Diezani forfeits pieces of jewelry worth $40m

A Federal High Court in Lagos State on Friday ordered the forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewelry and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m, belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who ordered that the items should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government., gave the order following an ex parte application moved on Friday morning by a lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

In the application, the EFCC said that it found and recovered the jewelry and the customized gold iPhone “on the premises of the respondent.”

It alleged that the former minister acquired them with “proceeds of unlawful activities.”

According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewelry were categorised into 33 sets which include “419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants.”

The judge ordered the anti-graft agency 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 this Honourable 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 adjourned till August 23, 2019, for further proceedings.