The Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal has ordered the interim forfeiture of monies found in a house in Kaduna belonging to former Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.
The latest order is an affirmation of that granted, by a Federal High Court in Kano last year.
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on 3rd of February, 2017 raided a house allegedly belonging to Yakubu and uncovered the sum $9,772,800 and another £74,000 stashed in a fireproof safe.
The money, according to Yakubu, were gifts from well-wishers. However, suspecting that the money was proceeds of crime, the anti-graft agency sought an interim forfeiture from the Federal High Court on the money.
Yakubu, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji SAN,s approached the Federal High Court in Kano asking the court to revoke the order.
The Federal High Court Kano presided over by Justice Z.B Abubakar on the 10th of May 2017 dismissed Yakubu’s application and affirmed the order of interim forfeiture it granted on the 13th February 2017.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court, Yakubu approached the court of appeal in a desperate bid to reverse the interim forfeiture order and get his money back.
The appeal was filed on the 22nd of May, 2017 while EFCC filed its response which was subsequently adopted on the 29th of January 2018 and matter was then adjourned to today for judgment.
The appeal was brought on grounds of jurisdiction, misrepresentation of fact by EFCC that the money is suspected to be proceeds of illegal activities.
He further argued that Section 29 of the EFCC Establishment Act is null and void while at the same time submitted that, Section 28 of the EFCC Act offends the provision of Section 44 (2)(k). In Section 43 of the EFCC Establishment Act, he argued that the Attorney General of the Federation did not make regulations and guidelines consequently, all forfeiture made shall be null and void.
However, the respondents in their reply contended that the ruling of the lower court validating its order was not perverse and that sections 28 and 29 of EFCC Act are valid and operational notwithstanding the alleged failure of the AGF to make regulations for their operations.
In a judgment delivered on Friday by Justice Obietonbara Daniel Kalio, who headed the panel of the three judges, the appellate court resolved all the issues in favour of EFCC.