The Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the ICPC and the Attorney General of the Federation from seizing assets and properties belonging to the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari.
The court also stopped both from interfering with Mr Yari’s enjoyment of his fundamental rights.
According to a report published on Tribune Newspaper on Monday, the judge, Taiwo Taiwo, in a ruling on the ex-parte motion filed by Mr Yari’s counsel, Mahmud Magaji, granted the restriction pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
According to the judge, the orders were made to maintain the pending determination of the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the former governor.
Mr Taiwo on Friday had granted the ICPC’s request to freeze Mr Yari’s six accounts in Polaris and Zenith banks, with cumulative cash of N24.3 million and $669,248
In his new ruling, the judge said the orders made on Monday ”do not affect the earlier one relating to the accounts in the two banks”.
“An order of interim injunction restraining 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. The Justice Taiwo said
“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from unlawfully interfering with the Applicant’s 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,” he added.
Mr Magaji also accused the anti-corruption agency of ”leveraging on the Supreme Court order on May 24 sacking all elected officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as an advantage to arrest the applicant and his wife and to arraign them”.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the Supreme Court invalidated the participation of the APC in the governorship and legislative elections in Zamfara.
The court said the ruling party did not hold valid primaries. It ordered that INEC declare all the first runners-up in the elections initially won by the APC in Zamfara as winners.
“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 Peoples 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 a series of harassment and intimidation by the agents of the respondent some arisen from the loss of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State to the Peoples Democratic Party.
“The said lost arose from the decision of the Supreme Court wherein the court directed that all the elected officers in Zamfara State should vacate office for the 2nd runner up of the 2019 General Election,” Mr Yari’s counsel added according to the Tribune report.
PREMIUM TIMES had also reported in July how EFCC operatives stormed the home of the former governor in Talata Marafa in the state capital.
The ICPC says it is investigating the former governor based on intelligence report that he diverted public funds into his personal accounts, ”as well as funds that belonged to the Nigerian Governors Forum while he held sway as its Chairman”.