Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Nigerian oil minister who had been the subject of several criminal investigations in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, has formally been charged with bribery offences.
Alison-Madueke, 63, was charged after an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA). She was charged for accepting bribes during her time as Minister in Nigeria in exchange for awarding multi-million-dollar contracts.
The charges include receiving £100,000 in cash, private jet flights, luxury holidays, chauffeur-driven cars and the use of multiple London properties for her and her family.
Other include receiving rewards in the form of furniture, renovation work and staff for her properties, gifts from high-end designer shops (Cartier and Louis Vuitton) and payment of school fees for private school.
The investigation by the NCA has also led to the freezing of millions of pounds of assets.
Alison-Madueke was the powerful oil minister during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. She is a former executive at Shell and had held other ministerial positions in Nigeria, prior to her appointment to the Petroleum Ministry.
She fled from Nigeria after Jonathan lost his re-election bid and settled in the UK. It is believed she had not come back to Nigeria in over eight years.
Assets worth millions of Naira including high end properties in the exclusive banana Island section of Lagos, had been confiscated from her by courts in Nigeria.
The turn of events is spectacular given that Alison-Madueke had recently been in the news after information was revealed of her plans to sue the Nigerian Government.
The head of the NCA’s International Corruption Unit, Andy Kelly, said the charges came about from a complex international investigation.
He is quoted as saying:
“Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat”
The suddenness of the charges are a bit surprising because Alison-Madueke had openly lived freely in the UK, despite all the damaging allegations and evidence of glaring corruption during her reign as oil minister in Nigeria.
The UK is regarded as a bastion for corrupt funds for foreign government officials and businessmen who invest mostly in high-end properties in the country.
Alison-Madueke is scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on October 2nd, 2023.