Nigeria's former oil minister will fight graft claims - lawyer

2015-10-10 08:38
Diezani Alison-Madueke. (File: AFP)

Diezani Alison-Madueke. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke will strongly contest corruption allegations against her once she has recovered from breast cancer treatment, her family's lawyer told AFP on Friday.

Oscar Onwudiwe said the 54-year-old's immediate priority was her health. She had gone through chemotherapy and had been preparing for surgery when she was caught up in the corruption probe, he said.

"Once she is feeling better she will come out and say, 'bring the questions, bring them on'. She's that confident," he added.

Onwudiwe, who said he has known Alison-Madueke and her husband's families for more than 30 years, earlier issued a statement on their behalf, slamming what he called "media hysteria" over the case.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the family would like to state categorically that it has no issues with any persons from the family being invited anywhere in the world to answer questions about their private or official conduct," the statement said.

International corruption

"The Madueke family believes in law and order, honour and due process. However, it is clear that here is a deliberate and vicious campaign to demonise members of the Madueke family with all manner of frivolous allegations."

Onwudiwe added: "It is worth emphasising that Mrs Alison-Madueke was never arrested or detained and her passport was never seized. She was merely invited and she honoured it promptly."

Britain's National Crime Agency announced last Friday it had arrested five people in London on suspicion of international corruption, without naming those detained.

The suspects were released on conditional bail.

The Nigerian government confirmed Alison-Madueke's arrest on Monday and said law enforcement agencies in Abuja were collaborating with the British counterparts on the matter.

Wider crackdown of corruption

A court official at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London earlier said police had been granted permission to retain 27 000 ($41 000) in cash seized during her arrest.

Alison-Madueke - the first woman to be oil minister in Nigeria and the first female president of the global oil cartel OPEC - has been dogged by allegations of corruption during her tenure.

In February 2014, the former governor of Nigeria's central bank claimed the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to remit $20bn in revenue.

Then-president Goodluck Jonathan removed the governor, Lamido Sanusi, in a move many saw as politically motivated.

Alison-Madueke, whose husband is a former chief of naval staff in Nigeria, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari has begun a purge of the NNPC as part of a wider crackdown on corruption, ordering a review of its finances and sacking the entire board.

Read more on:    muhammadu buhari  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.