Buhari Will Prosecute Former Oil Minister, Alison-Madueke, And Purge Nigeria Of Corrupt Judges
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, left, meets with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Blair House in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
It has been learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting on Monday with the United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, focused on a strategy to prosecute Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, for her role in several billion dollar corrupt deals in the oil industry. Mr. Buhari’s meeting also touched on fighting terrorism as well as strategies for identifying and purging corrupt judges from the Nigerian judicial system. The Nigerian president went to the Monday meeting with a delegation that included Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. High on the agenda was to discuss American support for a vast investigation of racketeering schemes spearheaded by Ms. Alison-Madueke and several of her cohorts in the oil sector who conspired to deprive the Nigerian treasury of billions of dollars that went to private interests. A source with authoritative information on the meeting told Reporters that the US Justice Department provided President Buhari with a dossier listing numerous participants in the theft of several billions of dollars. US authorities also pledged to offer further documents on condition that Nigerian prosecutors demonstrate a focused and determined effort to pursue ethical and serious prosecution. A source revealed that the documents submitted and promised by the US disclose how Mrs. Alison-Madueke and her cohorts used several offshore accounts to move money between Switzerland and Germany. According to the source, the name of Kola Aluko featured prominently in the discussion and documents. Mr. Aluko, a player in the oil sector who was picked by Ms. Alison-Madueke as a front for some of her more egregious deals, emerged in the last five years from relative obscurity to become one of Africa’s richest people. Mr. Aluko, who fell out with the former Petroleum Minister after he reportedly started dating former superstar model Naomi Campbell, has acquired a stunningly expensive yacht, a retinue of Rolls Royce cars, other expensive cars well as multi-million homes and apartments in such locations as London, New York, and Dubai. A source explained that US law enforcement agents, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), spent more than two years on the investigation that uncovered a pattern of obscene theft of billions of dollars of Nigeria’s oil revenues. An FBI field officer in Abuja reportedly played a key role in the investigation of Ms. Alison-Madueke and her self-chosen collaborators, including Mr. Aluko. A source disclosed that the US Justice Department officials at the meeting indicated that they would be reluctant to sustain their collaboration with Nigerian authorities unless the Buhari administration set some process in place to identify and fire corrupt judges from the Nigerian judiciary. A confidante of Mr. Buhari told Reporters that, after leaving the meeting with the US Attorney General, at the Blair House guest house of Mr. Buhari, the Nigerian president vowed that he would take decisive steps to rid Nigeria of corrupt judges to ensure the success of his anti-corruption agenda. Last week, during his US visit, Mr. Buhari publicly accused unnamed former ministers of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of stealing up to one million barrels of crude oil per day from the Nigerian people. In official speeches and media interviews, the Nigerian president also restated his determination to go after corrupt officials, regardless of their political affiliation.