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Diezani’s Probe Began in 2013 – Britain

Yemi Adebowale | Abuja 

The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency has revealed that contrary to media speculations, the corruption investigation leading to the arrest of Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister started in 2013 under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Nigerian media, both the traditional and social media platforms, were awash with reports that it was President Buhari’s recent meeting with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, and other world leaders that led to the investigation and arrest of Alison-Madueke.

Nigeria’s former oil minister and current President of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was arrested on Friday by the NCA’s recently formed International Corruption Unit, along with four other persons.

She was arrested in London as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offences.

Alison-Madueke was, however, granted bail but her passport was withheld by the British authorities, pending further investigations, both in the UK and other countries.

In an update on its website, the NCA noted that the investigation started about two years ago.

“The investigation commenced in 2013 under the Proceeds of Corruption Unit, and transferred to the NCA earlier this year (2015). The International Corruption Unit investigates bribery of foreign public officials by individuals or companies from the UK and money laundering by corrupt foreign officials and their associates,” it stated.

The UK crime agency added that the ICU would also trace and recover the proceeds of Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption and support Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies with international anti-corruption investigations.

He said, “To have a simple Police Unit in the UK bring up partial evidence of corruption against a former minister is barely scratching the surface. You cannot fight corruption in this manner; it is far too complicated for ordinary corruption prosecution.

The Nigerian Presidency is yet to comment on the incident.

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