A Federal High Court in Lagos passed an order for the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to permanently forfeit 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone valued at $40m, recovered from her Abuja home.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo, who gave the ruling on Tuesday, announced that Diezani, through her lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN), had failed to prove to the court why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.
The list of items include bangles (419); rings (315); earrings (304); necklaces (267); wristwatches (189); necklaces and earrings (174); bracelets (78); brooches (77); pendants (74); necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings (44); necklaces, earrings and rings (32); pendants and earrings (30) and necklaces and bracelets (18), among others.
Rufai Zaki, the investigator for EFCC, claimed in an affidavit presented to the court that the pieces of jewellery purchased by Diezani were beyond Diezani’s “known and provable lawful income.”
He also reminded the court that Diezani was appointed the Minister of Petroleum Resources on April 12, 2010, and findings by the EFCC showed she started acquiring the pieces of jewellery in 2012.
Zaki also affirmed the ruling of the court, stating that the judge was empowered to make such forfeiture order under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offence Act 2006.