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Court stops AGF, EFCC from seizing Yari’s assets

A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from taking further…

A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from taking further steps to seize the property of the former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari.

Justice Nkeonye Maha yesterday gave the order to the parties, explaining it was to preserve the justice of the matter pending the determination of the counter affidavit by the EFCC.

Counsel to Yari, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), had brought the application pleading with the court to stop efforts by the parties to seize his client’s property pending the determination of his fundamental human rights.

The court had on August 19 summoned the AGF and EFCC to show cause why Yari’s application to stop the seizure should not be made.

But counsel to the EFCC, Hassan Gambo, informed the court that they complied with the order of the court, but that its counter affidavit was filed late, hence not yet in the court’s file.

The AGF, represented by Abdullahi Abubakar, a principal state counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice, equally informed the court that the AGF had filed a counter affidavit in compliance with the order of the court on why the AGF should not be restrained from taking action against Yari.

Justice Maha, in a short ruling, agreed that the matter could not go on because of the late filing of counter affidavit by the two respondents. He therefore adjourned further hearing in the case till September 5, 2019.

Yari had filed an ex parte, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/948/2019, pursuant to sections 46(1) and (3) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 and Order 4 Rule 3 and 4, of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009 challenging moves by the anti-graft agency against him over allegations of corruption while in office between 2011 and 2019.

When the case came up yesterday, counsel to the EFCC, Hussaina Gambo, told the judge that the AGF is a norminal party in the matter because the investigation of the former governor is being solely undertaken by the EFCC. However, counsel to the ex-governor, Magaji (SAN), pleaded with Justice Maha to make an order against the two respondents not to take any action against his client pending the determination of his fundamental human rights suit.

The judge directed parties in the suit not to take any action that will impede the administration of justice as it relates to the instant suit.

Meanwhile, in his supporting affidavit, Yari blamed his current travails in the hands of the prosecution agencies on the activities of some powerful politicians who are on a vendetta mission against him over the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.

His position is contained in an affidavit in support of his motion seeking to restrain the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the EFCC from tampering with his assets and property.

In the said affidavit, the former governor described the actions of the respondents against him as politically motivated to witch-hunt him.

He said the 1st and 2nd respondents were determined on a follow up attacks on him and his family by the use of allegations of wrongdoing which had been concocted against him in 2019 as an excuse to arrest him and his wife and to arraign then on trumped up charges.

The affidavit deposed to by Affis Matanmi, traced the genesis of the case against Yari to the political events within the state chapter of the APC that eventually led to the party losing out the leadership of the state to the Peoples Democratic Party by the judgment of the Supreme Court.

 

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