Yakubu’s Health Failing In Custody, Lawyer Cries Out
The health of former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, is deteriorating in EFCC’s custody, his lawyers complained.
One of his lawyers who challenged the conditions of his detention disclosed: “His health is deteriorating day-after-day.”
Family sources have also revealed that the 62-year-old has been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) and other health issues.
The former GMD of NNPC has been remanded in Kuje prison by a court. “His isolation has seen his “physical and mental health deteriorate” one of his lawyers said.
In a related development, Yakubu’s lawyer Mr Raji Ahmed averred that his client has been charged on bailable offences under the laws of the land.
The lawyer said that the application to admit the defendant to bail is pursuant to: 1. Sections 158 (1), (2) And (3), 32 (3), 165, 167 And 168 (b) Of The Administration Of Criminal Justice Act, 2015; II. Sections 35, 36 (5) And 36 (6) (b) Of The Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended).
Family sources confirmed that Yakubu voluntarily abandoned his treatment in the U.K to attend to EFCC’s charges.
Recall that Mr. Yakubu was arraigned by the EFCC on Thursday, March 16, 2017, before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He is facing a six-count charge bordering on money laundering, non-disclosure of assets and fraud.
The arraignment followed recovery of the sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 on February 3, 2017 in a building in Kaduna belonging to him.
The defendant, who was out of the country as at the time of recovery of the money, however, reported voluntarily to the EFCC’s Kano Zonal Office on February 8, 2017, and admitted ownership of the house and the money recovered.
He however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mr Raji, lead counsel to Mr. Yakubu had in an application dated March 13, 2017, prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail pending trial, seeking the following Orders:
- An Order of this Honourable Court : a. admitting the Defendant/Applicant to bail on self-recognizance, pending hearing and determination of the charges preferred against him.
In Alternative To (a) Above
- admitting the Defendant/Applicant to bail on liberal terms, pending hearing and determination of the charges preferred against him.
- An Order of this Honourable Court for an interim release of the
Defendant/Applicant’s International Passport to enable him embark on a 3 (three) week trip abroad to complete his medical treatment which he suspended to honour the EFCC’s invitation.
- An Order directing the EFCC to immediately release the Applicant’s International Passport to him or his Solicitors on record in terms of Relief 3 above.
- AND for such further Order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.
TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that the grounds upon which this Application is brought are as follows:
- The offences with which the Defendant/Applicant is charged are bailable offences.
- The Defendant/Applicant has never been convicted of any offence in Nigeria or any other jurisdiction.
- By Section 36 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Defendant/Applicant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
- Under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (the Act), all offences are bailable.
- All offences under the Act can be compounded through plea bargain and imprisonment is no longer the sole means of punishment.
- The reputation and past credible record of the Defendant/Applicant, as well as his status as an eminent Nigerian, attest to the fact that he will not jump bail if he is granted same.
- Investigation has been completed. Thus, there is no likelihood that the Defendant/Applicant will interfere with investigation.
- The Defendant/Applicant is willing to, and will, always and punctually attend his trial.
- The Defendant/Applicant is ready to provide responsible surety or sureties as may be required by this Honourable Court as a condition for the grant of this Application.
- The Applicant suspended his medical treatment for a prostrate related ailment and was due to consult a Urologist in respect thereof before he returned to Nigeria to honour the invitation of the EFCC.
- Owing to seizure of the Defendant/Applicant’s International passport by the Complainant (acting through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the Defendant/Applicant has been unable to travel abroad to complete the treatment which he suspended.
- As a consequence of the above, the Defendant/Applicant’s health has deteriorated tremendously requiring immediate medical intervention.
- It is in the interest of justice to grant this Application, so that the Applicant cane be fit to stand trial in this case.
Also, in a 22-point affidavit deposed to in support of Summons to admit to bail, the defendant’s Wife, Mrs. Sarah Yakubu, stated among others that:
I am the wife of the Defendant/Applicant, by virtue of which fact I am conversant with facts of this case;
I have the requisite consent of the Defendant/Applicant to depose to this Affidavit;
That the Defendant/Applicant left the UK, came into Nigeria and voluntarily reported himself to the EFCC without any force or arrest on the said 8th of February, 2017 and has been detained by the EFCC till date.
I know that the Defendant/Applicant has been very ill for some time now. He suffers a High Blood Pressure and Diabetes in addition to aforesaid unhealthy prognosis of his prostrate.