A federal high court in Abuja has granted permission to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to freeze various sums of money in bank accounts traced to the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the permission on Friday when he ruled on an ex parte motion filed by ICPC ordering that all the accounts containing $669, 248.89 and N24.3 million, domiciled with Polaris and Zenith banks respectively, be frozen.
The monies are funds allegedly stashed in the personal accounts of the former governor and companies belonging to him, which include Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
A breakdown shows that the sum of N12, 912, 848.68 was stashed in the former governor’s Zenith Bank account; N11, 159, 674.17 found in a Zenith bank account operated by Kayatawa and N217, 388.04 also in Zenith Bank belonging to B.T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd. $56, 056.75 was discovered in the former governor’s Polaris Bank account.
Another $301, 319.99 was kept in Kayatawa’s Zenith Bank account, while $311, 872.15 was found in BT Oil and Gas’ Zenith Bank account.
The monies, when converted and put together, bring the total amount frozen to N263, 033, 519.3.
The judge also ruled that ICPC should publish the order of interim forfeiture in a national daily within 14 days and that the affected parties should show a reason why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.
The anti-corruption agency had approached the court through section 48 (1), (2) and (3) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, praying for an order of interim forfeiture of the alleged funds to the federal government.
All the sums are alleged to have been proceeds of corruption emanating from the illegal activities of the governor and his representatives.