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N275 million fraud: EFCC seeks final forfeiture of Sunflower Hotel linked to former Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian University

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked the Federal High Court Abuja for a final forfeiture order against Sunflower Hotel Kaduna linked to a former Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe and other staff alleged to have diverted over N275 million from the school bank accounts.

The accusations were contained in its motion on notice marked FHC/ABJ/CS/33/2024, before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Nairametrics previously reported that the EFCC had told the Court that the property known as Sunflower Hotel Kaduna, among others, was suspected to be proceeds of crime linked to Monday Onyema, a former Bursar, NOUN, Adamu Danlami and Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe, under investigation of the alleged offences of conspiracy, stealing of public funds.

EFCC’s Case

EFCC’s counsel, Francis Usani submitted that the sum of N 275,081, 896.90 presumed to be diverted from the account of NOUN by Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe was also used to fund the renovation and completion of the Sunflower Hotel.

He stated that the development amounts to the diversion of public funds belonging to NOUN, adding that attempts have been made to apprehend the purported owners of the property but to no avail and nobody has come out expressly to claim ownership of the said hotel.

In the affidavit deposed to by an EFCC, staff, Hayatudeen S. Ahmed, the suspects who are said to be all at large, allegedly conspired and connived with other staff of the NOUN to divert public funds into companies where they had a subsisting interest.

He said, through the companies, they funded their projects.

The commission had then prayed the court to block the hotel building from being sold or used while ordering any person of interest to show cause why the hotel should not be forfeited to the federal government.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in his ruling, had granted EFCC’s request saying “Order is hereby made for the preservation of the property known as Sunflower Hotel, located at Sunflower Crescent, Unguwan Maigero Road, Narayi, Kaduna, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity,” Ekwo ruled.

The EFCC subsequently filed a final forfeiture application against the property, insisting it is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

The matter was mentioned before the Court on Friday and the request was adjourned to September 30 for judgement.

What you should know

The EFCC is a federal government agency saddled with tracking and prosecuting financial crimes.

Relating to criminal or civil proceedings, the Federal High Court is one of the courts of first instance.


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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