A federal high court in Abuja has restrained the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) from confiscating the assets and property belonging to Abdulaziz Yari, former governor of Zamfara state.
In a ruling on Monday, Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, directed parties in the case to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
He said the orders made are to subsist pending the determination of the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the ex-governor.
The judge, however, said the new ruling does not affect the interim forfeiture of Yari’s bank accounts.
The ICPC had filed the application following an intelligence report that Yari and the two companies “are involved in some unlawful activity against the interest of the Zamfara state government and by extension the federal government of Nigeria.”
But Yari, through Mamhud Magaji, his counsel, had filed an application asking for “an order of interim injunction retraining the respondents from seizing, impounding, taking over, confiscating or otherwise forfeiting the assets and property of the applicant wherever they may be located within Nigeria or anywhere”, among others.
Magaji argued that the former governor had been subjected to various forms of “intimidation, arrest and detention based on spurious allegations by some powerful elements of the All Progressive Congress (APC) against him.
He described the action as a witch-hunt, adding that it was politically motivated.
“These individuals thus decided to carry out a vendetta and revenge against the applicant including instigating the respondents against the applicant upon their spurious conclusion without evidence that the applicant was guilty of corrupt practices as former governor of Zamfara and was in breach of the code of conduct act,” he said.
“The 1st and 2nd respondents are determined on a follow up attack upon the applicant and his family by the use of allegations of wrongdoing which had been concocted against the applicant in 2019 immediately the Supreme Court decided all elected officials of the APC should step aside for the PDP as an excuse to arrest the applicant and his wife and to arraign them on trumped-up charges.”
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