Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, will today be re-arraigned at the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London to answer to charges of money laundering and bribery allegations.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke was first arraigned in the court in October, 2015 after she was arrested with four other persons by the the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, NCA. However, she was granted bail and ordered to reappear in court today for a decision to be taken on the £27,000 seized cash and other charges made against her.
In the court ruling in October 2015, it was said that she should remain in London while investigations were conducted, adding that the cash can be held for six months before she is arraigned after investigations. This was in line with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which “sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power. Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place. Other means of recovering the proceeds of crime, which do not require a conviction, are provided for in the Act, namely civil recovery, cash seizure and taxation powers.”
The Nation reports that the National Crime Agency, NCA, which is at the front line of UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime, is working together with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the probe of the former minister. The NCA has both national and international reach and the mandate and powers to work in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to bring serious and organised criminals to justice.
As Mrs. Alison-Madueke battled arrest in London, her home in Abuja was invaded by the EFCC while her partners were stalked by the Interpol in Switzerland.
The NCA discovered that some of Madueke’s brothers and other business associates were all allies in the allegation of money laundering and consequently arrested her alongside her brothers. The two brothers are directors of Hadley Petroleum Solutions Limited, a company the authorities strongly believe to have been used for money laundering considering the fact that it was registered in June 2013 in Manchester, but stopped operations less than two years later last February without filing any official report. The other directors are Ugonna Madueke and Abu Fari.
Some UK-based businesses that were operated by Mrs. Diezani’s siblings, Messrs Abiye Agama and Somye Agama were immediately closed after the searchlight of the NCA and the EFCC became intense.
Abiye, 33, is in the forefront of the firm, a computer engineer and manager. He was a director in 11 other companies but resigned from seven of them.