By: Luka Binniyat
KADUNA – A group, Southern Kaduna Coaltion of Professionals (SKCOP) yesterday
Lambasted the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, for the continues detention of Engr. Andy Yakubu, former Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroluem Corpoeration, NNPC after they claimed that the man has met all the bail conditions set for him.
The group also said that the EFCC was selective in its anti-corruption crusade challenging it to also parade the others which it claimed huge sums of stolen monies have been recovered from.
The statement which was signed by its General Secretary Mr. Haliu Sagamu Jaspar (JP) and made available to the Press in Kaduna reads in part: “The Nigerian society is awash with news of a cache of foreign currency that includes “humongous” amounts of US dollars and Pounds sterling of which the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC Engr. Any Yakubu, has since admitted being the owner. The said amount is put at $9.7 million and £74,000 found in a safe in property belonging to the man who has served the NNPC for 35 years, rising to be its GMD.
“While we await to see if a court of law can establish if the said amount found in his home is a proceed of crime, or whether there is indeed a law that forbids anyone from keeping his earnings at home, we suspect that the deliberate negative publicity the EFCC is generating over his arrest and its failure to release him from their detention after meeting his bail conditions, is more vindictive and political than fighting corruption.
“We want to state that the desperate attempts to rubbish Andy Yakubu, (the Iyan of Atyap Chiefdom) by those who think that a man from Southern Kaduna has no business becoming the GMD of NNPC started right when he was in office.
“ In 20014, the then CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, raised a bogus alarm that under the watch of Andy Yakubu, $48.9 billion had gone missing at the NNPC. When pressed further, he said it was actually $20 billion. The Senate took the matter very serious and instituted its own probe into the clearly silly allegation. An audit firm of global repute, PriceWaterHouseCoopers was brought in by the federal government. After a forensic investigation, the firm said no such monies were ever missing.
“Still bent on disgracing the only person from the Middle Belt to ever occupy that position after rising from the ranks, Andy Yakubu was in UK in June last year, when the EFCC invited him. With his conscience clean and clear he arrived Nigeria just for the EFCC to clamp him in detention over an alleged criminality in an NNPC subsidiary – (NPDC) – after Yakubu has left office. With nothing to link him to any crime, the EFCC humiliated him for days before admitting before Justice Binta Nyako of Federal High Cout Abuja that the man was an innocent man. That the suspects were former Minister of Petroleum Mrs Allison Maduekwe – still hiding in London and Jide Aluko, who lives a lavish lifestyle in the US and is a fugitive of the law in Nigeria. Other still in court over the alleged multi-billion dollar crude oil deal were: Jide Omokore , Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.
Andrew Laah Yakubu, before he ascended the top slot as GMD of NNPC- had held high profile and very sensitive positions – ranging from Head of NNPC London Office. He was Managing Director, Warri Petrochemical Refinery and was promoted Executive Director, Exploration and Production, a position next to that of the GMD of the NNPC. When the post of the boss of NNPC became vacant, he was the most qualified to became the GMD.
“So it was by the din of his handwork, integrity and intelligence that he became GMD, through the goodwill of then President Goodluck Jonathan. For anyone to think that such a man, both in earnings, savings and goodwill cannot have the amount found in his house is to express his ignorance on how much even mid-cadre managers of the NNPC earn yearly.
“A man who had solved the problems of perennial fuel queues during his time, tamed the militancy against oil installations and took Nigeria daily crude output to an all time high of 2.5 million does not deserve this harassment.
“Why are people who have been indicted in some high level corruption not been so disparaged by the EFCC? It is simply because they are Hausa/Fulani?
“Never, have we heard of someone, who is already, safely outside the Country willingly fly back and face opprobrium and humiliation, except Andy Yakubu.
“Ahmed Gambo Saleh, a Registrar of the Supreme Court, now promoted to as the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Judicial Commission, NJC, has been arraigned for corruption without this kind of deliberate destruction of his personality by the EFCC.
Col Lawal Jaafaru Isa (rtd) military governor of Kaduna State was also charged for illegally taking N200m from the former National Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the man is walking as free as anyone. The Erstwhile Custom Comptroller General Abdullahi Dikko also was alleged to have helped himself to billions of Naira, the EFCC did not see him.
“We are therefore beginning to feel that this is a concerted and well orchestrated plan to pull down our illustrious son and sacrifice him to the dogs as a means of weakening the strong among us ahead 2019 general elections.
“This is unacceptable and we say this with a loud voice that we are a law abiding people and will remain so. But it will be height of cowardice and naivety to endeavor playing the politically correct card of keeping mute as our own is being sacrificed on the altar of a dubious corruption war. \
“Our stand: That Andy Yakubu on his own flew to the country from the US to defend his honour and how he earned the money shows that he was sure of himself if the law would be judiciously applied to his case.
“The EFCC should free Andy Yakubu having fulfilled his bail conditions and the said amount temporarily forfeited to the Federal government.
“Keeping him in detention for almost two weeks despite the above is a means of psychologically tormenting him and for the public to prolong their odium on his person, without giving him a chance to state his own side of the story.
“If Andy Yakubu is not being persecuted because he comes from Southern Kaduna and the Middle Belt, we challenge the EFCC to also parade all the people it claims to have recovered humongous sums of money from. Failure to so would mean the agency is lying, or has two sets of law for two kinds of Nigerians.
“We demand that this animal farm doctrine of putting some ahead of others desist immediately. We therefore call for full disclosure of persons found culpable and wanting.
“We ask that persons, companies fronted and proxies connected directly or indirectly to any such matters be released.
“And Yakubu should be charged to court as stipulated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so that he can defend himself.
“Enough of this parody of justice in which the EFCC is the accuser, the judge and the jailer.”