A Federal High Court in Lagos today (September 10), passed verdict on the $40m worth of pieces of jewellery owned by Nigeria’s Former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Allison-Madueke, ruling on a final forfeiture to the Nigerian Government.
According to the presiding judge of the court, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, Maduake has failed to state substantial reasons why the pieces of jewellery should not be forfeited.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed an application to the court, stating that that pieces of jewellery were acquired by the former Minister with proceeds of unlawful activities.
The pieces of jewellery confiscated were wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, a customized gold phone.
Entailed in an affidavit submitted to the court, an investigator of the antigraft agency, Rufai Zaki, held that the pieces of jewellery exceeded Madueke’s “known and provable lawful income.”
According to the affidavit, the former Minister of Petroleum Resources started acquiring the jewelries in 2012, two years after she assumed sit as a minister.
Zaki further disclosed that the documents of Madueke’s salary account, while she was minister, is in EFCC custody.
“The respondent did not utilise her salary or any part of her legitimate income to acquire the assets sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Zaki said.
He said a “damning intelligence report” sent to the Commission triggered the search of Madueke’s house at No. 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja, where the pieces of jewellery were found.