Nigeria court orders forfeiture of ex-oil minister's luxury $37.5m property

Lagos (AFP) –


A Nigerian court has ordered the temporary forfeiture a $37.5 million property belonging to the country's ex-oil minister, with prosecutors alleging it was bought with ill-gotten funds.

Judge Chuka Obiozor, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday ordered the forfeiture of Diezani Alison-Madueke's apartment complex on the city's ultra-chic Banana Island.

Banana Island is a gated community which is home to business tycoons, top politicians and celebrities.

The apartment building will be seized along with $2.7 million (23 million euros) and more than 84 million naira ($266,000, 232,000 euro), following an application by Nigeria's anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Lagos case is one of a series brought by the EFCC against Alison-Madueke, who was oil minister under former president Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 to 2015 and also president of OPEC.

She is currently on bail in London after being arrested in connection with a British probe into international corruption and money laundering.

Her name has also surfaced in a bribery complaint in the United States and a corruption investigation in Italy concerning an $1.3 billion oil deal with ENI and Shell.

President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015 on an anti-corruption platform, promising to stamp out endemic graft and impunity in Nigeria.

But the 74-year-old's war on corruption has faltered, particularly since he has been on medical leave overseas on and off for the past year.