Former Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who fled to the United Kingdom due to fears of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has appealed to President Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian government for leniency.
Diezani who is reportedly in the second stage of cancer implored Tinubu to permit her to return to Nigeria to confess to her financial misconduct during her tenure.
Speaking to the press in London after a medical visit, the ex-Petroleum minister, accused of embezzling billions of dollars from Nigeria, expressed her readiness to disclose details of the funds she allegedly misappropriated while in office.
According to Nigerian Tribune, she said, “I am now a born-again Christian and currently grappling with the second stage of cancer, for which my United Kingdom-based physician has advised me to continue medication for the rest of my life. Yes, no one is flawless, but sometimes, God Almighty permits such occurrences.
“I’ve been accused of financial misconduct during my tenure as the petroleum minister, and it’s true. However, I would like President Bola Tinubu and Nigerians to forgive me, allow me to return home, and contribute because life is transient.”
She went on to mention her association with Dauda Lawal Dare, the current governor of Zamfara State, to whom she entrusted over 9 billion dollars for safekeeping while he served as the Executive Director of First Bank Nigeria PLC.
She said, “My husband and my entire family members including my Nigeria lawyer based in the United Kingdom knew my relationship with Dauda Lawal Dare, the current Zamfara State governor whom I entrusted over 9 billion dollars for safekeeping while he was the Executive Director of the First Bank Nigeria PLC.
“Unfortunately, it has now come to a point that Mr Dauda Lawal is no longer picking my phone calls and even worked in Collaboration with UK police to put me under Surveillance, maybe to claim the money I entrusted to him when I die.”
SaharaReporters had in October reported that a court in the UK is trying Alison-Madueke over bribery allegations.
The Westminster Magistrates Court adjourned hearing on the suit involving Alison-Madueke for allegedly accepting a £100,000 bribe.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) stated in August 2023 that they suspected Alison-Madueke of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
The NCA stated on its website that Alison-Madueke “is alleged to have benefited from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, private jet flights, luxury vacations for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.”
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, submitted a warrant of arrest and request to the Crown Prosecution Services of the United Kingdom for the urgent extradition of Allison-Madueke.
EFCC had on October 2, revealed that it had commenced extraditing Mrs Alison-Madueke from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria over 13-count charges bordering on money laundering levelled against her by the anti-graft agency.