Al Jazeera in a report alleges that Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources who served under the administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, obtained a diplomatic passport from the Dominica Republic which has been protecting her from prosecution since 2015.
According to the Qatar based news network, Mrs. Madueke was appointed the Commissioner for Trade and Investment by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica towards the end of Mr. Jonathan’s administration in 2015.
It was also further alleged that she was issued a diplomatic passport following her appointment by the Prime Minister.
However, Al Jazeera alleges that Diezani’s appointment and diplomatic passport came with a price. According to Al Jazeera, the former Nigeria Petroleum Minister may have purchased a property in Manhattan, New York, worth $2.2million for Prime Minister Skerrit.
Skerrit had however since denied the report, saying that no such thing happened between them.
The revelation was contained in a documentary by Al Jazeera titled ‘Diplomats for sale’. The report alleges that politically exposed persons including leaders of international drug cartels purchase diplomatic passports from Caribbean countries for huge amount.
According to the report, the amount is paid to the leader of the nation who consequently appoints the individual as an ambassador or diplomat with a diplomatic passport which comes with immunity from prosecution based on the Vienna Convention of 1961.
Al Jazeera alleges that Diezani was worried that President Muhammadu Buhari might probe her over allegations that she stole billions of dollars. Consequently, she fled to London.
The report by Al Jazeera is however not completely true or rather half truth because Mrs. Alison-Madueke was diagnosed with cancer towards the end of Mr. Jonathan’s administration.
Contrary to the report by Al Jazeera that she fled to London to evade prosecution by the Buhari’s administration, Diezani was in London because her health issue became worse towards the end of Jonathan’s government.
In July of 2015, just few weeks after Mr. Buhari took over from Jonathan as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs. Diezani who was already in London for her cancer treatment went into coma for three days. Her health became so bad that she could not talk at the time.
Mr. Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation Magazine, had interviewed her (Diezani) and published pictures of the very beautiful Mrs. Diezani who was looking so different and had become a shadow of herself.
Naija Buzz News had recently published a report in which Mr. Alison Madueke, the husband of Mrs. Diezani, in his new book revealed that his wife’s health challenges was being turned into a political issue.
The documentary report by Al Jazeera alleges that; “in London, Diezani was personally handed a Dominican diplomatic passport by Prime Minister Skerrit; a passport which could shield her from criminal charges. We found documents showing a few days later that a shell company is formed in Delaware, an American state where laws mean the true owners of a company are kept secret.
“Four months later, that shell company buys a New York apartment for $2.2m with no mortgage. Property records confirm that the prime minister’s wife, Melissa, was a resident. Photos placed the Skerrit family there. Both Diezani and Skerrit deny any links to the company that bought the apartment.
“Skerrit said the family resided there due to a kind gesture by an unnamed friend of his wife. He strongly denies any wrongdoing and says he didn’t demand or receive any money from Madueke.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had admitted that it was finding it difficult to extradite Diezani from the United Kingdom and make her face the court of law. The anti-graft noted that the slow process has made it impossible to bring her back to Nigeria.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had threatened to strike out the money laundering charges against Mrs. Diezani if the EFCC fails to produce her in court by March 10, 2020.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.