The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, on Saturday, commended Mr. Adamu Dan Musa, the Commission’s head of operations in Kano Zonal Office, for successfully leading a team of detectives that recovered $9.8 million and 74, 000 pounds sterling from the residence of a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu.
The NNPC is Nigeria’s national oil company, which is notorious for gargantuan corruption and outright theft, and President Muhammadu Buhari has been trying to restructure it to make it more efficient and less corrupt.
Mr. Magu said the officer and his teammates demonstrated “courage, professionalism and integrity” in executing the raid that yielded the “astounding discovery”.
He called on staff of the Commission to emulate the team as the EFCC is poised to take the fight against corruption to new heights.
It was not only the amount of money recovered that was outstanding; it was the location of the venue that housed the millions of dollars that left many impoverished and angry Nigerians in a state of shock.
In all, EFCC said it recovered $9.772,800 (almost 9.8 million dollars) and £74,000 (seventy four thousand pounds sterling) in Mr. Yakubu’s home during a raid on 3 February. The house was located in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna. Sabon Tasha is a poverty stricken area of the state capital.
EFCC said on arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belonged to his brother, Andrew Yakubu.
“When the safe was opened it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Eight Hundred United States Dollars) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling).
On February 8, 2017, Andrew Yakubu reported to the Commission’s Zonal office in Kano and made statement, admitting ownership of the recovered money and claiming it was gift from unnamed persons. He is currently assisting the investigation.
In a country where corruption is still high, many Nigerians have been trying to convert the recovered funds into their country’s currency where a dollar now buys more than 500 Nigerian naira and a pound buys at least 600 Nigerian naira.
Going by those high exchange rates, it all comes down to about 5 billion for the dollars and 44 million naira for the pound, a huge amount of money capable of building many schools or healthcare centres Nigeria is desperately in need of at a time where oil prices have crashed and the country has been going through one of its worst recessions.