June 2, 2022

Alleged fraud: Court orders interim forfeiture of varsity, property linked to ex-DFA

Shari’a Court judges

By Soni Daniel

Abuja—A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, ordered the interim forfeiture of every asset of NOK University based in Kaduna and other property linked to a former Director of Finance in the Ministry of Health, Anthony Hassan.

Anthony Hassan is suspected by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to have built the university and acquired other property through proceeds of crime traced to him.

Hassan, who was a DFA in the ministry between 2016 and 2019, allegedly built the university through fraudulent means.

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 and others .

Other property traced to Hassan, which are also forfeited in the interim are Gwasmyen Water Factory, Gwasmyen Event Centre and Gwasmyen International Hotel in Kaduna.

Justice Zainab Abubakar gave the interim forfeiture order while ruling on a motion ex-parte brought by the EFCC.

Counsel to the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, told the court that the EFCC sought the order “under Section 44(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Honourable Court.”

The commission through her 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 property ordered forfeited were traced to the defendant.

In the ruling, the court directed that the interim forfeiture order be published in the national dailies, alerting anyone with interest in the property to show cause, within 14 days, why it should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Abubakar adjourned till October 5, 2022 for mention of the matter.