Alison-Madueke’s UK Arrest: The Debacle Of A Former Minister | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Alison-Madueke’s UK Arrest: The Debacle Of A Former Minister

Posted: Oct 6, 2015 at 12:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Magnus Ugwubujor


These may not be the best of times for the immediate past minister of petroleum resources Dr. Deziani Alison-Madueke who was on Thursday last week reportedly arrested in London by the United Kingdom (UK) National Crime Agency (NCA). Although NCA did not give reasons why the erstwhile minister was arrested, reports have it that the arrest was in connection with alleged bribery, corruption and money laundering.

man-in-the-newsPrior to Mrs Madueke’s role as the Minister of Petroleum resources during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has been enmeshed in controversy of corruption allegations. During her time as the Minister of Transport, Mrs Madueke was investigated by the Nigerian Senate on allegation that she paid N30.9 billion to contractors. It was under her tenure as the Minister of Petroleum that unscrupulous oil marketers allegedly stole trillions of naira of oil subsidy funds. She retained her position after the House of Representative investigated the scandal and indicted the her. More so, during her watch, independent firms such as KPMG and Pricewaterhousecoopers in 2014 confirmed that about $20 billion were missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum corporation coffers. In 2009, the Senate also indicted Mrs. Alison-Madueke and recommended her for prosecution for allegedly transferring N1.2 billion into a private account of a toll company without due process.  But in spite of these allegations, Mrs Maduaeke, for whatever reason, has never been prosecuted. 

With her current ordeal with the UK crime authorities, it looks like the ex-minister may not escape prosecution this time around. This is also a confirmation that President Buhari is serious with his anti corruption crusade and resolve to repatriate looted funds. For sure, not a few Nigerians have Mrs Madueke in their good books especially as she was in charge of a multi billion naira sector of the economy where corruption has allegedly been institutionalized.

There is no doubt that the recent arrest and interrogation of Mrs Madueke is a pointer to the insinuation by President Muhammadu Buhari made during his visit to the United States  that about $150 billion had been stolen by people in government. During the same visit, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole reportedly said that $6 billion had been traced to an account that is operated by a former Minister in Nigeria. Permutations by keen followers suggest that it is only the Ministry of petroleum resources that can boast of such amount of money.

However, some analysts have said that Mrs Madueke’s arrest is long overdue.  For them, since it is the British crime agency that arrested her, there is no doubt that she genuinely has a case to answer. To that extent, one can be sure that she would certainly get justice.

Without sounding judgmental, one thing that is remarkable in this whole saga is the fact that she has one time reportedly boasted that she cannot run away from the country for any reason. But having relocated to London since Prsiedent Buhari took office and started his clean up exercise in the petroleum industry, indicates that perhaps she is trying to evade a possible Buhari’s sledge hammer.

Perhaps, Buhari’s call on the international community to assist him in the fight against corruption and looting of the national treasury seems to be yielding result with the arrest of Mrs Madueke in London.  But the thing is, would she be able to get off the hook this time around? Would she invoke the powers of some her powerful cronies to wriggle out of this case? The days ahead will unveil the answer.