On Thursday, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos adjourned till September 2 the final forfeiture hearing on the money laundering suit filed against former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
You will recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in July confiscated jewellery valued at $40 million allegedly belonging to Mrs. Alison-Madueke after an interim forfeiture order from a federal court in Lagos.
The anti-graft agency claimed the items were proceeds from fraudulent activities, but at the last court hearing, the former petroleum minister defended her ownership of the items, accusing EFCC of violating her privacy by entering her apartment without a court order.
The temporarily forfeited items include over 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 189 wristwatches, 267 necklaces, and a customised gold iPhone.
When the case was heard on Thursday, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, requested for more time to respond to the counter affidavit presented by the defendant’s legal team. Judge Nicholas Oweibo then adjourned the court for a final hearing on the case.
The affidavit was filed on Diezani's behalf by her legal counsel, Professor Kalu, who emphasized that his client was at the time in the United Kingdom. She 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.