A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, to be remanded in Kuje prison until March 21.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order yesterday after listening to arguments on Yakubu’s bail application, after the ex-NNPC boss was arraigned on a six-count charge.
Justice Mohammed said Yakubu should remain in prison pending when ruling is delivered on his bail application on March 21.
Yakubu, who among others, is charged with money laundering and failure to make full disclosure in relation to the about N3 billion recovered in his Kaduna home, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The ex-NNPC boss, who has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the past one week, was brought to court yesterday by the commission.
Shortly after Yakubu took his plea, his lawyer Ahmed Raji informed the court about the pending bail application he filed for his client.
Arguing the application, Raji urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognisance or on liberal terms.
Raji urged the court to order interim release of the defendant’s international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment.
Raji said Yakubu was about to treat prostate cancer in the United Kingdom, when the EFCC’s invitation came.
He said: “By combined provisions of Sections 158-165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, except in capital offences, an accused is ordinarily entitled to bail.”
Opposing the bail application, prosecution lawyer Ben Ikani urged court not to grant bail to Yakubu on self-recognisance.
Ikani contended that the medical reasons cited by the defence could not hold water as he said the anti-graft agency monitored Yakubu while in detention.
H said: “While under our custody, EFCC monitored his health daily. We have facility and we have been taking care of him.
“We have better medical facilities all around Abuja. That he is sick and wants to go on medical treatment abroad is like a fairy tale because there is no report of experts to ascertain his health status.
“But, if the court is mindful of granting their request, we submit that the court applies stringent conditions to make him appear for trial.
“We plead with the court to refuse granting the defendant bail on self-recognisance,” Ikani.
At the conclusion of argument on the bail application, Justice Mohammed adjourned to March 21 for ruling.