Exposing massive corruption of Diezani Alison-Madueke

Anthony Gomes

Nigeria’s former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, was granted Dominican citizenship in 2016, including a diplomatic passport number DP0000445, apparently all within just one month of meeting Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. Madueke’s new citizenship was confirmed in a May 29, 2015 approval letter by Skerrit. The letter also stated that the former minister had been appointed a trade and investment commissioner and was expected to help in promoting and marketing Dominica as a trade and investment domicile.

On October 2, the International Corruption Unit (ICU) of Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested Madueke and four others on suspicion of bribery and money laundering.

Madueke received bribes

The federal government has accused former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke, of accepting bribes for the controversial OPL 245 deal.

These accusations were included in documents filed at a London court by lawyers representing the federal government concerning payments made to acquire the license in 2011.

In the court case filed against Shell and Eni, the federal government said Jonathan and Alison-Madueke broke the law for making a secret profit and side-lining the government from its true share of the deal.

Federal military government awarded OPL 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd on the 9th of April, 1998, which was said to be owned mainly by Mohammed Abacha, son of the Sani Abacha, and Etete, who was the petroleum minister at the time.

President Olusegun Obasanjo revoked Malabu’s license on the 2nd of  July, 2001and assigned the oil block to Shell, without a public bid.

Malabu went to court, but ownership was reverted to it in 2006 after it reached an out-of-court settlement with the federal government.

Shell fought back and commenced an arbitration against Nigeria, but when President Goodluck Jonathan came to power in 2010, the controversy appeared to have been resolved with Shell and Eni agreeing to buy the oil block from Malabu for $1.1 billion.

The oil companies also paid $210 million as signature bonus to the federal government of Nigeria.

However, the deal has been entangled in more controversies and trials over allegations of bribery and shady deals by officials of the Nigerian government and their foreign accomplices.

The OPL 245 is reported to be one of the biggest untapped oil resources in Africa with reserves estimated at nine billion barrels.

According to the court document: “Bribes were paid. The receipt of those bribes and the participation in the scheme of said officials were in breach of their fiduciary duties and Nigerian criminal law”.

Further allegations against Madueke

A PBS News Hour segment quoted American and British officials saying that former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke might personally have organized a diversion of $6 billion (N1.2 trillion) from the Nigerian treasury. She has been charged with responsibility for $20 billion missing from the Petroleum agency. A former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi, made the comment again during a PBS interview on 2 December 2015.

Sanusi believes he was fired from the Central Bank of Nigeria because he went public with charges that $2 billion was missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Alison-Madueke’s management. Alison Madueke says Sanusi made the allegations to retaliate after she didn’t help him to get appointed as the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and dismissed his allegation.

She’s been accused of awarding multi-billion Naira contracts without recourse to due process and of recklessly spending government funds, as well as wasting billions of naira inappropriately on private jets.

In October 2009, the Senate of Nigeria indicted Diezani Alison-Madueke and recommended prosecution for the transfer of 1.2 billion naira into the private account of a toll company without due process and in breach of the concession agreement.

She has been officially charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria for ‘Money Laundering’.

On 28 August 2017, a Nigerian federal court seized 7.6 billion naira ($21 million) from bank accounts linked to Alison-Madueke.

The double standard of Britain’s NCA

While Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had exhibited skill in investigating and arresting Nigerian minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, it has shown absolute lethargy in either investigating or arresting a notorious criminal, corrupt and funder of Islamic State, who has been living in the United Kingdom since 2009.

In 2009, a man named Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, along with his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters Shehtaz Munasi Khan, Parisa Pinaz Khan and Zumana Fiza Khan had entered the United Kingdom with tons of dirty money and had even managed immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702.

On January 17, 2019, Dhaka residence of Md. Shahid Uddin Khan was raided by the members of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh Police.

CTTC, based on secret information, raided House No. 184, Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house is owned by Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and was allegedly used as a warehouse for arms, explosives and propaganda materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the raid, a large volume of weapons, detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes and jihadist materials of ISIS were recovered by the CTTC unit.

Following this recovery, three separate cases against ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum, daughters and other accomplices were lodged. The cases are Cantonment PS, Case no 10, Section-6(2)/7/11/12 of Anti Terrorism Act 2009 (amendment 2013); Cantonment PS,  Case no 11, Section-25-A,  Special Power Act 1974; and Cantonment PS, Case no 12, Section-19-A of Arms Act 1878.

Meanwhile, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and members of his family had already been convicted in a number of criminal cases in Bangladesh, while there are several criminal cases under-trial. Although the case of Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family members had already been covered in the international media including Britain’s prominent newspapers like The Sunday Times and the Politicalite, there is no sign from the National Crime Agency (NCA) in arresting this family.

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