Court orders final forfeiture of Diezani’s $40m worth jewelries

Justice Nicholas Oweibo, sitting at a Federal High Court in Lagos, has granted a final forfeiture to the Federal Government, the $40million worth of jewelries seized from the premises of a former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The court on Tuesday ruled that the former Minister had failed to show cause why the jewelries should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In his application for the final forfeiture order, Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the judge that the expensive jewelries comprising wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, a customized gold phone and more were reasonably suspected to have being acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former Minister.
An investigator with the commission, Rufai Zaki, in an affidavit put before the court insisted that the jewelries were beyond the former Minister’s “known and provable lawful income.”
The investigator further said that findings by the EFCC showed that she started acquiring the jewellery in 2012, two years after she was appointed Minister.
The investigator also said that the EFCC was in possession of the details of the bank account through which Mrs Alison-Madueke received her salary as a minister.
“The respondent did not utilise her salary or any part of her legitimate income to acquire the assets sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Zaki said.
He said a “damning intelligence report” received by the Commission led to the search of former minister’s house at No. 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja.
The former minister, on her part, had challenged the seizure of the jewelries from her premises by the EFCC.
In an affidavit filed on her behalf by her counsel, Prof Awa Kalu (SAN), Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, alleged that the EFCC violated her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion,” under sections 43 and 44 of the constitution.
She also accused the anti-graft agency of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.
On July 5, 2019, the EFCC had secured an order of the court temporarily forfeiting the expensive jewelleries to the Federal Government.

Download Daily Trust News App

Get it on Google Play
Share this article

Join us on

Join our whatsapp group here for Breaking News, Exclusives , others

Complain about a story or Report an error and/or correction: +2348189301900 (Whatsapp and SMS only) Email:

DISCLAIMER: Comments on this thread are that of the maker and they do not necessarily reflect the organizations stand or views on issues.