Issues bothering on corruption and financial crimes seem to be carried out by culprits involved with so much impunity to the amazement of the general public despite the series of efforts put in by the EFCC an agency established to fight financial criminal activities within the country. Some persons feel like criminals are devising more technical and dubious ways of financial fraud while trying to evade the long arms of the law.
Many Nigerian citizens are continuously baffled and despaired by the rate at which some prominent Nigerians political leaders and ministers who were actually indicted and convicted on series of criminal activities were eventually covered up and treated with kid gloves and as sacred cows, despite overwhelming evidence that suggests otherwise, with regards to their financial criminal activities
Not too long ago a federal high court in Abuja declined a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to inspect $9,772,800 and £74,000 seized from Andrew Yakubu, former group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to reports, the seized funds were deposited at the Kano branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Investigations had earlier revealed that in February 2017, the EFCC had recovered the aforementioned sums in a fireproof safe at Yakubu’s residence in Kaduna.
Speaking on the incidence a representative of the EFCC has allegedly revealed that the defendant received huge sums of money without going through a financial institution.
He is alleged to have omitted the monies from the EFCC asset declaration form given to him to fill in 2015.
Yakubu, the suspect who was arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and false declaration of assets, has said the funds were gifts.
On January 14, 2021, Mohammed Abubakar, counsel to the EFCC, prayed for an order of the court to inspect the sums of money.
However, Yakubu through his legal counsel, Ahmed Raji, had urged the court to dismiss the application by the prosecution.
Ruling on the matter on Wednesday, 17 February 2021, Ahmed Mohammed, the presiding judge, said it was unnecessary to move the court to Kano to inspect the cash.
“It is clear to my mind that a visit to the bank is at the discretion of the court. I find no basis in the request by the prosecution to visit the bank. I find it unnecessary, consequently, this application is hereby refused,” he said.
Meanwhile, the case has been deferred to resume on March 10.
Yakubu is currently standing trial on only two out of the initial six counts preferred against him. The trial court had struck out two counts while the court of appeal struck out another two. He was then ordered to come back to the trial court to defend himself on the remaining two counts.
Many who are keenly following the case are critical of the methods used in handling the situation claiming that obviously something positive never comes out of cases like these due to the nature of the personality involved.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese