The immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, was on Friday arrested in London, Premium Times authoritatively reported. She was later granted bail.
The former minister, who was one of the most powerful officials of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, was arrested Friday morning by the UK National Crimes Agency, alongside four other people.
The identities of the four other people arrested along with her could not be immediately ascertained.
Premium Times learnt she was arrested for offences related to bribery, corruption and money laundering.
It is not clear whether the former minister was arrested based on request from the Nigerian government. But President Muhammadu Buhari had on September 27 hinted that those who misappropriated billions of naira belonging to Nigeria’s state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation would soon be prosecuted.
Former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi was sacked while Mrs Alison-Madueke was in office after he raised the alarm over tens of billions of dollars of oil revenues that had been unaccounted for at state oil company NNPC between January 2012 and July 2013.
However, Mrs Alison-Madueke has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Even when her son, Ugonna Madueke, was accused in the media of flaunting their family’s flamboyant lifestyle on social media, the Maduekes also denied any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, operatives of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have raided the Abuja home of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources few hours after she was arrested in London.
EFCC agents arrived Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s palatial home, located in the Asokoro district of Abuja, and sealed the property Friday evening.