- …as EFCC seals Abuja home
By Osby Isibor
The immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been arrested in London.
The former minister was arrested Friday morning by the UK National Crimes Agency, alongside four other people.
The agency who confirmed the arrest on its website, said “The National Crime Agency’s recently formed International Corruption Unit has arrested five people across London as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offences”.
The agency also announced the arrest on its Twitter handle.
However, the identities of the four other people arrested along with Diezani could not be immediately ascertained.
Diezani was one of the most powerful officials of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration that was ousted by the All Progressives Congress at the March 28 Presidential election.
It was learnt that she was arrested for offences related to bribery, corruption and money laundering.
The British High Commission in Nigeria also confirmed that some arrests were made Friday but declined to disclose the identities of those involved.
The Press and Public Affairs Officer, Joseph Abuku, said, “This 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 Crimes 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, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation 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.
Meanwhile, operatives of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have raided the Abuja home of the former minister, few hours after she was arrested in London.
EFCC agents arrived Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s palatial home, located in the Asokoro district of Abuja, and sealed the property Friday evening.