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Court dismisses Diezani’s appeal over forfeited $40m jewellery



The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has dismissed an appeal filed by former minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, over the seizure of $40 million worth of jewellery by the federal government.

The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, AbdulRasheed Bawa, had in May disclosed that the seized jewellery from Diezani, worth about N14.46 billion.

Diezani in Appeal No CA/L/1263/19 filed through her counsel, Professor Awa Kalu (SAN) accused the EFCC of entering her apartment at No. 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja, illegally and taking the items without any court order.

She said the EFCC violated her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion, under sections 43 and 44 of the constitution”.

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The seized jewellery 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”.

Dismissing her appeal, the Court held that there was no substance in her bid to overturn the July 19, 2019 judgement of Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court.

It affirmed the 2019 judgment of Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court which forfeited the jewellery following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC had in the earlier suit when her jewellery was forfeited claimed “The respondent did not utilise her salary or any part of her legitimate income to acquire the assets” which she started acquiring in 2012, two years after she resumed office.

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