Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of ₦284 Million Belonging To Ex-Gov Yari To FG

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered a final forfeiture of about N284, 306, 294.04 linked to a former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, to the Federal Government.

The money was said to have been lodged with Zenith Bank Plc and Polaris Bank.

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Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the FHC who gave the final forfeiture order said that Yari could not show how he made the huge sum of monies while or before serving as governor of the state (between May 29, 2011, and May 29, 2019).

Yari and two companies belonging to him (Kayatawa Nig. Ltd and B.T. Oil and Gas Nig. Ltd) were indicted for alleged fraud and were dragged to the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who had granted an interim order on those monies on August 16, 2019, told the respondents to exonerate themselves from the ICPC allegations.

The ICPC had accused the former governor of illicitly taking the money from the Zamfara State treasury to the detriment of his state.

The monies deposited at the two banks were $687,874.81 and about N24,289,522.89.

Yari’s lawyer, U. Kelechi, in his argument, claimed that he was rich before becoming the governor of the state.

His counsel also urged the court to set aside the interim order earlier filed against him.

Delivering her judgment, Ojukwu queried how one of Yari’s company’s bank accounts grew from zero to a humongous amount at the end of his tenure.

According to her, Yari cannot claim that the monies were his own without showing evidence.

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While dismissing the allegation that it was a political witch-hunt, she ordered that the entire sum be forfeited to the Federal Government.

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