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A Nigerian court has ordered the seizure of $40 million of luxury items, mainly jewelry and a customized golden iPhone belonging to the ex-minister of Nigeria’s petroleum resources Diezani Alison-Madueke, according to Reuters.
In addition to the customized iPhone, the items seized included—but was not limited to—419 bangles, 315 rings, and 189 wristwatches, according to Sahara Reporters. The items will be permanently forfeited to the federal government after a 14-day waiting period. Madueke already had her $37.5 million apartment seized in 2017.
The items were seized in connection to a money laundering and bribery case involving former Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathon in the high-profile Malabu oil deal/ OPL 245 case which has embroiled Shell, Eni, and JPMorgan in legal battles in multiple countries across the globe, as well as a case involving Duke Oil Company and Trafigura—the goings on which are murky at best.
Madueke was the head of the petroleum ministry from 2011 until 2015.
Nigeria issued an international arrest warrant for Madueke, standing accused of misappropriating public funds. The United Kingdom also wanted a crack at prosecuting the Nigerian oil minister, but her whereabouts are currently unknown. UK detectives were in Nigeria just days ago gathering evidence against the oil minister.
Madueke has formerly been in Dominica—the irony of it being a money laundering hotspot not lost—but has also spent time in London, where she was arrested for the same criminal activity in 2015 before being released on bail.
Madueke was the first female president of OPEC.
Meanwhile, the offshore oilfield OPL 245 remains one of the largest untapped oil resources in Africa at 9 billion barrels of oil reserves. Eni and Shell still hold the rights to develop the field, but both are named in a $1 billion lawsuit that is unlikely to wrap up quickly.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.