Embattled former Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday that 98 per cent of $9.8billion found in his house in Kaduna by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were gifts from friends and associates.
He said that the money 9.7 million dollars and 74,000 pounds, stashed in a huge fire proof safe in a building belonging to him in Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State was given to him on occasions including birthday, thanksgiving service and her daughter marriage ceremony.
Testifying as the first Defence witness in the remaining two count charge insisted that he hosted the ceremonies after he retired as the Group Managing Director of NNPC and the money was to him in tranches of $10,000 and £10,000.
The former Group Managing Director of NNPC further told the Court that 2 percent of the money was the saving he made from overseas trips while in office.
Yakubu is defending only two count charges after the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal struck down count 1 and 2, and 5 and 6 respectively.
He said he was keeping the money trying to figure out what business to invest in when EFCC operatives broke into his house and took the safe and his brother to Kano.
Under cross examination by the prosecution counsel Mr M. S. Abubakar , Yakubu admitted that he made four separate statements before the EFCC on the case.
Meanwhile, the Court has adjourned further proceedings on the matter till July 22, to enable the prosecution conclude his reply to the objection raised by the defence on an exhibit which he claimed was not relevant to the two count charge.
The two count charge read thus That you Andrew Yakubu sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court without going through a financial institution received cash payment of the sum of 9.7 million dollars only and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.
“That you Andrew Yakubu sometime between 2012 and 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court without going through a financial institution received cash payment of the sum of 74,000 pounds only and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the same Act.