A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of jewellery and customised gold iPhone recovered in the premises of a former minister of petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo gave the order on Friday on the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC had recovered the items which it said was worth $40 million.

Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, in the motion ex-parte application, said the 2,149 pieces of jewellery comprising wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings and gold iPhone were reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of Mrs Allison-Madueke.

The commission also said that Allison-Madueke’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the value of the items.

The judge granted the application saying it had statutory powers to do so under the provision of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006.

Justice Oweibo also ordered EFCC to publish in any national newspaper the interim order of forfeiture to serve as notice to Allison-Madueke or anyone interested in the assets to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the assets should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Proceedings were adjourned until August 13.