A federal high court in Lagos on Friday ordered the forfeiture of jewelry and a customized gold iPhone, belonging to former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) valued the items at $40 million.
At the court sitting on Friday, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, ordered the temporary seizure of the items following an ex parte application moved by lawyer for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo.
He had said the application, which had Alison-Madueke as the only defendant, was filed in pursuant to section 17 of the advance fee fraud and other related offences act no. 14, 2006.
The schedule attached to the application indicated that some of the 1,897 pieces of jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, are “419 bangles; 315 rings; 304 earrings; 267 necklaces; 189 wristwatches; 174 necklaces and earrings; 78 bracelets; 77 brooches; and 74 pendants.”
EFCC said it found and recovered the items in the premises of Alison-Madueke, adding that it suspected that the former minister acquired them with “proceeds of unlawful activities.”
Justice Oweibo ordered EFCC to publish the forfeiture order in a national newspaper “for the respondent or anyone who is interested in the property sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why a final forfeiture order of the said properties should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The judge then adjourned the matter till August 23, 2019.
- Toheeb Jaiyeola is a graduate of Kwara state university, Malete. He is a versatile journalist with interest in Health, Politics and Environment.