Diezani to Forfeit $40 Million Worth of Jewelries in Court Judgement

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SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 10 – Justice I.N. Oweibo of the Fed High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the final forfeiture of some jewellery and a customized gold iPhone valued belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government.

The Judge had, on July 5, 2019, granted the interim forfeiture, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC. Justice Oweibo had also directed interested parties to show cause why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Nnamdi Awa-Kalu, counsel for Alison-Madueke, had filed a motion on notice seeking that the order be set aside, arguing that his client was a successful businesswoman in the oil and gas sector, who had acquired them through legitimate means as well as gifts.

Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo argued that they were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime as the respondent failed to show how they were acquired, noting that “it is an unlawful activity for a public officer to receive gifts as a result of what was done or not done.”

In his ruling, Justice Oweibo held that the issues raised by the EFCC were more apt and that “it is only logical that the court dismisses the respondent’s application”, noting that the respondent failed to show cause why they should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

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