By Hillary Asemota
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will appeal the ruling delivered today (Thursday) by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, quashing the money laundering charges preferred by the Commission against Mr. Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Yakubu, was arraigned by the Commission in March 2017 following the discovery of $9.8 million stashed in his property located in the Sabon Tasha Suburb of Kaduna.
He had pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. In the course of trial, the Commission called witnesses and tendered documents in evidence, but the defendant filed a no case submission.
Based on the submission, the court struck out two of the six counts. Two further counts were chalked off upon appeal by the defendant while the appellate court ordered his continued trial on the remaining two counts.
Delivering judgment today, Justice Mohammed held that the prosecution failed to prove the ingredient of the offence beyond reasonable doubt. He held that the Commission ought to have investigated the defendant’s claims that the monetary gifts he claimed to have received came from his friends, and tender the recovered cash before the court.
Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendant,
However, the Commission believes the trial judge erred in dismissing the charge and has resolved to test the ruling at the appellate court.
Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity, signed the statement for the Commission.