Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday dismissed the no-case submission entered by the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, in his trial on alleged $9.8m fraud.
Justice Mohammed who dismissed the no-case submission, held that the former helmsman at the NNPC had a case to answer in four out of the six count charge against him and subsequently ordered him to open his defence in the matter.
Yakubu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a six-count charge bordering on failure to declare his assets and money laundering allegations.
The EFCC had on February 3, 2017, raided Yakubu’s house, located on Chikun Road, Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where it claimed to have recovered 9,772, 800 dollars and 74,000.00 pounds.
When EFCC closed its case after calling six witnesses, Yakubu, rather than open his defence, elected to file a no-case submission claiming he had no case to answer.
He argued that the essential elements of the charge brought against him were not proven by the prosecution to warrant him entering a defence.
He maintained that the evidence led by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against him to require him to enter a defence.
He prayed the court to strike out the charge and discharge and acquit him.
But delivering ruling in the no-case submission, Justice Mohammed held that the prosecution through its witnesses was able to establish a prima facie case against the defendant.
“I have perused and read carefully the submissions of the defendant through his counsel, the learned silk. I can’t agree less that the prosecution did not prove Counts five and six beyond reasonable doubt, as to warrant the defendant to open defence.
“However, in Counts one to four, the prosecution had proved substantially ingredients that should make the defendant to enter into defence. The defendant should tell the court how the money found in his apartment in Kaduna got there.
“The matter hereby adjourned till July 3 for the defendant to open defense in the case”
Part of the charge against Yakubu reads: That you Andrew Yakubu( former GMD of NNPC) on or before Aug.18 2015 at the EFCC office at No.5 Fomella Street, Wuse II Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets to wit: $9,772,800 only in the Declaration of Assets Form you filled at the EFCC. Youhereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(3)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3) (c) of the same Act.