Ex-Minister Nigerian Defends Her US$40 Million Jewelry

 

Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of petroleum resources, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of violating her privacy by entering her apartment without a court order.

Premium Times reports that Alison-Madueke, who is still at large, said in an application through her lawyer that the action of the EFCC operatives was illegal.

Legit.ng gathered that the EFCC at a federal court in Lagos on July 5, secured an interim forfeiture of hundreds of jewelry valued at $40 million allegedly belonging to Alison-Madueke.

The jewellery, comprising bangles, earrings, and wristwatches were recovered from homes traced to the former minister.

According to the EFCC, the items are “reasonably suspected to have been acquired with and or represent proceeds of the respondent’s unlawful activities.”

The former minister is facing multiple charges of money laundering before federal courts in Lagos and Abuja.

She is believed to be in the United Kingdom where she is also being investigated for money laundering.

In her filings before the court in Lagos, she said the EFCC violated her fundamental rights to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion under sections 43 and 44 of the Nigerian constitution.

The application was filed by Awa Kalu, a professor of law, on behalf of the former minister.

She said the federal court lacked the jurisdiction to have granted the July 5 interim forfeiture order because she had not been charged with any crime or served summons by the EFCC.

Alison-Madueke also said the temporary forfeiture order was prejudicial because she was denied fair hearing.

The application, which had been scheduled to be argued on Monday, August 19, was stalled due to Kalu’s absence.

According to the online medium, a lawyer from his chamber, ChukwukaObidike, told the court that Kalu was engaged in election petitions and requested for an adjournment.

Nicholas Oweibo, the judge, adjourned the case till August 29.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a 65-metre Galactica star super yacht worth $42m belonging to an oil magnate, Kola Aluko, who was accused of defrauding Nigeria through crude oil sales, was sold off by the federal government and the United States.

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