Diezani says the jewelry collection was acquired legitimately, with some also gifted to her.
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has upheld a court ruling to forfeit N16.4 billion ($40 million) worth of jewelry seized from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized 2,149 pieces of jewelry and a customised gold iPhone from the former official’s Abuja residence during investigations into her alleged corrupt activities while in government.
The Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos had ordered the final forfeiture of the items to the government in a September 2019 ruling, but the defendant contested it and filed an appeal.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the former minister’s application, dismissing it as unsubstantive in a ruling delivered on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Diezani’s failed argument at the lower and appellate courts was that the jewelry collection was acquired legitimately, with some items also gifted to her.
She said the EFCC’s seizure of her collection violated her constitutional right to own property, and to appropriate them at her discretion.
The forfeited items include 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 267 necklaces, 189 wristwatches, and dozens of pendants, and cufflinks.
Diezani served in three ministerial positions between 2008 and 2015, and been accused of numerous corrupt acts, with some of her alleged collaborators already convicted.
She has remained abroad since she left government, and accused authorities of persecuting her.
Attempts by the EFCC to extradite her to Nigeria to answer for her alleged crimes have been condemned by critics as tame.
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