Alison Diezani-Madueke is a Nigerian Politician and the daughter of Chief Fredrick Abiye Agama, the ogbolom Edede of the Epic Atissa clan in Bayelsa State.
Known for her intelligence in being the first female president of OPEC and holding several other important offices in the Nigerian government, Diezani has made a name for herself as a woman of substance capable of carrying her own weight.
Alison was born on the 6th of December, 1960 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. She studied architecture in England and then at Howard University in the United States where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1992.
She returned to Nigeria and joined Shell Petroleum Development Corporation. In 2002, she got her MBA from Cambridge University. She has also been awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Management Sciences by the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
Diezani is married to Admiral Allison Madueke (retired), a one-time Chief of Naval Staff who was at various times governor of Imo and Anambra States with whom she has two sons.
Alison Diezani-Madueke was highly regarded among her pairs. She broke boundaries and held several high offices most notably that of the President of OPEC, being the first woman elected to that position.
She was the first woman to be appointed to the board of Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria. She was also the first woman to hold the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria.
She was the first woman to head a country’s delegation to the annual OPEC conference. She was the first female Minister of Transportation. She also served as Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
Diezani has been accused of awarding multi-billion Naira contracts without recourse to due process and of recklessly spending government fund and wasting billions on private jets for unofficial purposes and used at the will of her family.
In October 2009, the Nigerian Senate indicted Diezani Alison-Madueke and recommended she be prosecuted for the transfer of 1.2 billion Naira into the private account of a toll company without due process and in breach of concession agreement.
However, she was never officially charged or tried for these allegations and has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
A PBS NewsHour segment quoted American and British officials saying that the former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke might have personally organized the diversion of $6 billion (N1.2 trillion) from the Nigerian treasury.
She has been charged with responsibility for the $20 billion missing from the Petroleum agency. The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi, made the comment again during another interview.
Sanusi believes that he was fired from the Central Bank of Nigeria because he went public with charges that $2 billion was missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Alison-Madueke’s management. In reply, Alison said that Sanusi made the allegations in retaliation to her for refusing to help him get appointed as the president of the African Development Bank.
On October 2, 2015, Reuters reported that Alison-Madueke had been arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) along with five other people on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences.
Her family confirmed she had been arrested in London however the NCA declined to comment. Soon after her arrest, her home in Asokoro, Abuja was raided and sealed by anti-corruption agents of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
After she was indicted for fraud and some of her properties got confiscated by the federal government, Alison-Madueke revealed that while in office, she had been undergoing treatments for breast cancer in the United Kingdom.
However, the news was greeted with a certain amount of disbelieve especially since most people believed the timing of the announcement was quite convenient with her indictment.