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Alison-Madueke Breaks Silence: Addresses Alleged Interview Regarding Return to Nigeria and Zamfara Governor

December 24, 2023

Photo Credit: WEF

 

A former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has denied granting an interview in London recently where she allegedly indicted the current Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal.

A newspaper had reported that the ex-minister, who served during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, spoke with journalists in London during which she begged to be allowed to return home.

Mrs Alison-Madueke fled Nigeria in 2015 and has been in the United Kingdom (UK). She faces corruption charges in Nigeria and the UK.

The purported London interview sparked diverse reactions with Mr Lawal’s allies saying the reports were to disparage him.

The newspaper that reported the fake interview has since pulled down the story.

An unverified screenshot has also been in circulation alleging that the EFCC amplified the controversial publication on it’s Instagram account. This newspaper has yet to independently verify the allegation.

In a bid to confirm the veracity of the report, PREMIUM TIMES reached out to Mrs Alison-Madueke.

The former petroleum minister, in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, described the report as “fake” and “concocted.”

“I did not grant an interview to anyone and therefore did not say any of the things attributed to me. It is fake news concocted for reasons I do not know,” Mrs Alison-Madueke told PREMIUM TIMES in the brief interview Saturday evening.

In the earlier viral interview, Mrs Alison-Madueke was reported to have implored President Bola Tinubu to permit her to return to Nigeria “to confess to her financial misconduct during her tenure.”

The newspaper reported that Mrs Alison-Madueke spoke to the press in London after a medical visit, and “expressed her readiness to disclose details of the funds she allegedly misappropriated while in office.”

The newspaper quoted the former minister as saying, “I am now a born-again Christian and currently grappling with the second stage of cancer, for which my United Kingdom-based physician has advised me to continue medication for the rest of my life. Yes, no one is flawless, but sometimes, God Almighty permits such occurrences.

“I’ve been accused of financial misconduct during my tenure as the petroleum minister, and it’s true. However, I would like President Bola Tinubu and Nigerians to forgive me, allow me to return home, and contribute because life is transient…”

Mrs Alison-Madueke, however, told PREMIUM TIMES that she did not grant the interview and that she did not say any of the things that were credited to her.

In its reaction, the EFCC also denied authoring the post on its Instagram handle

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, told THE PUNCH, “The report is not from the EFCC. Anything that is not signed by me is not from us (the EFCC).”

Zamfara PDP reacts

Despite the EFCC denying the Instagram post,  the Zamfara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised the anti-graft agency and demanded an apology.

In a statement its Publicity Secretary, Abba Oando, the PDP said Mr Lawal was acquitted of all corruption charges by Nigeria’s Supreme Court on 12 March 2021.

Mr Oando expressed disappointment with the EFCC for allegedly allowing fake news to be published on its platform.

The Zamfara PDP argued that “Pulling down the fake story is not sufficient. The anti-corruption body should issue a disclaimer and promptly apologise for this avoidable and costly unprofessionalism.”

The Federal High Court, Abuja, in January 2022, issued an arrest warrant against Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke over corruption charges against her.

Earlier, on 4 December 2018, a judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Valentine Ashi (now deceased), ordered the EFCC, the Nigerian Police Force, the States Security Service (SSS), and all other security agencies to arrest her within 72 hours.

Mrs Alison-Madueke, 63, is also facing bribery charges at a London court. 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 among others, by government contractors while she was minister. She was Nigeria’s petroleum minister between 2010 and 2015.

 

 

Credit: Premium Times

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