Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned till March 10, 2021 for continuation of cross examination in the ongoing trial of former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Andrew Yakubu.
Yakubu was arraigned in 2017 before Justice Mohammed on a six-count charge of failure to make full disclosure of assets, money laundering and intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law, having unlawfully transported at various times to Kaduna an aggregate sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000.
At the last adjourned date, January 14, the Court had reserved till today, ruling on the request by the prosecution, through its counsel, M. S. Abubakar for an order of court to move to CBN Kano branch for inspection of the sums of $9,772,800 and £74000 which are respective subject of counts three and four of the charge.
Abubakar urged the court to grant the Locus in quo in the overall interest of justice.
But, the defence counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, had opposed the prosecution.
The learned silk argued that counts three and four can be effectively determined without a physical inspection of the cash sums of $9,772,800 and £74000.
At today’s hearing Justice Mohammed refused the request by the prosecution for Locus in quo, saying it is unnecessary as doing so would place the money and the conveyers in danger.
He also noted that the Court was satisfied by the affidavits presented by both the prosecution and defence and that trial could proceed without a physical inspection of the seized cash.
“I found paragraph 7-11 of the affidavit in support of the application quiet relevant, so also EFCC 2.
I similarly refer to paragraph 6-10, 12, 17 and 18 of the defendant’s counter affidavit. I have already reviewed in this ruling, contention of the affidavit in support and counter affidavit.
Having these affidavits, I found no basis for the request for a visit to Kano for physical inspection of the money in question and come back to continue the proceeding”.