Justice Nicholas Oweibo has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s application for the permanent forfeiture to the federal government, several jewelry recovered at the residence of former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison – Madueke.
The ruling was delivered at the federal high court, Lagos.
The judge said Diezani failed to prove how she lawfully acquired the 2,149 pieces of jewelry, include a customised gold i-phone, all valued at 40 million dollars .
On July 5, the court ordered the forfeiture of the assets following an ex parte application filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC valued the items at $40 million. But Diezani, in an application filed by Awa Kalu, her counsel, asked the court to order a return of the seized assets.
She accused the EFCC of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.
Oyedepo, in his application, argued that the jewellery was suspected to have been acquired with “proceeds of unlawful activities”.
According to the schedule attached to the application, some of the pieces of jewellery categorised into 33 sets, are “419 bangles; 315 rings; 304 earrings; 267 necklaces; 189 wristwatches; 174 necklaces and earrings; 78 bracelets; 77 brooches; and 74 pendants”.
In an affidavit before the court, Rufai Zaki, an investigator with the anti-graft commission, said the jewellery was beyond Diezani’s “known and provable lawful income”.
Zaki added that findings by the EFCC showed that Diezani started acquiring the jewellery in 2012 after she was appointed a minister.