Sunday, July 14, 2024

Embattled Nigerian Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Described In Glowing Terms By Senator Ben Bruce During Meeting In UK

The founder of Silverbird Group and Common Sense Advocate, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has described the former Nigeria Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke in glowing terms during their meeting in the United Kingdom.

The former senator who represented Bayelsa East between 2015 and 2019, took to his Twitter account to admire the former oil minister who fled to the UK in 2015 shortly after the election of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Murray-Bruce described her as “sassy, smart and always sophisticated”.

He thanked her for raising her son in the fear of God.

The businessman tweeted: “Sassy, smart, and always sophisticated. Celebrating with the amazing Diezani Alison-Madueke at her son’s graduation at @UniofReading.

“Her son’s achievement is a testament to the power of good parenting. Excellence indeed runs in the family.”

Since Buhari was elected in 2015 and even after he left office on May 29, 2023, Alison-Madueke has remained in self-exile in the UK. In May, SaharaReporters reported a libel suit she filed through her lawyers against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister for Justice, where she demanded N100 billion compensation.

In late March 2023, the US Justice Department announced the final resolution of two civil cases seeking the forfeiture of various luxury assets that were the proceeds of foreign corruption offences and were laundered in and through the United States.

With the conclusion of the cases, the department had recovered roughly $53.1 million in cash – constituting the net liquidated value of the defendant’s assets – plus a promissory note with a principal value of $16 million.

According to court documents, from 2011 to 2015, Nigerian businessmen Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Olajide Omokore conspired with others to pay bribes to Diezani Alison-Madueke, who oversaw Nigeria’s state-owned oil company.

In return, Alison-Madueke used her influence to steer lucrative oil contracts to companies owned by Aluko and Omokore, the US Department said.

It added that the proceeds of those illicitly awarded contracts totalling more than $100 million were then laundered in and through the US and used to purchase various assets through shell companies, including luxury real estate in California and New York as well as the Galactica Star, a 65-metre superyacht. The real estate was also used as collateral for loans to Aluko and the shell companies he controlled. As part of the forfeiture process, those lien holders were paid.

The DOJ said the forfeited assets were the “proceeds of foreign corruption offences”.

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