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UK Govt charges Diezani with bribery, trial set for October 2

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UK Govt charges Diezani with bribery, trial set for October 2

Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former President of OPEC and Nigeria’s oil minister, has been charged with bribery offenses related to her tenure as Nigeria’s oil minister, according to the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The charges come after Alison-Madueke was granted bail following her initial arrest in London in October 2015. She is set to appear in court in London on October 2.

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Alison-Madueke’s family’s lawyer stated that she strongly denies the corruption allegations that have followed her throughout her time in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Serving as the oil minister from 2010 to 2015, she was the first female to hold the position in Nigeria and also the first female president of OPEC.

The head of the NCA’s international corruption unit, Andy Kelly, said in a statement, “We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million pound contracts.”

The NCA said Alison-Madueke allegedly benefited from at least £100,000 ($127,000) in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.

The charges also detail additional financial rewards, such as furniture, renovation work, staff for the properties, private school fees, and gifts from luxury designer shops like Cartier and Louis Vuitton.

Kelly emphasized that bribery is a pervasive form of corruption that enables serious criminal activity and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. He described the charges as a significant development in the comprehensive international investigation.

Alison-Madueke has resided in the upscale St John’s Wood area of London since her arrest and has undergone treatment for breast cancer, according to her family. The NCA had previously detained five individuals in London on suspicion of international corruption, without disclosing their identities.

The Nigerian government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, confirmed the arrest and expressed cooperation with British authorities. As part of the ongoing investigation, the NCA has frozen assets worth millions of pounds.

In March, the agency provided evidence to the US Department of Justice, leading to the recovery of assets valued at $53.1 million linked to Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption.

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