Alleged Fraud: Court Grants Final Forfeiture of NOK University, Hotel, Factory

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has granted the final forfeiture of every asset of NOK University, Gwasmyen Water Factory, Gwasmyen Event Center and Gwasmyen International Hotel in Kaduna State that belonged to Anthony Hassan, a former Director of Finance and Accounts in the Federal Ministry of Health, to government.

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

A statement by the spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dele Oyewale, on Saturday, said it was proven beyond every reasonable doubt by EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, that Anthony Hassan built the NOK University and other assets 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.

EFCC, 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 Joyce Abdulmalik ruled: “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 favour. It is a principle of law that oral evidence cannot contradict or supersede documentary evidence because documentary evidence speaks for itself.”