Diezani Begs Buhari & Offers to refund $2bn
In the wake of new revelations of graft against her, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria's disgraced former Minister of Petroleum, has continued to send emissaries to beg President Muhammadu Buhari for a reprieve over allegations of embezzlement for which she is being investigated. Over the weekend, reliable presidency sources told The Abuja Inquirer, that the former minister has reached out to "some close, personal friends" of the President to beg him to reign in the security agencies and give her a soft landing.
In return, the Minister is offering to refund Two Billion US Dollars and to cooperate with federal officials in tracing looted funds that have been siphoned abroad by her various cronies. We gathered that the President would hear none of that and is insisting that justice must take its course.
Last week, the Nation newspaper reported that The Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC) has seized properties and very expensive jewelry belonging to Diezani Alison-Madueke. The report says the EFFCC confiscated several posh houses in choice parts of Nigeria and a very expensive wrist watch worth £600, 000 and other gold and diamonds from the shamed minister and the wife of one of her business partners, Mr Jide Omokore.
The Nation, quoting an unnamed EFCC source, said: "We have seized many houses belonging to Diezani and Omokore on Banana Island and other places. Also, a wristwatch of about £1.4million was seized from Omokore’s wife. From the former minister, we have retrieved a choice wrist watch worth £600,000 and jewelry in gold and diamond. We will soon show Nigerians all these items for them to appreciate what we have done and to learn some lessons.”
Mrs. Diezani is being tried for money laundering in a London court. Her son is also reported to be wanted by EFCC.
Diezani Alison-Madueke was one of the closest ministers to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, both of whom are from Bayelsa state. She has been fingered in many dubious deals, particularly in the oil industry.
This is not the first time Diezani is offering to refund money to the Federal government. Premium Times reported a while ago that when President Buhari was to meet with US officials including the US Attorney General, Ms Loretta Lynch, to discuss how the US government can facilitate the investigation, arrest and prosecution of some officials of the Jonathan administration implicated in the theft of billions of dollars, she reportedly spoke to the Kaduna state governor, MALLAM Nasir el-Rufai to intercede on her behalf with the President but was rebuffed by the Governor.