Diezani: Nigeria Should Request to Be Joined in the Suit — ANEEJ
By: Femi Mustapha
A group under the auspices of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s administration to demonstrate its anti-corruption stance to the world by formally requesting to be joined in the case of the former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, stated this in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna on August 27th, 2023.
The former Minister was recently charged by the British police.
Rev. Ugolor, who is the Vice Chairman of the UNCAC Coalition, said that the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Gagbemi, needs to take immediate action by ensuring that the Nigerian State is joined in the lawsuit and providing the necessary legal support to prosecute the case. This is to prevent it from ending up like the Glencore case, where Nigeria lost billions of pounds by staying away from the prosecution of oil thieves in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“In a statement released on Tuesday, August 22nd, by Andy Kelly, who is the Head of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) International Corruption Unit, it was stated that they believe Diezani abused her power while serving as the Minister of Petroleum Resources during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, as well as the President of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). In light of this, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must take an interest in this case. They should provide all the necessary evidence required by the UK Court, where most Nigerian corrupt elites face justice,” Ugolor averred.
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, the British police stated that Diezani was charged with bribery offences, suspecting that she had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
“We suspect that Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million-pound contracts,” said Andy Kelly, Head of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) International Corruption Unit. “These charges mark a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation,” Kelly said.
The ANEEJ helmsman noted that Civil Society Organizations would follow up on the Diezani case in London to ensure it does not go the way of the Glencore case. “We will increase our contacts across the country and in the UK to ensure that justice is served in the suspected case of bribery leveled against Diezani Alison-Madueke by the British police.”
Alison-Madueke is accused of benefiting from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.
Charges against her also include financial rewards such as furniture, renovation work, and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops, such as Cartier jewelry and Louis Vuitton goods, the NCA said.
British police stated that she is currently living in St John’s Wood, an upscale area of West London, and would appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on October 2nd.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed several cases against the former petroleum minister, some of which have led to asset forfeiture. On August 8th, 2017, the EFCC released an exposé titled ‘EFCC Traces ₦47.2bn, $487.5m ex-Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke’, accusing the former minister of fraud and money laundering.