Ex-NNPC GMD sues EFCC, others over withheld $9.8m

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
Andrew Yakubu

A former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Guarantee Trust Bank for allegedly refusing to release his $9.8 million, despite a court ruling in his favour.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Yakubu was represented by his lawyer Ahmed Raji, SAN, who filed a lawsuit before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The originating summons, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/231/2023, was filed on March 8 and lists EFCC, CBN, and GTB as the first to third defendants, respectively.

A judge in the Federal High Court, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had previously discharged and acquitted Yakubu of a money laundering charge on March 31, 2022.

The judge ruled that the EFCC did not provide enough evidence to prove their case, but the EFCC appealed the decision.

According to the report, Yakubu brought a lawsuit questioning whether the court became the owner of his money, which was presented as evidence in a case against him. He asked if the EFCC should still hold his seized money after another court granted an injunction in his favour on March 31, 2022.

According to the suit, “the court did not become dominus litis of the respective sums of $9,773,200 and £74,000 belonging to” him when same was put in issue, and in evidence before the court in charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/43/2017 between Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Engr Andrew Yakubu, and in respect of which judgement was delivered on the 31st of March, 2022.”

Yakubu questioned whether the funds, which were the subject of the court’s judgment, should not be immediately released to him or paid into a court-controlled account pending the outcome of the EFCC’s appeal.

He requested that the court order the defendants to release the funds to him based on the court’s decision.

Alternatively, he requested that the court order the immediate transfer of the funds into an account controlled by the FHC chief registrar or a joint account operated by the chief registrar, the EFCC, and himself, pending the resolution of the appeal.

The EFCC, through a preliminary objection, urged the court to dismiss Yakubu’s application. The agency claimed that the application was an abuse of the court’s process and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

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