The court of appeal, Lagos division has dismissed an appeal filed by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, challenging the forfeiture of her $40million worth of jewellery to the federal government.
The jewellery, categorised into 33 sets which 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”, were seized from the former minister’s residence at No. 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja.
The court had on July 5, 2019, ordered the interim forfeiture of the assets following an ex- parte application filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, the counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Then Justice Nicholas Oweibo on September 19, 2019, ordered the permanent forfeiture of $40 million worth of jewellery seized from Alison-Madueke.
The high court judge held that the former minister failed to show cause why the jewellery should not be permanently forfeited to the government. Dissatisfied, the former minister in appeal No: CA/L/1263/19 asked the appellate court to upturn the decision of the high court.
Delivery judgement in the appeal today, the appellate court held that there was no substance in the former Minister’s appeal to overturn the lower court’s order. Consequently, the appellate court affirmed the 2019 verdict of the federal high court.