Former President of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been charged with bribery offences relating to her time as Nigeria’s oil minister.
Following an investigation by the National Crime Agency, she is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
“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.
“Her charges also detail financial rewards including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods,” NCA said.
63-year-old Alison-Madueke, who currently lives in St John’s Wood, London, has been on bail since first being arrested in London in October 2015.
She is expected to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on October 2.
Andy Kelly, Head of the NCA’s International Corruption Unit (ICU), on Tuesday, said: “We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million-pound contracts.
“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation.
“Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat.”
According to NCA, assets worth millions of pounds relating to the alleged offences have already been frozen as part of the ongoing investigation.
In March, the NCA also provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that enabled them to recover assets totalling USD$53.1m linked to Diezani Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption.
During the investigation, ICU officers worked closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the NCA-hosted International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre.
Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the NCA to charge Diezani Alison-Madueke with bribery offences.
“The CPS made the decision to authorise the charge after reviewing a file of evidence from the NCA relating to allegations of bribery in Nigeria.
“Criminal proceedings against Ms Alison-Madueke are active and she has the right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary, or sharing of information which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.
“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider.”
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