The Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday said a Federal High Court in Abuja had granted it permission to freeze various sums of money in bank accounts traced to a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari. A statement from ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the permission yesterday when he ruled on an ex-parte motion filed by the ICPC ordering that the accounts containing $669, 248.89 and N24.3 million domiciled with Polaris and Zenith banks respectively, be frozen.
She said the sums were 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.
She said a breakdown showed that 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, “ she said. She added that, “The monies, when converted and put together, bring the total amount frozen to N263, 033, 519.3.” Okoduwa said the judge also ruled that the commission should publish the order of interim forfeiture in a national daily within 14 days, and that the affected parties should show reason why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.
She said the ICPC 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. She said all the sums were alleged to have been proceeds of corruption emanating from the illegal activities of the governor and his representatives.