A former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London over charges of bribery offences.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the former minister had on August 22 been charged to court by the United Kingdom (UK) government over an alleged £100,000 bribe. The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said they suspected Diezani had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
British police say they suspect she had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pounds oil and gas contracts, Reuters reported.
“We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million-pound contracts.
“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation,” said Andy Kelly, Head of the National Crime Agency’s International Corruption Unit.
The charges, the British law enforcement said, include allegations of her benefiting from cash, chauffeur-driven cars, private jet flights, extravagant family vacations, and the utilisation of several upscale London properties.
Furthermore, the NCA details a web of financial rewards, including expenses for property furnishings and renovations, private school fees, and lavish gifts from renowned designer boutiques like Cartier and Louis Vuitton.
The former minister, aged 63, resides in the upscale neighbourhood of St John’s Wood in West London. She wielded significant influence during her tenure as the Minister of Petroleum Resources from 2010 to 2015 in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. She also held the role of President of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Aside from legal tussles in the UK, Alison-Madueke remains under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In October 2022, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the final forfeiture of two Abuja properties and two luxury vehicles belonging to her.