Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, summoned the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to appear before it on Thursday over legal issues relating to the assets and properties of the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari.
They are to appear in court to show cause why they will not be restrained from among other actions, freezing the bank accounts and or confiscating his immovable properties anywhere in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Justice Nkeonye Maha made the order after listening to the arguments canvassed in a motion exparte by counsel for Yari, Mahmud Magaji (SAN).
The motion exparte marked FHC/ABJ/CS/948/2019, was brought pursuant to section 46(1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution and order 4 rule 3 and 4 of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009.
Justice Maha equally ordered that the respondents be served with the court processes within 48 hours and adjourned further proceedings to Thursday this week.
The motion ex parte, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/948/2019, was brought pursuant to section 46(1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution and order 4 rule 3 and 4, of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009.
The AGF is the 1st respondent while the EFCC is the 2nd respondent in the suit.
Justice Maha equally ordered that the respondents be served with the court processes within 48 hours before he adjourned further proceedings.
Meanwhile, the former governor has attributed his travails in the hands of the respondents to the fall out of the 2019 elections in Zamfara state.
The two respondents listed in the motion paper are the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Why describing the actions of the respondents against him as politically motivated to witch-hunt him, Yari in a 17 paragraph affidavit in support of his motion further stated that “ the 1st and 2nd respondents are determined on a follow up attack upon him and his family by the use of allegations of wrongdoing which had been concocted against him in 2019 as an excuse to arrest him and his wife and to arraign then on trumped up charges.
In another case, the Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed its earlier interim forfeiture order on Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’s assets, including funds in four banks, granted to the Federal Government.
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) had, on July 14, taken temporary possession of several property allegedly owned by Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North Senatorial District, including accounts in Zenith, Access, UBA and Sterling Banks.
This followed an interim forfeiture order by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on July 5, giving the lawmaker or anyone who might have owned the seized assets 30 days to convince the court why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Nigerian government.
In a motion on notice by Counsel to the senator, Mr. Robbert Clarke, SAN, filed on July 11 and brought to the court’s attention, Nwaoboshi urged the court to set aside the ruling.
He also challenged the court’s jurisdiction to further grant audience to the SPIP in relation to his assets.
Justice Taiwo, while delivering judgment, however set aside the earlier order, giving the SPIP to seize the assets.
The SPIP in ex parte application moved by the panel’s lawyer, Celsus Ukpong, described the assets as suspicious or suspected to be far beyond the legitimate income of Nwaoboshi. Nwaoboshi, the Zenith Bank, Access Bank, United Bank of Africa and Sterling Bank are joined as the 1st to the 5th respondents respectively in the said ex parte application.