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Court orders forfeiture of ex-Ministry of Health finance director’s university

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of all assets of NOK University, based in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

A former Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA) in the Federal Ministry of Health, Anthony Hassan, owns the university, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


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The Commission said in a statement on Wednesday that the school was suspected to have been built with the proceeds of unlawful activities traced to Hassan.

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Hassan was a Director of Finance at the Health ministry between 2016 and 2019.

Affected physical assets of the university pencilled for forfeiture include the Senate building, ICT building, Faculty of Medicine building, Science Deanery building, two Academic buildings, a Faculty Hall and other buildings.

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

Checks by The ICIR showed that the university parades itself as the first indigenous private university in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

The school was registered in Nigeria under the Company and Allied Matters Acts of 1990, with registration No: RC.1617510.

It has its permanent site at Kachia town in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State, occupying 109 hectares.

It has four faculties, namely the Faculty of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Computing, and Research.

Ishaya Nock, a professor, is the school’s Vice-Chancellor and Obadiah Joshua is its Registrar.

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Some of the over 15 courses allegedly approved for the school include Basic Medical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Science and Computing.

Justice Zainab Abubakar gave the interim forfeiture order on the school’s assets 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 pursuant to 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 Honorable Court.

EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Commission, 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.

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

The case was adjourned till October 5, 2022, for mention.

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