Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has lost pieces of jewellery estimated to be worth $40 million to the Federal Government. A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had temporarily forfeited the pieces of jewellery to the government in July pending hearing on a permanent forfeiture. Despite contesting the temporary forfeiture in court, Justice Nicholas Oweibo ruled on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 that Alison-Madueke failed to show cause why the sets of jewellery should not be permanently forfeited. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized the jewellery sets during a raid on Alison-Madueke's home located at 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja, on the suspicion of being acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities. The anti-graft agency alleged that she started acquiring the jewellery in 2012, while she was already a serving minister, without using funds from her legitimate income at the time. In challenging the seizure, Alison-Madueke said the EFCC violated her fundamental right to own property. According to her, the search of her home that led to the seizure was conducted without any court order, hence making it illegal. Jewellery forfeited include 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 267 necklaces, 189 wristwatches, 174 necklaces and earrings, 78 bracelets, 77 brooches, and 74 expensive pendants. A customised gold iPhone was also forfeited to the government. Since she left office in 2015, Alison-Madueke has been dogged by a series of corruption allegations including the alleged diversion and distribution of N23 billion for the 2015 presidential election. The former minister has been holed up in the United Kingdom where she faces a separate probe for alleged bribery, corruption and money laundering. Should she be extradited back to Nigeria?
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