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Ahead Of Buhari’s Regime: Petroleum Minister, Diezani, May Have Gone On Self-Exile In London

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of AbujaAs General Buhari, Nigeria’s President-elect under the umbrella of All Progressives Congress (APC) awaits his inauguration next month, the nation’s minister of petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduekwe may have gone on self-exile in London under the pretext of seeking for medical attention.
Information reaching us shows that other ministers who might have soiled their hands in corruption in the current regime are also thinking of taken off, out of Nigeria before the May 29 handing over.
It is on record that General Buhari has declared that the fight against corruption will be a major drive of his in-coming administration.
It was gathered that Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, believed to be one of the ministers that had been fingered in many corrupt allegation, especially within the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) left the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Monday aboard a British Airways flight.
A source said: “Madam (Diezani) had to take off far ahead of the inauguration of the government of General Buhari because she is scared he may turn his searchlight on the oil sector.”
The minister who is believed to be in the habit of travelling around in private jets had to travel this time, in the first class cabin of the British Airways flight.
When contacted to confirm the Minister’s whereabouts, one of her aides who pleaded anonymity confirmed that the minister left the country on Monday morning but said that she went to take care of her health because she has been down medically and she needs proper medical attention.
Asked when the Minister will be back in the country, the aide said: “no one can say when she will be back. That depends on her health and the advice of her doctors. She may come before May 29. She may decide to stay back with her children over there till anytime to take care of herself.”
It was however learnt that the once powerful woman feigned sickness and actually pretended to be seriously sick while going through immigration at the airport departure lounge over fears that she might be stopped from fleeing the country.
It would be recalled that Mrs. Diezani had been variously linked to the $20 billion which former CBN governor and now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has continued to insist was diverted from the federation account of her cronies in NNPC.
Apart from this, a group of whistleblowers against corruption has accused Diezani Alison-Madueke, of squandering millions of dollars of public funds to rent private jets for the conduct of her official activities.
In a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the group, known as Crusader for Good Governance, demanded that Mrs. Allison-Madueke be investigated for her habit of spending extravagant sums to rent private jets for her official hops.
In 2010, President Jonathan appointed Mrs. Alison-Madueke to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the nerve center of the Nigerian economy and traditionally the vortex of corruption in a country that is widely regarded as one of the most corrupt in the world.
Since being appointed minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke has become one of the most powerful Nigerian government officials. Several reports have linked her to sleazy oil deals and a penchant for wastage of public funds.
She has spent some N2 billion on private jet rentals, according to the petition submitted to the EFCC by Enugu-based “Crusader For Good Governance.” The petition was signed by Okechukwu Obiora Nnamdi, the group’s leader.
The group accused Mrs. Alison-Maduekwe of spending $300,000 on an average international trip outside of Nigeria. She reportedly spends as much as $500,000 on trips to such destinations as China, Malaysia and several North American countries, according to the petition. The petitioners listed some of the minister’s most lavish trips.
During Easter break, she flew a private jet to Dubai with members of her family at the cost of $300,000.
During President Jonathan’s visit to South Africa, she flew in a private jet that cost Nigeria $300,000.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a government agency she oversees, maintains a Challenger 850 Visa jet which serves the minister’s needs as well as those of her family. The cost of running the jet is $500,000 per month.
In addition, the petitioners alleged that, in the last two years, the Petroleum minister has never attended any meeting outside Nigeria in a commercial jet or in any of the jets maintained by the Nigerian Presidency. They stated that she had wasted more than N2 billion on the maintenance of aircraft in the last two years. They accused her of being the only minister who consistently uses private jets to arrive at destinations when the Nigerian president travels abroad.
The petition also carpets Mrs. Allison-Madueke for often doing official jobs out of her house, which means that she is frequently absent from her official desk at the ministry.
As alleged in the petition to the EFCC, Mrs. Alison-Madueke also frequently uses the services of Vista Jet, a Swiss luxury aviation company that provides jets to wealthy businessmen around the world. Vista Jet has done deals with such Nigerians as Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and Nduka Obaigbena, the flamboyant publisher of Thisday newspaper.
Curiously, Vista Jet has a Nigerian businessman, Kola Aluko, on its board. Mr. Aluko, who once acted as Vista Jet’s West African representative, is known to be close to Ms. Alison-Madueke. “(Kola) Aluko and Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke are neck deep in the oil business,” said a source at the NNPC.
“She helped him (Mr. Aluko) to land a choice allocation of pricey oil blocks through a company called Seven Energy,” added the source.
In a petition sent to the Nigerian Senate by the Delta Producing Communities, Mrs. Alison-Madueke is accused of transferring the ownership of four oil mining licenses (OML), 30, 34, 26 and 42, to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept which belongs to Mr. Omokore.
The US-educated minister was long known for her interest in wealth and social climbing. During Nigeria’s last years of military dictatorship, she was linked to several military officers, including one-time Foreign Minister, General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd.) and Rear Admiral Allison Amaechina Madueke (rtd.), her current husband who was once Nigeria’s chief of naval staff.

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