Crime

Diezani $40m Jewellery: Court adjourns to Sept 10

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday, September 2, 2019, further adjourned to September 10, 2019, ruling on the final forfeiture of Diezani Alison Madueke’s jewelry and a customized gold iPhone all valued at $40M.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on July 5, 2019, secured the interim forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewelry and a customized gold iPhone belonging to Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Meanwhile, the court had called on parties involved to show cause as to why the properties should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Madueke, however, accused the Commission of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.

At today’s sitting, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court for the final forfeiture of the jewelry.

Oyedepo showed the court the search warrant detailing all the items recovered at the respondent’s premise.

He also informed the court that “at this stage of the proceeding, what is expected of the respondent is to present credible evidence as to the source of the property sought to be forfeited.

The respondent has failed to show how she acquired the mind-blowing jewelry with a legitimate income.

Ridiculously, they sought to claim that some of the items were gifts but did not disclose the giver”.

Rotimi also argued that the respondent did not declare the assets in the Asset Declaration form and it was an attempt to conceal the items.

He further urged the court not to ascribe any privatize value to the deponent’s counter-affidavit as the facts deposed to were not in the knowledge of the respondent.

“From the failure of the deponent to show how the jewelry were gotten, I urge you to hold that the respondent has failed to show cause why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government”.

The defence counsel, Nnamdi Awa-Kalu had earlier in the proceedings urged the court to dismiss the application and its contents.

He prayed the court to disregard it in its entirety, on the grounds that the arguments were mere speculations.

Awa-Kalu also argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to forfeit the properties.

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