Former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu has asked the Federal High Court to discharge the order temporarily forfeiting his $9,772,800 to the Federal Government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered the money from Yakubu’s house in Sabon Tasha, Kaduna on February 10.
In a motion on notice file before the Federal High Court sitting in Kano, Yakubu is praying for an order setting aside, discharging or vacating the ex-parte order made on February 13, which ordered the interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of $9,772,800 and £74,000,000 belonging to him.
Yakubu said the court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter, being one related to a crime alleged to have been committed in Abuja, which is outside the court’s territorial jurisdiction.
According to him, by Section 45 of the Federal High Court Act, an offence shall be tried only by a court exercising jurisdiction in the area or place where the offence was committed.
He said no aspect of the perceived offence in respect of which the order was made, was committed within the court’s Kano judicial division.
“The applicant/respondent (i.e. the Federal Government of Nigeria) lacks the competence (locus standi) to seek the interim reliefs whereof the order of this honourable court dated 13th February, 2017, was made.
“By Section 28 of the EFCC Act, only the commission has the vires (authority) to seek an order for the interim forfeiture of property under the Act. Although the EFCC was not the applicant, the order was granted in its favour in the body of the order.
“The power of this honourable court to make interim forfeiture order(s) pursuant to Sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act, 2004, is applicable only to alleged offences charged under the EFCC Act and not to offences cognisable under any other law,” Yakubu said.