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Nicholas Oweibo, a Justice of the Federal High Court in Lagos State has ordered the forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40million, belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The jewelries were recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in homes traced to the former minister of petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke. The forfeiture order followed an ex parte application moved on Friday morning by a lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Rotimi Oyedepo.

In the application, EFCC said the expensive items were reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former minister. The jewellery items, categorised 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.

Following this, the judge ordered that the items should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government. The judge also ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the forfeiture order in a national newspaper “for the respondent or anyone who is interested in the property sought to be forfeited to appear before this honourable court to show cause within 14 days why a final forfeiture order of the said properties should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

The case has been adjourned till August 23, 2019, for further proceedings.

By: Dammy Eneli

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