The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday remanded a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, in Kuje Prison pending when ruling on his bail application would be delivered on March 21.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order of remand shortly after the ex-NNPC boss was arraigned and his bail application argued on Thursday.
Yakubu, on Thursday, pleaded not guilty to the six charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on March 10.
The charges against him border on fraud and false declaration of assets.
The charges were all in relation to the money recovered from his house in Kaduna on February 3.
Some operatives of the EFCC had stormed a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered the sum of $9.7m and £74,000 stashed in a huge fireproof safe in a slum in Kaduna.
The sums of the foreign currencies amounted to about N3bn.
Yakubu was driven away from the court premises by prison officials around 3.30pm on Thursday.
Arguing his client’s bail application shortly after the arraignment, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the court to grant bail to the former NNPC boss on either self-recognisance or in liberal terms.
Raji said his client needed to urgently return to the United Kingdom where he was receiving treatment before voluntarily returning to Nigeria to surrender himself to the EFCC.
The lawyer also said the offences that his client was charged with were bailable.
But the EFCC’s lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ben Ikani, opposed the bail application.
Ikani said the EFCC had been taking good care of Yakubu while he was in custody.
While admitting that granting of bail was at the discretion of the judge, Ikani urged the judge to impose “stringent conditions” if Yakubu’s bail application would be granted.
The defendant was accused in some of the counts of knowingly failing to make full disclosure of the sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000 to the EFCC at the anti-graft agency’s office on or about August 18, 2015
The EFCC said the offence was contrary to Section 27 (3)(a) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (3)(c) of the same Act.
It was also alleged in other counts that between 2012 and 2014, in Abuja, the former NNPC boss, without going through a financial institution, received cash payments of 9,772,800 and £74,000.
Another count read, “While being the Group Managing Director of NNPC, sometime between 2012 and 2014, within the jurisdiction of the court, with intent to avoid a lawful transaction under the law, transported at various times, an aggregate sum of 9,772,800 USD to Kaduna State, an offence contrary to Section 7(4)(b)(ii) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act; and punishable under Section 7(5) of same Act.”