Diezani Alison-Madueke is Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, ex-Minister of Transportation and was the first female President of OPEC.
At the time she was assigned the position as Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke pledged to transform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to benefit all Nigerians. She supported the controversial government’s plan to remove state subsidies on fuel prices during the PDP administration in Nigeria.
In a statement credited to Alison-Madueke then, she said this in support of the discontinuation of the subsidy:
“Because it [fuel subsidy] poses a huge financial burden on the government, disproportionately benefits the wealthy, [and] encourages inefficiency, corruption and diversion of scarce public resources away from investment in critical infrastructure.”
It all began during the time Diezani Alison-Madueke became Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister when the American and British officials alleged that the former Petroleum Minister might have personally organized a diversion of $6 billion (N1.2 trillion) from the Nigerian treasury.
Apart from being arrested on 2nd October 2015 in London, Alison-Madueke was accused and charged with the following:
- Responsible for $20 billion missing from the Petroleum Agency
- Awarding multi-billion naira contracts without recourse to due process
- Recklessly spending government funds
- Wasting billions of dollars (Nigerian taxpayers money) inappropriately on private jets.
An investigative report sent by some Italian Prosecutors indicted ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Diezani and others in a $1.3 billion Malabu oil fraud.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi also went public with charges that $2 billion was missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Alison-Madueke’s management, but she dismissed his allegation saying the ex-CBN governor is retaliating because she didn’t help him to get appointed as the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In the course of the ongoing anti-graft war, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) seized $18 million mansion belonging to Alison-Madueke – a building located in Asokoro area of FCT, Abuja.
The agency also linked other assets worth millions to her name such as the Le Meridien Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Another report indicted Diezani Alison-Madueke in the act of bribery. On May 3, 2017, the former INEC staff, Yisa Adedoye was convicted by the High Court in Lagos for accepting N264.88 million to rig the 2015 general election results, along with other staff of the commission.
Mr Adedoye pleaded guilty to the charges as a confirmation that the said financial inducement came from Alison-Madueke.
Furthermore, telephone conversations by Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke were hacked and it revealed that she deliberately connived with her business partners to steal the country’s oil revenue.
An investigation carried out by US security agencies showed that she used her influence to facilitate illicit business opportunities for Messrs. Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore, who used Shell companies to receive billion-dollar contracts to sell Nigeria’s crude oil.
Although it wasn’t clear what relationship she has with the duo, but it was obvious that her connection made it possible for Messrs Omokore and Aluko to get multi-billion oil contracts which were deemed ineligible for their companies – Atlantic Energy Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries, Drilling Concepts Limited (AECD) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited.
Leaked Telephone Conversation of Diezani Alison-Madueke
The phone conversation between Diezani, Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore was revealed by the US prosecutors and they quoted Mrs Alison-Madueke as saying:
“We stuck our necks out regarding the SAA and we supported it.”
Below is the rest of the conversation as acquired by the US investigators:
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the governorship of Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi reported that AEDC “had neither the technical expertise nor the capital to develop the joint venture, but [was] nonetheless able to lift crude and retain the proceeds…up to 70% of the profit of the Joint Venture.”
The Bank noted that the arrangement was designed “for the purpose of acquiring assets belonging to the [Federal Republic of Nigeria] and transferring the income to private hands.”
AEDC & AEBD Connection
AEDC and AEBD were allegedly incorporated in July 2010, about three months after Mrs Alison-Madueke became Petroleum Resources Minister and were awarded eight oil mining leases (OMLs) evidently on procedural manipulations carried out by the ex-minister.
According to a report by the Sahara Reporters, the billion-dollar deal delivered astounding wealth to Messrs. Omokore and Aluko, who bought and renovated luxury London properties for Diezani and renovated the properties, bought her furniture worth millions of dollars and cater for her living and lifestyle expenses in London.
Messrs. Aluko and Omokore have allegedly drenched themselves in obscene opulence, including the acquisition of a $50 million luxury condominium in New York and the $80 million yacht, Galactica Star by the former – a yacht which reportedly hosted the 32nd birthday of American music superstar, Beyonce, as she travels on the yacht with her husband JayZ in 2013.
US Court papers revealed that Messrs. Aluko earned over $1.5billion in revenues from the sale of Nigeria’s crude oil and that the sum was laundered into the US and the United Kingdom through the purchase of properties and other luxury items for themselves and Mrs Alison-Madueke.
While the EFCC investigates other corruption allegations and charges, she later implicated other top governments and bank officials who participate in syphoning the oil funds.
Mrs Alison-Madueke was diagnosed with cancer and reportedly receiving treatment in the United Kingdom. She is currently facing a series of multi-billion dollar fraud-related investigations by Nigerian and UK authorities.
Forfeit of Properties
A Justice of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, Chuka Obiozor on July 19, ordered the temporary forfeiture of a $37.5m property at Banana Island bought by Diezani Alison-Madueke in 2013.
The move was made following actions by the EFCC who argued that the property – 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses, located at Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate – could have been acquired with proceeds of alleged unlawful activities of the Minister.
The court also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70, which is said to be part of the rent collected on the property.
According to Anselem Ozioko, who is the counsel for EFCC, an investigation by the agency revealed that Diezani Alison-Madueke made the $37.5m payment for the purchase of the property in cash and money was moved from her house in Abuja and paid into the seller’s First Bank account.
Currently, the government is seeking a worldwide freeze of multi-billion dollar assets owned by Messrs. Aluko and Omokore, including the $80 million Super Yacht (the Galactica) and three private jets.