Nigeria’s Former Petroleum Minister Arrested in the UK on Suspicion of Bribery and Money Laundering Offences

 

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On 3 October 2015, it was reported that the former Nigerian Minister for Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, had been arrested in the United Kingdom, alongside four other unnamed individuals, in connection with alleged bribery and money laundering offences. A report is here.

“The [Nigerian] government is aware of the arrest and is cooperating with the investigators in the UK,” Garba Shehu, a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, stated on 5 October 2015, from the capital of Nigeria, Abuja.

Ms Alison-Madueke, a former president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), served as Nigerian oil minister for five years until her party lost the general elections in March 2015.

Five people were released on conditional police bail on 2 October 2015, the UK’s National Crime Agency said on its website, without identifying the individuals concerned. According to a further report, Ms Alison-Madueke was to report to Charing Cross Police Station on 5 October 2015, to answer questions.

According to a source within the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the EFCC is considering seeking Ms Alison-Madueke’s extradition from the UK, to Nigeria.

“The Commission will surely want to have her back in Nigeria so that we can also ask her some questions. But we will wait first and see the outcome [of the UK investigation],” the source is quoted as saying.

It would appear that any UK criminal investigation would precede any extradition proceedings. As Nigeria is a category 2 territory, extradition from the UK, were it to take place, would be governed by Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.

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