Nigerian court orders forfeit of ex-minister's property


A Nigerian court on Monday ordered the permanent forfeiture of a luxury $37.5-million property purportedly belonging to the country's former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The federal high court also ordered the forfeiture of $3 million in rent said to have been paid on the property since 2013 when Alison-Madueke reportedly bought it.

Nigeria's anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had made the court requests. Neither the former minister nor any of her representatives showed up to claim ownership of the property or request the court lift an earlier temporary forfeiture order made on July 19.

The property was bought by Alison-Madueke for $37.5 million in 2013 on the elite Banana Island location in southwestern Lagos state, according to EFCC attorney Anzelem Ozioko in an ex parte application requesting forfeiture in July.

Ozioko said the money used to buy the property had been the "proceeds of fraudulent activities" since Alison-Madueke was minister at the time.

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