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Court Orders Zamfara Ex-Gov, Abdulaziz Yari To Forfeit Over N700m To Nigerian Government

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the final forfeiture of various amounts, estimated at about N700 million, linked to former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari.

Court Orders Zamfara Ex-Gov, Abdulaziz Yari To Forfeit Over N700m To Nigerian Government 3

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) claimed that Yari kept the funds in accounts in banks, using his two companies, Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

The ICPC had accused Yari of illicitly taking the money from Zamfara State’s treasury to the detriment of the residents.

In a judgment on Tuesday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu held that Yari could not prove how he got the funds while or before serving as governor of Zamfara State between May 29, 2011, and May 29, 2019.

He queried how one of the companies’ bank accounts grew from zero to $301,319 at the end of his tenure.

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The judge, who said Yari could not claim the funds as his without providing evidence, rejected his claim that the action of the ICPC was a political witch-hunt.

“There is nothing wrong in having huge sums of money in one’s account. But what the law requires is that such proceeds should emanate from legitimate sources or businesses.

“The respondents, who have been given an opportunity to tell their story, have failed to provide evidence for such legitimate income.

“The respondents have not countered the case and facts presented by the applicants (ICPC).

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“The respondents, having failed to establish the legitimate source of the money as stated in this case, this honourable court hereby makes an order of final forfeiture of the following:

“An order of final forfeiture of N12,912,848.68, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of final forfeiture of $57,056.75, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in an account number …in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of forfeiture of N11,159,674.17, being proceeds stashed in an account in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

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“An order of final forfeiture of $319,000.91, being proceed of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of N217,000.04, being proceeds of some unlawful activity allegedly stashed in the name of B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $311,817.15, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of BT. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited,” the judge said.

Justice Ojukwu added that the funds, “as identified and stated above, shall be and are hereby forfeited to the Federal Government”.

This is coming months after Abdulaziz Yari challenged anyone who has anything incriminating against him to come forward with it and expose him.

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