A former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, on Wednesday, told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he cannot be cross-examined based on a previous case in another court.
Yakubu, who stated this through his lawyer, Ahmed Raji, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, said Exhibit J, on which the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, planned to take him on, was irrelevant to the case at hand.
The Exhibit J borders on a case the commission filed against the ex-NNPC chief before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba in 2016.
The case involves an oil company, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited, in which Yakubu was initially the 7th defendant in the suit and was later dropped to become the first prosecution witness in the trial of some persons for alleged illegal lifting of crude oil.
The EFCC had in 2017 raided the defendant’s residence in Kaduna State and found $9.7million and £74, 000 in a safe.
He was arraigned on March 16, 2017 on a six-count charge of money laundering.
But the Court of Appeal ordered him to defend counts 3 and 4 which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving of cash without going through a financial institution and intent to avoid a lawful transaction in alleged violation of Section 1(1) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Act.
When the matter resumed on Wednesday, the EFCC counsel told the court that the matter was for the continuation of the motion raised in respect of the cross-examination of the first defence witness (Yakubu)) on Exhibit J.
“It is very clear that the exhibit is relevant to counts 3 and 4. We further submit that the same Exhibit J is also relevant to some matters which DW1 has testified about both in evidence-in-chief and under cross-examination.
“We therefore rely on the provision of Section 7 Paragraph a, b, c, d and e in submitting that Exhibit J is relevant.
“It is our further humble submission that Exhibit J is relevant in proving whether or not there has been a predicate offence to counts 3 and 4.”