A court in Nigeria has seized $21 million from the bank accounts of Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, the former oil minister.
Alison-Madueke stands accused of corruption and for laundering millions of dollars.
Diezani K. Alison-Madueke is a Nigerian politician. In 2014, she became the first female President of OPEC after getting elected at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna. In Nigeria, she has served as the nation’s Minister of Transportation and was the Minister for Mines and Steel Development. In 2010, she was appointed the Minister of Petroleum Resources. After Muhammadu Buhari came into power as President, Alison-Madueke fled the nation.
In 2015, Alison-Madueke arrested while she was in United Kingdom. The UK National Crime Agency revealed that she was one of five people the agency was investigation under suspicion of bribery and money laundering. At the time, she was granted bail but her passport was seized.
Corruption is one of the biggest problems in Nigeria.
In January 2017, it was revealed that the Nigerian government will reclaim up to $153.3 million in misappropriated funds from Alison-Madueke.
Additionally, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), is pursuing a lawsuit against the former minister. According to that lawsuit, Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore, two Nigerian businessmen received oil contracts after bribing Alison-Madueke. She has also been implicated under corruption charges in Italy.
Abdulazeez Anka, a Federal high court judge in Nigeria has ordered the immediate forfeiture of 7.6 billion naira ($21 million) from local bank accounts that allegedly belong to Alison-Madueke. The nation’s anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is pursuing a similar case against her over alleged corruption.
EFCC has already successfully seized properties worth $44 million that were allegedly purchased with the proceeds of corruption by Alison-Madueke.
President Muhammadu Buhari ran on a platform of eradicating corruption in Nigeria.
Alison-Madueke has maintained that she is innocent and that the charges brought upon her are false.
Our assessment is that the crackdown on Alison-Madueke’s wealth will reflect favorably on the current regime. The President had promised to take a tough stance on the nation’s rampant corruption. It is likely that many other high profile politicians will be implicated in the near future. Alison-Madueke, who was once one of the most prominent female politicians in the country, will now have to grapple with a tarnished legacy.