UK crime agency charges Nigeria’s former oil minister with bribery offenses

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Nigeria’s former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has been charged with bribery offenses following an investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency, which alleges she accepted bribes in exchange for multimillion-pound oil and gas contracts while in government.

“She is alleged to have benefitted from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties,” the National Crime Agency said in a statement.

“Her charges also detail financial rewards including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewelry and Louis Vuitton goods.”

Alison-Madueke, who was a key figure in the cabinet of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 to 2015, has previously denied allegations of corruption.

The agency said that Alison-Madueke, who currently resides in London, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on October 2.

“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation,” said Andy Kelly, head of the NCA’s International Corruption Unit. “Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat.”

The National Crime Agency added that assets related to the alleged offenses – worth millions of pounds – have been frozen as part of the investigation.

Alison-Madueke also served as the first female president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest oil producer, is one of 13 countries in OPEC.

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