Former Nigerian Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been formally charged with bribery by the police in the United Kingdom. The British authorities allege that she engaged in corrupt practices, accepting bribes in exchange for awarding lucrative oil and gas contracts worth millions of pounds.
Diezani Alison-Madueke, 62, held a significant role during the tenure of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. She served as the petroleum minister from 2010 to 2015 and even assumed the presidency of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The British National Crime Agency’s (NCA) International Corruption Unit, led by Andy Kelly, stated that they suspect Alison-Madueke misused her authority in Nigeria to secure financial rewards through the allocation of multi-million-pound contracts. The charges are a culmination of an intricate international investigation.
The allegations against Alison-Madueke involve benefiting from substantial perks, including cash amounting to at least 100,000 pounds, chauffeur-driven cars, private jet flights, lavish family vacations, and the utilization of multiple upscale properties in London. The charges also encompass rewards like furniture, property renovations, staffing for residences, payment of private school fees, and luxury items from prestigious brands such as Cartier and Louis Vuitton.
While facing these allegations, Alison-Madueke has consistently denied any wrongdoing. She currently resides in St John’s Wood, an affluent neighborhood in west London.
Her legal journey started with an arrest in 2015; however, she subsequently underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer, as reported by her family. The NCA detained several individuals in London on suspicion of international corruption at that time.
As part of the ongoing investigation, assets worth millions of pounds related to the case have been frozen. In March, the NCA provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that facilitated the recovery of assets totaling $53.1 million associated with Alison-Madueke’s alleged corrupt activities.
Diezani Alison-Madueke is expected to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on October 2 to address these charges. Despite the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to extradite her, previous attempts were met with obstacles.