Court orders forfeiture of NOK University assets to FG

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, ordered the final forfeiture of all assets of NOK University, Gwasmyen Water Factory, Gwasmyen Event Center and Gwasmyen International Hotel in Kaduna State.

Periscope International reports that the court had earlier on June 1, 2022, granted an interim forfeiture of the university’s assets.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik held that the university and its assets were proceeds of fraud and ordered that they all be forfeited to the federal government.

NOK University Kachia Kaduna

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“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.

“The burden lies on the accused to justify the said properties that he acquired, which are disproportionate to his known legitimate earnings.

“It is in law that forfeitures are hinged on preponderance of evidence”.

“It is a principle of law that oral evidence cannot contradict or supersede documentary evidence because documentary evidence speaks for itself.

“Again, I hold that the respondent has failed woefully in tilting the scale of evidence in his favor.

“The Apex court has held that any person who lives above his means owes the society some explanations,” she said.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had filed  an application for an order of final forfeiture of the said properties.

According to EFCC, this was 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.

EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, had in his submission before the court, argued that his client had established a prima facie fact that  the former DFA corruptly enriched himself and used the proceeds to build the University and acquire other assets.

Other assets of the institution to be forfeited to the FG

The physical assets of the University forfeited include the Senate building, ICT building, Faculty of Medicine building, Science Deanery building, two Academic buildings, a Faculty Hall, among others.

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

It would be recalled that the EFCC had investigated alleged criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering leveled against some staffers of the Federal Ministry of Health, where the properties ordered forfeited were traced to the defendant.

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