to Kaduna $9.7million and €74,000.’’
The prosecution counsel also accused him of failure to disclose the sum of $9.7 million and €74,000 to the EFCC in his asset declaration form, a crime which contravened Section 27 (3) of the EFCC Act.
But lead Counsel to Yakubu, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN) in applying for bail for his client, prayed the court to admit him to bail either on self-recognition or on liberal terms.
His lawyer put frantic efforts to secure his immediate bail, arguing that his client’s alleged offences were all bailable as he yakubu did not wait to be arrested, but surrendered himself to the anti-graft body when he was invited.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Ben Ikani, urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that some of the prayers were “putting the cart before the horse.”
“We are talking about an application for bail and not a trip to anywhere. It is our submission that we are not yet where we will talk about the issue of travelling.
“We agree that his health is important, but the EFCC is a 21st-century law enforcement agency and since he has been in our custody, we have been monitoring and taking care of his health.’’
Ikani maintained that the EFCC had the necessary facility to take care of Yakubu’s health, adding that there were good medical facilities in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the EFCC raided Yakubu’s house in Kaduna and recovered the sum of $9,772,800 and another £74,000.
Whereas his prosecution rages at a Federal High Court, Yakubu had also filed an N1 billion suit against the EFCC, claiming damages and compensation for violation of his fundamental human rights.