Former NNPC boss, Andrew Yakubu, has asked the Federal High Court in Kano to issue an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC to return the $9.8 million and £74,000 recently seized from one of his homes in Kaduna state.
In a suit filed by his counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, Yakubu asked the court to set aside the ordered granting FG ownership of the money discovered at his home on February 3rd.
The court paper in part reads “No aspect of the perceived offence in respect of which the Order of February 13, 2017 was made, was committed within the Kano judicial division of this Honourable Court”. “By Section 28 of the EFCC Act, only the commission, i.e. the EFCC has the vires to seek an order for the interim forfeiture of property under the Act. The power of this Honourable Court to make interim forfeiture order(s) pursuant to sections 28 & 29 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 (herein after referred to a “EFCC Act”) is applicable ONLY to alleged offences charged under the EFCC Act and not to offences cognizable under any other law.
The ex-parte order of this honourable court dated February 13, 2017, was made in respect of alleged offences under the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act (herein after “ICPC Act”) and not the EFCC Act as prescribed by section 28 & 29 thereof. The conditions precedent to the grant of an interim forfeiture order under sections 28 & 29 of the EFCC Act were not complied with by the Applicant (FG) before the Order was made”.
He went further to argue that the combined effect of sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act was that a charge alleging infractions against the provisions of the EFCC Act ought to be brought against a suspect before the powers of the court under cections 28 & 29 of the EFCC Act, to order interim forfeiture of property, could be activated.
He insisted that without a formal charge, no prima-facie evidence could be established in order for the provisions of section 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act to be activated. “In the instant case, no charge was brought against the Respondent/Applicant before the provisions of section 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act were activated to grant the ex-parte Order of February 13, 2017” he stated.