From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, yesterday gave detailed account of how the sum of $9.7 million and £74,000 kept in a fireproof safe was recovered from his house (Yakubu).
The witness, Mr. Waziri Adamu Nitte, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on February 7 received an intelligence that there was a house located at Sabon Tasha in Kaduna State where some foreign currencies were stocked.
The second prosecution witness who was led in evidence by the prosecuting Counsel, Ben Ikani, narrated how operatives of the anti-graft agency, acting on the information obtained a valid search warrant and proceeded to Kaduna State whereby they were able to locate the house.
Nitte, who is a Deputy Superintendent with the EFCC said, on locating the house, they requested to meet with the caretaker who turned out to be one Bitrus Yakubu, a relative of the defendant.
“We introduced ourselves to him and told him what brought us. We also showed him the search warrant we came along with. We thereafter brought an expert and instructed that the door be broken and we were able to have access to the house where a search was conducted.
“We conducted the search and were able to recover an ash coloured (Gubabi Brown) four doors drawer safe, we also recovered a white coloured excess PC and there and then, we listed the items as recovered item, read it over to Bitrus and other witnesses that were present.
“Because of the sensitivity of the items we recovered in the house, we took them along with Bitrus down to our office. We then engaged the services of a lock expert to unlock the safe. All these were camera-recorded.
“When unlocked, we saw foreign currencies mostly packed in different polythene bags stocked in all the four drawers. We employed the services of some local experts known as “WAPA” where Bureau De Change operatives usually work.
“We engaged three people, Mohammed Musa Al- Hassan, Akibu Daudu, and Kabiru Abdulaziz to help us count the money. The money was duly counted all on camera and the whole amount in the safe after the counting was $9,772,800 and 74,000 pound sterling.
“All this was done in the presence of Mr. Bitrus Yakubu and also recorded on camera” the witness said and added that in the course of his investigation, he witnessed the statement of Bitrus Yakubu and additional statement of the defendant, Andrew Yakubu.