A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, gave an interim order forfeiting 10 properties of former Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, to the Federal Government.
This comes a year after another Federal High Court ordered the final forfeiture of N278.9 million, including dollars, traced to the governor.
Some of the properties are located in the highbrow areas of Abuja, Kaduna, Zamfara and Maryland in the United States of America.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order following an ex-parte motion moved by counsel for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Osuobeni Akponimisingha.
The judge held that after carefully reading through the ICPC’s motion, exhibits attached and other processes, he was inclined to grant the order.
He said that the court was empowered to grant the application going by the relevant sections of the law and the money laundering act.
According to the judge, granting the application will not deny anyone a fair hearing.
Also, he directed that this should be published in the Nation and Daily Trust Newspapers and that the interested party should file an application to show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Thereafter, he adjourned the matter until April 28 to hear the motion for final forfeiture.
Last year January, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, also ordered the final forfeiture of N278.9 million, traced to the former governor.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who gave the ruling, ordered that monies found in three separate bank accounts allegedly linked to the former Governor should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
CPC, in a motion exparte filed in 2019 at the Federal High Court, had alleged that the funds were proceeds of unlawful activities stashed away in Zenith and Polaris banks respectively by Yari and his associates.
The court while granting the motion exparte, ruled that the former governor did not show good cause how he made the money found in his private account with Zenith Bank and two companies linked to him.
The court further held that while it was not wrong for individuals to have huge sums of money in their bank accounts, such a person in whose custody the money was found is required to show prove that it was legitimately earned.
The forfeiture order include N12.9 million in a Zenith Bank account of the ex-governor and N11.2 million in the Zenith bank account of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited, a company allegedly owned by him.
Yari also forfeited $358, 375, amounting to N135.4 million when converted to local currency, to the Federal Government.
This was made up of $56, 056 in the Polaris Bank account of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and $301, 319 in the Zenith bank account of B.T. Oil and Gas, another company linked to the former governor.
Furthermore, the final forfeiture order include the sum of N217, 388 and $311, 872 (N118.5 million) kept in different Zenith Bank accounts of the former governor and his companies.