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UK crime agency confirms arrest of Alison-Madueke, 4 others; releases them on bail

Alison Madueke
Alison Madueke

The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA), weekend, confirmed, the arrest and later release on bail of former Petroleum Resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, at the same time that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided the Abuja home of the former minister.

Alison-Madueke was arrested, Friday, by the NCA on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences, a source revealed. Alison-Madueke was Minister of Petroleum Resources from 2010 until May 2015.

EFCC agents reportedly stormed the Asokoro district home of Mrs. Alison-Madueke and sealed the property Friday evening.

The former minister, who was one of the most powerful officials of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, was arrested Friday morning alongside four other people by the UK National Crime Agency.

The identities of the four other people arrested along with her could not be immediately ascertained.

The National Crime Agency (NAC) of the United Kingdom confirmed the arrest of four persons, including Allison-Madueke, for international bribery and corruption. UK NCA

A statement on NCA’s website revealed that the arrests were made by its newly formed International Corruption Unit.

An agent of the unit said that the five suspects are currently being processed but would not reveal their names, only saying there is a “Nigerian female”.

The British High Commission in Nigeria also confirmed that some arrests were made Friday but declined to disclose the identities of those involved.

Joseph Abuku, Press and Public Affairs Officer, said, “This (Friday) morning, five people between the ages of 21 and 60 were arrested on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences. The crimes are being investigated by the National Crime Agency.

“The National Crime Agency does not confirm identity at arrest nor provide information that could be used to corroborate the identity of an arrested individual.”

It is not clear whether the former minister was arrested based on request from the Nigerian government.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on September 27 hinted that those who misappropriated billions of naira belonging to Nigeria’s state oil company NNPC, would soon be prosecuted.

Buhari said at a meeting with President Xi Jinping of China in New York that his administration was determined to fully sanitize Nigeria’s oil industry and make it totally free of corruption and shady deals.

The President did not, however, say how soon the prosecutions would start or if indeed investigations had been concluded and whether culpable individuals had been identified.

The NNPC under the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was involved in several alegged shady deals, many of which have been cancelled by the present government.

However, Alison-Madueke, accused of several corrupt dealings, has stayed away from Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in as president.

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