Presidency finally reacts to Alison-madueke’s arrest in London, see!

Presidency finally reacts to Alison-madueke’s arrest in London, see!

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The Nigerian presidency has confirmed the arrest of a former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, in London, over allegations of corruption and money laundering.

“The government is aware of the arrest and all the government investigative agencies are working very closely with the British law enforcement,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.
“Nigerian authorities are saying for the first time that matters are being handled with seriousness and deep commitment. Nobody wants to give the impression that this government is frivolous and unserious.

“For this reason, government is only
confirming active collaboration. Beyond
this, we are not saying more. In due
course, Nigerians will be briefed on
updates as appropriate.”

Asked about the identities of the other
four people arrested with the former
minister, Mr. Shehu declined comments,
saying, “as I said no one is willing to
provide further details at this point”.

The presidential confirmation came two
days after Mrs. Alison-Madueke was
arrested and granted bail by the UK
National Crime Agency over allegations
of corruption and money laundering.
PREMIUM TIMES had on Friday
exclusively reported the arrest of the
former minister, alongside four others.
The identities of the four other people
arrested along with Mrs. Alison-
Madueke, could not be immediately
ascertained.

Former minister accused of graft

Mrs. Alison-Madueke, one of the most
influential officials of the President
Goodluck Jonathan administration, was
first appointed into the federal cabinet in
2007.

A former board member of Shell
Petroleum Development Company of
Nigeria, she was later appointed Minister
of Transport by former President Umaru
Yar’adua.

In December 2008, she was redeployed to
the mines and steel development
ministry.

After former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became
acting president, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was appointed
Nigeria’s first female petroleum minister in February
2010, a position Mrs. Alison-Madueke held till May 29,
2015 when Mr. Jonathan left office.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s tenure as petroleum minister
turned out one of Nigeria’s most controversial, amid
unending allegations of massive corruption.

Under her watch, dubious oil marketers stole trillions of
naira of oil subsidy money. She retained her position
despite an indictment by the House of Representatives
which investigated the fuel subsidy scandal.

Probes by independent audit firms, including the KPMG
and PriceWaterhousecoopers, confirmed that billions of
dollars of oil money were missing. The most notable
case of missing money involved $20billion in 2014, as
alleged by a former Central Bank governor, Lamido
Sanusi.

Several shady deals exposed by PREMIUM TIMES and
confirmed by government and independent auditors
were linked to the former minister and her cronies.
Long before her stint in the oil and gas sector, Mrs.
Alison-Madueke was investigated by the Nigerian
Senate on allegation she paid N30.9 billion to
contractors while she held office as transportation
minister.

In 2009, the Senate indicted and recommended her
prosecution for allegedly transferring N1.2 billion into a
private account of a toll company without due process.
Regardless of the indictments, Mrs. Alison-Madueke got
elected in November 2014 as the first female president
of oil producing countries alliance, OPEC.

The former minister consistently denies wrongdoing. In
June, after leaving office, she rejected all allegations of
embezzlement saying she never stole from Nigeria.

-PREMIUM TIMES

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