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Published On: Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

Court orders ICPC to unseal Gov. Yari’s property

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court Abuja, has ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission ICPC, to unseal the property of a former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, located at Maitama, Abuja.
Justice Taiwo who is the vacation judge, gave this order following an ex-parte application filed and argued by counsel to the former governor, Mahmud Magaji, SAN, who in his argument posited that the anti graft agency sealed the property contrary to the provision of the law.
The judge, ruling on the motion, held that the applicant has a constitutional right to bring such application before the court, adding that the prosecution agency carried out the act of sealing applicant’s property without a court order.
Further in his ruling, Justice Taiwo ordering the ICPC to remove the red paint on the property, noting that the Commission cannot seal a property without an order of the court as well as ordered the Applicant to serve the originating motion on the ICPC within 48 hours.
However, the court noted that it will not make any further order as it concerns its earlier order freezing the accounts of the Applicant, maintaining that the court has made the order freezing the account before the motion ex – parte was brought.
The court also refused a prayer seeking an order for parties to maintain status quo.
Recall that the court had last week granted the ICPC’s request to freeze some funds in Yari’s Zenith and Polaris Bank accounts, with the United States dollars and Nigerian naira.
Moving his motion Ex-parte earlier, Magaji who said that the application was to ensure that each government agencies operates within the confines of the law, urged the judge ”to invoke his power to direct the EFCC to go and remove the red inscription pasted in the house.”
Citing a previous case in which a court delivered judgment in favour of an applicant, the lawyer said the commission cannot seal a property without a court order.
He submitted that the application was supported by 11-paragraph affidavit and also supported by a written address dated August 16.
‘’We adopt same in urging your Lordship to grant our application as prayed,’’ he said.
Magaji also told the court that he was with a motion exparte dated August 15 and filed the same day, and brought in accordance with the provisions of the fundamental human rights.
“It is supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit. We also have affidavit of urgency with 9 paragraphs.
“We also have a further affidavit of five paragraphs and the same further affidavit has four exhibits marked Exhibits M (a) M (2), M (a) M (3), M (a) M(4) and M(a) M(5).
“It also has a written address and we adopt same in urging your Lordship to grant our application as prayed,’’ he said.
The counsel argued that in as much as the applicant did not intend to prevent any government agency from performing its function, due process of the law must be followed in carrying out such duty.
”We urge your Lordship to direct parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit,” Magaji said.
Meantime, the court has adjourned proceeding till September 6.

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