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Court orders forfeiture of 10 properties, funds linked to former Gov, Yari

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The Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, granted rules on an application by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for the forfeiture of some properties and funds in some banks linked to a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.

The court, headed by Justice Obiora Egwuatu, ordered the interim forfeiture of the properties, about 10 in number, with some outside Nigeria, and gave owners of the properties and funds 14 days to show cause why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Egwuatu gave the interim order sequel to an ex-parte application bought before the court by an ICPC lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, who had moved that the Federal Government should investigate the assets traced to the ex-governor and temporarily take charge of them.

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Justice Obiara Egwuatu, while granting the application, ruled that the interim forfeiture of the said properties, both in Nigeria and elsewhere, would last for 60 days.

According to him, the order was meant to give the ICPC enough time to conclude its findings after which the court would take its final decision on the matter.

The judge also mandated the ICPC to make the order of the interim forfeiture public, adding that parties interested in the affected properties reportedly situated in Maryland (USA), Abuja and Kaduna among others, should, within 14 days, table reasons negating their permanent forfeiture to the Federal Government.

Justice Obiano adjourned the hearing of final forfeiture to April 28.

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