Police seize millions in property of former Dominica trade envoy Alison-Madueke
By TDN Wire Staff
August 10, 2017 5:57 A.M
Former Nigerian oil minister and Dominica trade envoy Diezani Alison Madueke.
Abuja, Nigeria (TDN)
As Alison Madueke awaits her October court date in London, authorities in Nigeria moved to seize property belonging to her worth tens of millions of dollars.
The once powerful former Nigerian oil minister and Dominica’s Trade and Investment Ambassador is said to have siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars in Nigerian oil revenues and channeled the funds to her personal bank accounts or to business associates.
Diezani Alison-Madueke was Nigeria’s first female minister of petroleum resources and served under president Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 until March 2015.
In May of 2015 as the United Kingdom anti-corruption Police mounted a serious probe of the former oil minister she hastily arranged to purchase a diplomatic passport from Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica for an as yet undisclosed sum.
The passport was hand delivered to Madueke in May 2015 and in exchange she was named Dominica’s trade and investment ambassador. However the newly conferred diplomatic status did not prevent her arrest in October that same year by the British authorities acting on behalf of the Nigerian government.
Since she was not officially assigned to the United Kingdom she was unable to claim immunity from arrest. She was arrested on suspicion of theft and money laundering charges.
Madueke was dogged by a series of scandals throughout her tenure as oil minister. For instance she is widely believed to have been behind the sacking of the former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi after he claimed that the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for which Madueke was responsible, had failed to remit $20 billion to the Treasury.
In another case Madueke was accused of diverting some $153 million from the NNPC coffers and in yet another some 23 billion naira ($73 million) of NNPC money is alleged to have been used to influence the 2015 presidential election to keep Jonathan in power.
Last month the United States government initiated proceedings to recover more than $144 million in assets believed to be in the country. This includes a luxury yacht and New York City apartment purchased by Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko, two businessmen heavily favored with contracts by Madueke while she served as Nigeria’s oil minister.
Prosecutors in Nigeria have also started proceedings against the two businessmen in order to recover $1.76 billion of assets that they own.
In yet another case revealing the depth of her greed and stolen loot a judge in Abuja ordered the forfeiture of her $37.5 million luxury Lagos property, saying it was purchased with state funds.
Further adding to her troubles, Italian prosecutors recently revealed that she and Goodluck Jonathan allegedly received kickbacks from oil majors ENI and Shell as part of a $1.3-billion deal for an offshore oil block in Nigeria.
As the probe into her activities widen some within Dominica remain hopeful that it will be publicly revealed how much she paid the Skerrit regime in her failed bid to buy the protection offered by a diplomatic passport.