The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the permanent forfeiture of the 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m, recovered from the Abuja home of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had secured an interim order from the court for the temporal forfeiture of the items valued at $40 million (about N14.4 billion).
The anti-graft agency told the judge that the jewellery and iPhone were beyond Diezani’s legitimate earnings, hence, suspected to be acquired with fraud proceeds.
However, Diezani in an application filed by her counsel, Professor Awa Kalu (SAN), urged the court to reject the prayer by the EFCC to permanently forfeit the expensive items to the Federal Government.
According to the court papers, the jewelleries categorized into 33 sets, 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.”
In a ruling on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Justice Nicholas Nicholas Oweibo held that Diezani, through her lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN), failed to show cause why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.