Residents of Sabon Tasha, the Kaduna slum from where operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently recovered an alleged loot of $9.7million and 74,000 pound sterling are angry with former Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, who is believed to have kept the money in his house there.
Such is the bitterness of the residents’ anger that they now rain curses on him for locking up equivalent of billions of naira in the community where many go to bed in hunger.
Yakubu remained in EFCC custody yesterday, battling for bail.
Following the discovery of a whopping $9.7m in a Kaduna slum house allegedly belonging to the former Group Managing Director of NNPC, Yakubu, residents of the area have expressed anger and rained curses on the owner for locking up billions in a community where many go to bed in hunger.
The residents gathered in twos and threes yesterday discussing the recovery which was widely published yesterday by the media.
They were shocked that such a huge amount of money was kept close to them when many cannot afford three square meals or meet their basic needs.
Some branded his action as sheer wickedness.
One Jerry D. Ishaya said: “If you keep a large sum of money somewhere, whether you got it legitimately or illegitimately, bring it out and invest it for the people to benefit.
“If anyone is caught looting, let him face the law. After all, EFCC was established by PDP.”
Another resident, Mrs. Shila Musa said “those stealing our commonwealth and making us languish in abject poverty will not know peace.
“Just imagine, an amount that is enough to resuscitate the entire textile industry in Kaduna in the hands of one man, ‘Allah ya isa’ (God will judge).
“I am a Christian and I know in a situation like this some people will be blindly supporting this kind of person. But the question is: of what benefit has his loot being to Christians?
“So, Nigerians must wake up and fight their common enemies looting our treasury irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliation,” Mrs. Musa said.
Yakubu, according to EFCC sources has admitted ownership of the money.
He claimed the money was a gift.
The anti-graft agency, The Nation gathered yesterday, is also reviewing certain actions of Yakubu when he held sway at the NNPC.
The Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr.Ibrahim Magu is full of praise for the head of the commission’s operations in Kano Zonal Office, Mr. Adamu Dan Musa who led the team that recovered the money.
Yakubu is said to be keen to go home on bail.
Also working hard to get him released on bail are several prominent Nigerians including a Senator.
However, EFCC sources said its investigation of the detainee is far from concluded.
A top source said: “The ex-GMD is still in custody, we want him to give us the list of those who gave him the $9.8million as gift.
“We are also considering other clues which we have stumbled upon in the course of this investigation. We will grant him bail as soon as we sort out a few things.
“It is interesting that some prominent Nigerians, including a Senator, have been begging us to release the ex-GMD. But EFCC only complied with the rule of law and not sentiments.”
Meanwhile, Magu yesterday commended Mr. Adamu Dan Musa, the commission’s head of operations in Kano Zonal Office, who led the team that recovered the money.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said Magu spoke after the commission’s monthly keep fit programme.
Magu said the officer and his team “demonstrated courage, professionalism and integrity in executing the raid that yielded the astounding discovery.”
He asked staff of the commission to “emulate the team as the EFCC is poised to take the fight against corruption to new heights.”
The statement added: “The EFCC boss also used the opportunity to clarify the misleading information in a release by the Police Service Commission (PSC) concerning the promotion of six policemen for outstanding performance.
“One of the newly promoted officers, Suleiman Abdul, who is currently on secondment at the EFCC, was purportedly promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police because he “recently recovered N42billion for the Federal Government”.
“Magu said he is unaware of any recent recovery by the officer.
“He may have made recovery in the past. But in the last six years I am not aware of any recovery by the officer to warrant commendation by the commission.”