Temporary respite came the way of the immediate former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, as a Federal High in Court sitting in Abuja stopped the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) from seizing properties belonging to him.
The presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruling on an ex parte application, ordered the parties to the case to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the main suit.
The defendants are the ICPC and the Attorney General of the Federation.
Yari, through his lawyer, Mamhud Magaji (SAN), moved the ex parte application on Friday alleging that the ICPC had sealed off one of his houses and inscribed on it “under investigation” without the backing of any court order.
Justice Taiwo, who restrained the two respondents from interfering with Yari’s rights unders sections 34, 35, 37, 41 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution, had earlier on Friday, granted an ex parte application by the ICPC for the interim forfeiture of six bank accounts belonging to Yari and two other firms linked to him.
The companies are Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and B.T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
He however held that Friday’s order of interim forfeiture of the bank accounts was not affected by his Monday’s ruling.
In the current suit, Yari sought, among others, an order “retraining the respondents from seizing, impounding, taking over, confiscating or otherwise forfeiting the assets and properties of the applicant wherever they may be located within Nigeria or anywhere else in the world pending the hearing and determination of the hearing and determination of the notion on notice”.
He also alleged that the ICPC’s move against him was a witch-hunt, adding that he had been a target “for intimidation, arrest and detention based on spurious allegations by some powerful elements in the All Progressives Congress against him – to the agents of the 1st defendant (AGF) and the 2nd defendant ICPC)”.
The ex-governor further averred that the 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 he was guilty of “corrupt practices as former governor of Zamfara State and was in breach of the Code of Conduct Act”.
“This witch-hunt is clearly politically motivated, baseless, and has been designed only to discredit and humiliate the applicant in a bid to decimate him politically and this court is statutory empowered to protect any violation against the applicant’s fundamental rights”, he said.
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