Diezani forfeits 1,494 pieces of jewellery worth $40m

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has ordered an interim forfeiture of jewellery worth $40 million.

Among the ornaments Diezani forfeited are 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 189 wristwatches, 267 necklaces, all adding up to over 1494 pieces. And a gold-fashioned iPhone.

She has forfeited several properties linked to her to the federal government since the EFCC commenced investigations into her activities as petroleum minister in 2015.

The latest forfeiture followed an application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which searched the ex-minister’s houses in Abuja.

In the application, the EFCC said the expensive items were reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former minister.

According to the EFCC, the former minister’s lawful income is far less than the value of the seized jewellery.

The commission also sought an order directing the publication in any national newspaper, the interim order for Mrs Alison-Madueke or anyone interested in the properties to appear before the court within 14 days.

Diezani is currently is being investigated in the UK for money laundering.