The application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) requesting the permanent forfeiture of jewellery worth $40 million, allegedly owned by Diezani Allison-Madueke, the former Minister of petroleum has been adjourned to September 2, by the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Recall that in July 2019, the EFCC seized hundreds of jewellery worth $40 million, supposedly owned by Allison-Madueke. The anti-graft agency in an application filed to the Federal High Court stated that they were items purchased from the proceeds of stealing government funds.
The items recovered were over 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 189 wristwatches, 267 necklaces, and a customised gold iPhone.
The court was presided over by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, the vacation judge of the Federal High Court.
During the sitting Allison-Madueke’s lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN), confirmed that her client was the owner of the confiscated items. Kalu, however, accused the EFCC of encroaching on her privacy by going into Madueke’s without a court permit.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that he was served a counter affidavit by the defendant counsel, thereby requiring time to respond.
Oyedepo noted that prior to the adjourned date, all responses to the application will be given to the court so that the court can rule on it.
The request for adjournment was not opposed by the defence counsel who noted that it was necessary as the chamber’s resources are currently overstretched.
Justice Oweibo, however, acknowledged their request and adjourned further hearing to September 2.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, has been on self -exile in Britain. The Federal High Court in Lagos is charging her for facing multiple money laundering charges.
The anti-graft agencies in the United Kingdom are probing her for money laundering.
In an application filed by Awa Kalu (SAN) on behalf of Madueke, it stated that the EFCC infringed her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion” under Sections 43 and 44 of the constitution.
According to the application, the Federal High Court in the first place lacks the jurisdiction to have granted the July 5 interim forfeiture order because she has not been charged with any crime or served summons by the EFCC.