The former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr Andrew Yakubu has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Kano to vacate the order of forfeiture it earlier granted federal government.
Yakubu wants the court to set aside the order and return the $9,772,800 and £74,000 belonging to him because the court made the order without jurisdiction.
Engr Yakubu, through his counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), said the court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter being one related to a crime alleged to have been committed in Abuja, outside the territorial jurisdiction of this noble court.
In a motion on notice with suit number FHC/ICN/CS/24/2017, Raji argued that by Section 45 of the Federal High Court Act, an offence shall be tried only by a court exercising jurisdiction in the area or place where the offence was committed.
According to the lawyer, “No aspect of the perceived offence in respect of which the Order of 13th February, 2017 was made, was committed within the Kano judicial division of this Honourable Court”.
He said the Federal Government lacked the competence (locus standi) to seek the interim order of the court granted on 13th February, 2017.
“By Section 28 of the EFCC Act, only the commission, i.e. the EFCC has the vires to seek an Order for the interim forfeiture of property under the Act. The power of this Honourable Court to make interim forfeiture Order(s) pursuant to Sections 28 & 29 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 (hereinafter “EFCC Act”) is applicable ONLY to alleged offences charged under the EFCC Act and not to offences cognizable under any other law.
“The ex-parte Order of this Honourable Court dated 13th February 2017, was made in respect of alleged offences under the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act (hereinafter “ICPC Act”) and not the EFCC Act as prescribed by Section 28 & 29 thereof.