Two years after taking office, Zamfara State governor, Mr. Abudal’aziz Abubakar Yari, bought a property in the United States for a princely sum of $950,000, SaharaReporters can exclusively reveal.
The 2.1-acre property is located at 14800 Bowie Farm Court, Bowie Maryland (Zip code: MD 20721) has six full and two half bathrooms with a jacuzzi in the master bedroom.
Deed documents obtained by SaharaReporters from the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County, Maryland, USA, denote Mr. Yari as the sole owner of the property, which was purchased from a limited liability company, K Hovanian Hamptons, located at Creek 11, Delaware. The company used to be known as Real Property Holding, with an address at Prince George’s County, before changing its name on 25 January 2011.
The deed on the property is dated August 27, 2012, while the approval of the purchase was granted on 1 November 2012 after Yari paid the princely sum of $950,000 cash, there was no mortgage on the property. Equally captured on the deed document is the sum of $5,225, which was described as “recordation of tax paid” and $13,300, described as “transfer tax paid”, both offering indications that Mr. Yari operated a foreign account in clear breach of Code 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
A real estate property tax information obtained by Saharareporters from Prince George’s County shows that Governor Yari paid taxes on the property up till date, his 2017 estate tax was $16, 583.10.
Mr. Yari bought the property after his fraudulently awarded N25billion in road contracts in Zamfara in 2012.
The code of conduct law expressly prohibits certain public officials from operating bank accounts in any country outside Nigeria. These include the President, Vice President, governor, deputy governor, ministers, commissioners, members of the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly of the States.
According to the deed document, Mr. Yari signed the agreement in person, with Kimberley Armstead a notary public of Montgomery County State of Maryland, serving as a witness.
In May, SaharaReporters website exclusively reported that Mr. Yari, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, is building a 100-room hotel in Lekki, Lagos, with the $3million he stole from the Paris Club loan refund to states. Aside from the $3million, Mr. Yari was also found to have diverted the sum of N500million from the Paris Club refund to pay off a loan. He was said to have withdrawn N500million from the N19billion Paris Club refund illegally paid into the account of Nigerian Governors’ Forum as payment to “consultants”. He deposited the stolen sum into a bank account with a mortgage bank from which he had taken an N800million loan to buy properties in 2013. This move, SaharaReporters learned, enabled him to renegotiate his debt from N800million to N500million.
Mr. Yari is thought to have trousered the sum of N2.2billion from the sum illegally diverted into the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Account by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki, and his cronies also benefited to the tune of N3.5billion from illegal diversion, which is being investigated by the EFCC. Officials of the anti-graft agency told SaharaReporters in May that Mr. Yari’s hotel, which is under construction, has been listed as a proceed of crime and will be taken over once the EFCC obtains a court order.
Mr. Yari has denied ownership of any hotel in Lagos, claiming he does not even own a plot in the Nigeria’s commercial capital.
In 2017 over 1000 persons died as a result of a meningitis epidemic with Mr. Yari’s Zamfara leading in the number of deaths. At the peak of the epidemic, Yari reportedly said the epidemic was the punishment from God against his people for their sins.