Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Reprieve came the way of the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, as the Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Monday restrained the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from seizing or interfering with his assets and properties.
The restraining order was sequel to an ex parte motion which was argued by counsel for Yari, Mahmud Magaji (SAN).
Besides, Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his ruling equally restrained the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from interfering with Yari’s enjoyment of the rights enshrined in Sections 34, 35, 37, 41 and 43 of the Constitution.
The judge also directed parties in the case to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Justice Taiwo said the orders made were to subsist, pending the determination of the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the ex-governor.
Justice Taiwo, who on Friday granted the ICPC’s request to freeze Yari’s accounts in Polaris and Zenith banks, said the orders made on Monday did not affect the earlier one relating to only accounts in the two banks.
The orders granted in the judge’s ruling on Monday were:
“.An order of interim injunction 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.
“.An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from unlawfully interfering with the applicants‘ rights to Sections 34, 35, 37, 41 and 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) until the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
.An order of this honourable court directing the parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The ex-governor, in seeking the orders granted on Monday, stated that he had been subjected to various forms of intimidation, arrest and detention based on spurious allegations by some powerful elements of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against him to the agents of the 1st and 2nd respondents (AGF and ICPC).
“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 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.
“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 All Progressives Congress (APC) should step aside for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as an excuse to arrest the applicant and his wife and to arraign them on trumped up charges.
“The agents of the 2nd respondent invaded the applicant’s private residence and nothing incriminating was ever found against the applicant despite the several investigations carried out by the respondents.
“The applicant is the immediate past Executive Governor of Zamfara State and before then he was elected into the House of Representatives.
“The applicant states that he has been having series of harassment and intimidation by the agents of the respondent some arisen from the lost of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State to the Peoples Democratic Party.
“The said loss arose from the decision of the Supreme Court wherein the court directed that all the elected officers in Zamfara State should vacate their offices for the 2nd runners up in the 2019 general election.”