EFCC asks Court to amend charges against ex-NNPC GMD


Friday Olokor, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has asked a Federal High Court Abuja to amend the criminal charge filed against a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu.

Yakubu was arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on March 16, 2017 on a six-count of fraud having admitted owning over $9.8m cash found in a house which also belongs to him in Kaduna State.

During his resumed trial on Wednesday, the EFCC prosecution counsel, Halima Shehu, informed the Court of the application for amendment of the charge.

She said, “My Lord, the matter today is for the continuation of trial, however, we have an amended charge dated March 8, and filed on March 10, 2021. The application is brought pursuant to Section 216(1) and (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. We humbly apply for the application to be granted for us to amend the charge.”

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Shehu said she tried serving the amended charge on the defendant (Yakubu) through his counsel, A.A Usman, but he refused service.

The Court of Appeal (Abuja Division) had on April 24, 2020, unanimously made an order guiding further proceedings in the criminal trial.

The Appellate Court had in its judgment on an appeal by Yakubu, ordered the appellant to go back to the trial court and enter defence in respect of counts three and four of the charge.

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Yakubu’s lawyer, Usman admitted before the Court that he refused service of the application to amend the charge.

“I do confirm that we refused service of what has been described as an amended charge this (Wednesday) morning. We did so with reasons”, Usman stated, arguing that the April 24, 2020, judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, had provided a guide on the trial.

“The case was remitted back to the trial court for the appellant (Yakubu) to enter defence in respect of counts 3 and 4 of the charge, and not counts 3 and 4 of an amended charge,” he said.

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Usman also submitted that the Court and parties in the matter were “bound to give effect to the order of the Court of Appeal which is extant.”

Having listened to the arguments from both counsels, Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed April 25 for ruling and continuation of trial.

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