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Court grants Final Forfeiture of NOK University, Hotel and Factory in Kaduna

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Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, June 7, 202 ordered the final forfeiture of every asset of NOK University, Gwasmyen Water Factory, Gwasmyen Event Center and Gwasmyen International Hotel in Kaduna State.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had, through its counsel Ekele Iheanacho filed an order of final forfeiture of the said properties pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and Section 44(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Iheanacho, through diligent submission and evidence before the court, established the facts that Anthony Hassan, a former Director of Finance and Accounts, DFA, in the Federal Ministry of Health, built NOK University using proceeds of unlawful activities traced to him.

Physical assets of the University forfeited include Senate building, ICT building, Faculty of Medicine building, Science Deanery building, two Academic buildings , a Faculty Hall and other buildings.

Other properties also forfeited include Gwasmyen Water Factory, Gwasmyen Event Center and Gwasmyen International Hotel in Kaduna State.

The Commission, had, through its investigative Officer, Adaora Asabe Oragudosi investigated some verified intelligence bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering against some staff of the Federal Ministry of Health where the properties ordered forfeited were traced to the defendant.

Delivering judgment on the matter on Friday, Justice Abdulmalik held that “the Apex court has held that any person who lives above his means owes the society some explanations. The burden lies on the accused to justify properties acquired which are disproportionate to his known legitimate earnings. It is in law that forfeitures are hinged on preponderance of evidence”

“Again, I hold that the respondent has failed woefully in tilting the scale of evidence in his favor. It is a principle of law that oral evidence cannot contradict or supersede documentary evidence because documentary evidence speaks for itself”, she said.

The court had earlier granted an interim forfeiture of the assets on June 1, 2022.

● By Dele Oyewale, Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC.

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