The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has disclosed findings from its preliminary investigation of allegations of money laundering and diversion of public funds against the immediate governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.
The ICPC, in documents filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja gave details from the report of its interim investigation of Yari’s asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB and accounts linked to him in two banks – Zenith and Polaris banks.
The agency, while accusing Yari of not being truthful in his assets declaration, claimed that the ex-governor diverted Zamfara State’s funds, using some companies in which he allegedly has interest – Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
The ICPC also claimed that it found that Yari, who was the then Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum transferred funds from the group to one of his firms.
It alleged that on June 18, 2015, the 3rd respondent i.e B.T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited received a transfer of the sum of N150, 000, 000.00 from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum through the 1st respondent when (he) the 1st respondent was the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum
Yesterday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja granted an ex-parte motion by the ICPC, in which it sought to temporarily freeze the accounts allegedly linked to Yari and both companies in Zenith and Polaris banks, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
ICPC’s lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, had argued that motion, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/916/2019 on Wednesday following which Justice Taiwo fixed ruling for August 16, 2019. The motion has Yari, Kayatawa and B.T. Oil and Gas as respondents.
Justice Taiwa, in the ruling yesterday, granted the nine reliefs sought by the ICPC. He ordered the agency to make the order public by publishing it in a national daily within 14 days, and for any part affected by the order to respond within seven days by justifying their ownership of the affected funds and convincing why the money in the accounts and other affected assets should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The reliefs granted by the court, and as prayed by the ICPC are the following, among others:
An order of interim forfeiture of the sum of N12, 912, 848.68 being proceeds of some unlawful activity allegedly stashed in Zenith Bank Plc with account number: 1001381684 in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.