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Former Petroleum Minister Diezani Playing The Sick Card?



As information continues to emerge of the billions of dollars of public funds that Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, stole with the help of cohorts she handpicked, the embattled former minister is apparently playing the sick card in the United Kingdom where she has spent most of her time since ex-President Goodluck Jonathan lost his reelection bid.
Former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke
AP Photos

In recent days, several online media have reported that Ms. Alison-Madueke was critically sick in a London hospital. However, two sources in the UK who are quite conversant with the former minister’s physical condition told SaharaReporters today that her condition had not deteriorated, contrary to media reports. 
One of the sources went as far as suggesting that the ex-Petroleum Minister might be orchestrating the reports about her grave ill health as a strategy to attract public sympathy as well as official leniency from President Muhammadu Buhari who has received extensive intelligence from US authorities detailing the extent of Ms. Alison-Madueke’s looting of petro-dollars under the watch of Mr. Jonathan. 
One of our UK sources disclosed that the beleaguered former minister recently concluded a course of treatment for cancer, adding that she is not hospitalized in London as being touted by some members of her family.   
Another source revealed that he and others were in touch with the former minister as recently as yesterday. “She is definitely not in an ICU [intensive care unit] as I understand that some press people have been reporting,” the source said. According to him, “All I know is that there is a fair amount of anxiety on her part about all the reports coming out about her management of the affairs of the oil sector. 
Perhaps this anxiety is translating into efforts to portray her as sicker than she is, in reality. That strategy is understandable, as a way of lessening public reaction to reports that are out there. And there’s considerable uncertainty about what [President] Buhari is going to do. So, yes, there’s an advantage to the reports [of her critical ill health], but I can tell you she’s not in any devastated shape. Far from it.” 
A series of coordinated reports about Ms. Alison-Madueke’s ill health began to surface after SaharaReporters revealed that US officials handed a dossier of the former minister’s billion dollar fraudulent deals to President Muhammad Buhari during his visit last week to America. 
Yesterday, in a move that corroborated our report, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State told reporters at the State House in Abuja that US officials informed Mr. Buhari that a Nigerian minister under President Jonathan stole as much as $6 billion from the Nigerian treasury. Even though Mr. Oshiomhole did not disclose the name of the minister involved, a source at the Presidency confirmed to SaharaReporters that Ms. Alison-Madueke was the minister in question. 
Governor Oshiomhole was the only governor in President Buhari’s delegation when he held a critical meeting with US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, at Blair House in Washington, DC. Ms. Lynch, who is known to be tough on crime, especially international fraud, reportedly pledged US assistance to arrest and prosecute the former Petroleum Minister and others who have defrauded the Nigerian people provided that Mr. Buhari would take steps to identify and flush out corrupt judges from the Nigerian judiciary. 
Mr. Oshiomhole said that US officials, who were astonished by the size of looting that took place under Mr. Jonathan’s administration, declared that the funds stolen by one minister were staggering even for an economy as big as that of the United States. The former Petroleum Minister was known to be extraordinarily close to Mr. Jonathan, who refused to remove her from his cabinet despite numerous credible reports of her illicit and corrupt deals. 
SaharaReporters earlier reported that Ms. Alison-Madueke had attempted to send emissaries to President Buhari offering to return $250 million from her loot in return for being shielded from prosecution. One of the associates she contacted is a northern governor known to be close to Mr. Buhari. A highly reliable source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Buhari rejected the offer, contending that he would uncover how much Ms. Alison-Madueke and her fronts looted from the Nigerian treasury. “Mr. President is not interested in settling for small change. He has sworn to the Nigerian people that he will recover the vast sums stolen by officials of past government, especially those of President Jonathan. 
He is determined to keep his pledge to the Nigerian people.”
Former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), an agency under Ms. Alison-Madueke, of failing to deposit more than $20 billion of oil earnings at the CBN. Rather than launch a serious investigation, then President Jonathan ran to the former Petroleum Minister’s defense, and eased Mr. Sanusi out of his job at the CBN. 
Fresh reports are surfacing of how Ms. Alison-Madueke used cohorts she handpicked to systematically deprive Nigerians of billions of dollars of oil revenues. Among the big players in her web of oil scams are Kogi-born businessman, Jide Omokore, Ben Peters, Igho Salome, and Kola Aluko. 
The mega scams the former minister pulled off with her trusted hands involved opulent acquisition of at least four private jets, a yacht, real estate in various world locations, including New York, Dubai, and London, and the transfer of huge sums to bank accounts operated by shadowy companies in Switzerland and several tax havens. 
Ms. Alison-Madueke famously fell out with Mr. Aluko over the latter’s reported romantic involvement with ex-super model Naomi Campbell. It is believed that Mr. Aluko absconded with more than $1 billion that was in his custody as a result of shady transactions engineered and approved by the former Petroleum Minister. 


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