Diezani Alison-Madueke arrested in London
The former minister petroleum resources under the administration of ex president Goodluck Jonathan, Diezani Alison-Madueke was on Friday morning, along with four others, arrested by the United Kingdom National Crime Agency.
The Press and Public Affairs Officer of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Joseph Abuku, confirmed that some arrests were made Friday but declined to disclose the identities of those involved.
“This morning, five people between the ages of 21 and 60 were arrested on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences. The crimes are being investigated by the National Crime Agency.
“The National Crime Agency does not confirm identity at arrest nor provide information that could be used to corroborate the identity of an arrested individual,” Abuku said. However, the Guardian source in London confirmed the arrest of the ex minister.
It is not clear now if and when the ex-minister would be extradited to Nigeria. But President Muhammadu Buhari had in his Independence Day address to Nigeria said he was intent on ridding the petroleum industry of corruption.
He said that already preliminary steps had been taken to sanitize the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum level.
“Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped,” he said.
According to him, in addition to sanitizing the NNPC, his administration has ordered for a complete audit of other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation.
The president stressed that prudent housekeeping was needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices.
“It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that is important.
“We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted.
“The new APC government is embarking on a cleanup, introducing prudence and probity in public financing,’’ he added.
On power, the president said government officials had held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost effective way.
He noted that the current improvement in the power supply was moderately encouraging.
“By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country.
“All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better,’’ he said.
Buhari further reassured that his administration would continue to address challenges facing the three tiers of government to ensure peace and speedy transformation of the economy.
He noted that at an early stage, the Federal Government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation, he said, was capable of degenerating into social unrest.