Diezani $40M Jewelry: Court sets Sept 10 date on forfeiture order


A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos will on September 10, 2019, give ruling on the final forfeiture order on jewelry and a customized gold iPhone valued at $40M taken from the Lagos home of former minister of petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on July 5, 2019 secured the interim forfeiture of the 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customized gold iPhone belonging to Madueke.

The court presided over by Justice Nicholas Oweibo had called on parties involved to show cause as to why the properties should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Madueke, however, accused the Commission of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.

At the sitting on Monday, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court for the final forfeiture of the jewellery.

Oyedepo showed the court the search warrant detailing all the items recovered at the respondent’s premise.

He also informed the court that “at this stage of the proceeding, what is expected of the respondent is to present credible evidence as to the source of the property sought to be forfeited.

“The respondent has failed to show how she acquired the mind-blowing jewellery with a legitimate income. Ridiculously, they sought to claim that some of the items were gifts but did not disclose the giver”.

Rotimi also argued that the respondent did not declare the assets in the Asset Declaration form and it was an attempt to conceal the items.

He further urged the court not to ascribe any privatize value to the deponent’s counter affidavit as the facts deposed to were not in the knowledge of the respondent.

“From the failure of the deponent to show how the jewelry were gotten, I urge you to hold that the respondent has failed to show cause why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government”.

The defence counsel, Nnamdi Awa-Kalu had earlier in the proceedings urged the court to dismiss the application and its contents.

He prayed the court to disregard it in its entirety, on the grounds that the arguments were mere speculations.

Awa-Kalu also argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to forfeit the properties.

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