A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered a final forfeiture of N284, 306, 294.04 linked to a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, to the Federal Government.
The money was said to have been lodged with Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who gave the final forfeiture order, said Yari could not prove how he made the huge sum of money 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 the money on August 16, 2019, told the respondents to exonerate themselves from the ICPC allegations.
The money deposited at the two banks were $687,874.81 and about N24,289,522.89.
Yari’s lawyer, U. Kelechi, urged the court to set aside the interim order, claiming that he was rich before becoming the governor of the state.
Ojukwu, however, queried how one of Yari’s company’s bank accounts grew from zero to a humongous amount at the end of his tenure.
While dismissing the allegation of a political witch-hunt, Justice Ojukwu said, “The respondents have not countered the case and facts presented by the applicants. The respondents having failed to establish the legitimate source of the money as stated in this case, the honourable court hereby makes an order of final forfeiture of the following:
“An order of final forfeiture of the sum of 12, 912, 848.68 naira being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in Zenith Bank Plc…in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.
“An order of final forfeiture of the sum of $57, 056.75, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in Polaris Bank with account number…in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.
“An order of forfeiture of the sum of N11, 159, 674 .17, being proceeds stashed in Zenith Bank Plc…in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.
“An order of final forfeiture of the sum of $319, 000.91 being proceed of some unlawful activity stashed in Zenith Bank Plc…in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.