The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of N500m and $500,000 allegedly looted from the Paris Club refunds by Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari.
They were said to have been recovered from two firms, First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, and Gosh Projects Limited.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleged that the sums of money were fraudulently diverted from the NGF’s bank account on the instruction of Yari.
In an affidavit by the EFCC, it alleged that the N500m was diverted to offset Yari’s personal loan obtained from the First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited.
It also alleged that the second firm, Gosh Projects Limited, utilised was paid for the purchase of building materials for Yari’s 100-room hotel project in Lagos.
Gosh Projects was also said to have used part of the looted funds for the purchase of treasury bills and transfers to offshore accounts.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba made the interim forfeiture order of the sums of money to the Federal Government in a ruling delivered on June 30, 2017.
The ruling on the suit against Yari, also Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, was made available to newsmen on Tuesday.
The judge also ordered that any person(s) or body with interest in the funds must, within 14 days of the publication of the interim order of forfeiture in any national daily, show cause why an order of final forfeiture to the Federal Government of the funds should not be made.
The judge granted prayers, including “an order of interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria (the first applicant) of the sum of N500,000,000.00 recovered from the first respondent (First Generation Mortgage Bank Ltd.) and presently in the possession of the second applicant (EFCC) in its Recovered Funds Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“An order of interim forfeiture to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (first applicant) of the sum of US$500,000.00, recovered from the second applicant (Gosh Projects Limited) and presently in the possession of the second applicant (EFCC) in its Recovered Funds Account domiciled with the CBN.”