A Federal High Court in Abuja heard on Thursday that former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, did not declare the $9,772,800 and £74,000 recovered from his Kaduna home by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Officials of the Kano Zonal office of the EFCC had last year reported that they recovered the money from a house located at Sabo-Tasha area of Kaduna State.
Testifying at the resumed hearing in Yakubu’s trial, a detective with the EFCC, Sambo Muazu, told the court that he took statement from the defendant, following which he (Yakubu) filled an EFCC assets declaration form.
Muazu, led in evidence by lead prosecution lawyer, Ben Ikani, said the ex-NNPC chief did not declare the recovered money among the assets he declared in the assets declaration form.
The witness also told the court why EFCC investigated some contracts signed while Yakubu was the GMD of NNPC.
Muazu said: “In 2015, we commenced investigation into two categories of contracts which were awarded by NNPC and its subsidiaries.
“The first category relates to Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) between NNPC’s subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited (AEDCL). The contract was signed between NPDC and AEDCL.
“The first SAA was on Oil Mining Lease (OML) 26, 30, 34, 40 and 42. The second SAA was on OML 60, 61, 62, and 63.
“The investigation was sequel to intelligence report received by the EFCC relating to suspicious fund transfers from AEDCL’s account in Nigeria to a sister company called Atlantic Energy Holdings (AEH)
“Also, additional transfers from Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited (AEBDL) to the same Atlantic Energy Holdings. The AHL’s accounts are based in Switzerland.
“There were also transfers from Atlantic Energy Holdings account in Switzerland to the Nigerian accounts of the two sister companies – AEDCL and AEBDL.
“It was on the basis of these suspicious transactions that we commenced investigation.
“In the course of investigation, it became necessary to seek clarification from Engr. Andrew Yakubu. He was accordingly invited, and we interacted with him. And thereafter, we reduced the interaction into writing.
“The two SAA were executed between the end of 2011 to 2014 April, during which Engr. Andrew Yakubu was the Group Managing Director of NNPC. He was in office from June 2012 to August 2014.
“After our interaction and his statement recorded, he declared his assets sometime between July and August 2015.
“The EFCC has a standard assets declaration form. A copy of that form was given to Engr. Andrew Yakubu. He filled the form, declaring his assets.
“He was asked to declare his assets based on the allegations that the company Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept was allowed to lift crude oil worth over $1billion without fulfilling the necessary obligations on their path.
“It was on this basis that investigation was conducted and thereafter, some individuals were charged to court.”