The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to stay further action in the move to seize the property of the immediate-past Governor of Zamfara, Mr Abdulaziz Yari.
Justice Nkeonye Maha gave the order at the resumed hearing in the legal action instituted by the former governor, Yari, to challenge the anti-graft agency from confisticating his property.
The Judge had last week Monday ordered AGF and EFCC to appear before the court on Friday to show cause on why the request of Yari to restrain them from taking any action against his property should not be granted.
But counsel to EFCC, Hussaina Gambo, informed the court that they complied with the order of the court, but that the EFCC counter-affidavit was filed late, hence not yet in the court’s file.
The AGF, represented by Abdulahi Abubakar, also informed the court that the AGF had filed counter-affidavit in compliance with the order of the court on why the AGF should not be restrained from taking action against Yari.
The counsel further told the judge that the AGF is a nominal party in the matter because the investigation of the former governor is being solely undertaken by the anti-graft agency.
However, counsel to the ex governor, Mahmud 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.
Magaji, who cited several authorities in support of his submissions claimed that, having joined issues with each other, non of the parties is expected to take any step that will pervert the administration of justice until the issue is fully determined.
Justice Maha, in a short ruling agreed that the matter cannot go on because of the late filing of counter-affidavits by the two respondents.
The judge therefore adjourned further hearing in the matter till September 5, 2019.
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.
Recall that Yari in his bid to stop the AGF and the EFCC from taking any action against his property, filed an ex parte, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/948/2019, brought pursuant to section 46(1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution and order 4 rule 3 and 4, of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009.
Justice Maha, after listening to the submissions on the ex-parte motion, ordered that the respondents (AGF and EFCC) be served with the court processes within 48 hours and should appear before the court this Friday to show cause why they should not be restrained.