Hand over USD 40 million Necklaces, bangles to Nigerian govt, court orders Diezani

A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered Mrs. Diezani Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources to hand over her necklace, bangles, earrings purchased at the sum of USD 40 million to the Nigerian government.

Mr. Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, passing the verdict, said Diezani has failed to prove she purchased the items with her money and why the Nigerian government should not seize them from her.

The verdict was passed following an ex parte application filed by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, lawyer to Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

However, the former minister through an application filed by her lawyer, Mr. Awa Kalu, asked the court to order EFCC to return her seized necklaces and bangles.

Diezani said the anti-graft agency broke into her home and confiscated her necklaces and bangles without a court order.

An action she said was a total violation of her fundamental right.

The EFCC in its application told the court that the necklace and bangles were purchased from money stolen from Nigerian coffers.

A claim the former minister could not refute.

The items are in the following categories, 419 bangles; 315 rings; 304 earrings; 267 necklaces; 189 wristwatches; 174 necklaces and earrings; 78 bracelets; 77 brooches; and 74 pendants”.

EFCC told the court that the former minister commenced the purchase of the items in 2012 when she was appointed a minister of petroleum by Mr. Goodluck Jonathan ex-Nigeria president.

There is no evidence showing Diezani used her salaries to purchase the items, EFCC told the court.  

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