Nigeria, October 04, 2015, (Blank NEWS Online) – By Albert OGRAKA
Blank NEWS Online can report that detectives from the British National Crime Agency (NCA) have teamed up with Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure a successful probe of embattled former Nigerian petroleum czar, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The ex-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.
The NCA has therefore dispatched a team of detectives to Nigeria who are now working with the operatives of the EFCC to probe Diezani Alison-Madueke alleged excesses, during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The team of investigators from the UK Police, drawn from the Seizures Organised Crimes Agency (SOCA) had been involved in a discreet investigation of Alison-Madueke, alongside a team of EFCC operatives from the Subsidy Unit with a directive to probe all NNPC accounts which were operated under the supervision of the former minister as well as investigate the activities of Alison-Madueke.
Meanwhile the EFCC team that raided Alison-Madueke’s Asokoro residence in Abuja, following her arrest on Friday were said to have recovered several files from the ex-minister’s residence for further analysis by the combined team of investigators from the EFCC and the SOCA.
According to the British National Crime Agency (NCA): “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.”
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.
As a result of the unfortunate development, analysts have therefore called on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to replace Alison-Madueke as its president. Following the clamour, OPEC resorted to display its alternate president, Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada in its website.
Indications are rife that the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, arrested and released in the United Kingdom, on Friday, on money laundering allegations, may be charged to court soon with more suspects that would be arraigned.
The trial is expected to be conducted in London and is likely to draw thousands of Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom (UK) but no date was specified, last night, when Sunday Vanguard made contacts with the National Crime Agency (NCA), which arrested and released Diezani and the four others on Friday.
The agency said that the suspects were merely granted what it called “conditional police bail” pending further investigation to be conducted in the UK and overseas.
In a similar development, a former Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has allegedly been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
A top source revealed that the official from North West was grilled and quizzed over fund management within the corporation, expenditure running into several millions of dollars and failure to declare his assets.
He was alleged to have spent huge sum of money on renovation of a golf course in Kaduna as well as owning several multi million dollar properties not reflected in his assets declarations.
It was learnt that four other top ex-NNPC officials have been picked up with many of them due to be arraigned in court soon.
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