Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke talks with media before the start of the 162nd meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conference on December 12, 2012 in Vienna. OPEC holds a meeting to decide on the cartel's oil output levels and to choose a new secretary-general, ahead of a predicted slowing of world energy demand growth that may dent high crude prices. AFP PHOTO/SAMUEL KUBANI (Photo credit should read SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP via Getty Images)

Diezani Alison-Madueke has been charged with bribery in the UK

Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former oil minister of Nigeria, has been formally charged with bribery-related offenses within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

The charges stem from allegations of receiving financial incentives in exchange for granting significant oil and gas contracts, amounting to millions of dollars.

A prominent figure in the administration of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Alison-Madueke also held the distinction of being the first female president of OPEC, the group of nations exporting oil.

Currently 63 years old, she had been released on bail since her apprehension in London in 2015, consistently refuting accusations of involvement in corrupt activities.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has initiated a comprehensive investigation into the matter, leading to the freezing of substantial assets tied to the alleged wrongdoing, valued at several million pounds.

According to Andy Kelly, an official from the NCA’s International Corruption Unit, the charges signify a significant step in a meticulous and intricate international inquiry.

The NCA outlines that during her tenure as oil minister from 2010 to 2015, Ms. Alison-Madueke is suspected of profiting from various perks, including:

  • At least £100,000 ($127,000) in cash
  • Chauffeur-driven cars
  • Flights on private jets
  • Luxury family holidays
  • Use of multiple London properties
  • Furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties
  • Payment of private school fees
  • Gifts from designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods.

The US Department of Justice has successfully reclaimed assets totaling $53.1 million linked to the alleged misconduct of Ms. Alison-Madueke, as a result of evidence provided by the NCA in March. Furthermore, the NCA has collaborated closely with Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), throughout the investigation.

In the previous year, the EFCC revealed the recovery of approximately $153 million and more than 80 properties from the politician, who held positions in Nigeria’s cabinet from 2007 onwards.

Beginning her governmental career as transport minister, she later transitioned to the ministry of mines before ultimately assuming responsibility for the oil portfolio.

Currently residing in the St John’s Wood district of London, Ms. Alison-Madueke is scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on October 2, according to the NCA.

Nigeria stands as one of the globe’s largest oil producers; however, the vast majority of its population, surpassing 225 million individuals, has not experienced significant benefits from this lucrative industry.

As a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), comprising 13 nations focused on the global oil supply and its pricing dynamics, Nigeria plays a vital role in the international energy landscape.

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