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Court Orders Final Forfeiture of Diezani-linked N325m Lekki Property

Nigeria's Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources and Alternate President of the OPEC Conference speaks to journalists prior to the start of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria on June 11, 2014. OPEC has agreed to maintain its oil production ceiling at 30 million barrels per day, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said Wednesday after the cartel met in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday ordered the final forfeiture of “a vacant plot of land” in the Lekki area of Lagos said to be linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, Punch reports.

Justice Akintayo Aluko ordered the property permanently forfeited to the Federal Government following an application to that effect by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The anti-graft agency identified the property as Plot 13, Block II, Oniru Chieftaincy Family Private Estate, Lekki, Lagos, adding that it is worth N325.4m.

Listed as defendants in the forfeiture application were Diezani, Mr Donald Chidi Amamgbo and Mez Group LLC.

Justice Aluko, in the certified true copy of the forfeiture enrollment order sighted by our correspondent, ruled: “Upon reading affidavit in support of the motion paper sworn to by Babana Job of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State; and the court having heard A.O.

Mohammed Esq, for the plaintiff/applicant, moved the application praying the court to grant the reliefs sought as endorsed on the motion paper;

“It is hereby ordered as follow: That a final order is hereby granted forfeiting the property/asset listed and described in the schedule herein to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Justice Aluko’s is the latest in a long string of forfeiture orders made against Diezani since leaving office in 2015 and jetting out to the United Kingdom.

The minister’s name has repeated featured in a lot of corruption charges filed against different persons by the EFCC since 2015.

Most notable among forfeiture orders against Diezani was one made by Justice Nicholas Oweibo in July 2019 in respect of the ex-minister’s 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m.

The jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, included “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.”

The EFCC said, “The respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

In October 2017, Justice Justice Abdulaziz Anka ordered the permanent forfeiture of 58 houses linked to Diezani, while in December of the same year, Justice Mojisola Olatoregu (retd.) ordered the forfeiture of two Lagos properties valued at $4.76m linked to the ex-minister.


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