Fully armed operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have taken over the Asokoro, Abuja residence of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
According to Punch, the operatives stormed the residence with three trucks marked ‘police’ on Friday, October 2, 2015 and were sighted again around 8pm with two buses.
The International Corruption Unit (ICU) of the NCA, which is mainly responsible for investigating international corruption affecting developing countries, confirmed that her arrest was in relation to alleged mismanagement of funds of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
It was gathered that Alison-Madueke was arrested by the Seizure Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) unit of the NCA at the behest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which has been discreetly investigating her.
A source privy to the development was quoted as saying: “It is true that the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Maduake, has been arrested by the UK’s National Crimes Agency, not the Metropolitan Police.
“There is an agency within the National Crimes Agency called the Seizures Organised Crimes Agency. She was actually arrested by operatives of SOCA because the agency has a working agreement with the EFCC.
“We have been cooperating with SOCA on a number of issues.
“I can tell you that Diezani is being quizzed over allegations of bribery and fraud by the UK police.”
Meanwhile EFCC has deployed a crack team of investigators to her residence located at Frederick Chiluba Avenue, Asokoro, Abuja, and were still at the residence as at the time of filing this report.
Efforts to confirm the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, to confirm the development proved abortive.
An unnamed official of the NCA who spoke to Punch said: “I’m afraid I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation,” while an ICU operative said: “It is part of our policy not to disclose information like that to anyone, so I cannot confirm nor deny that she has been arrested.”
As regards the raid of Alison-Madueke’s residence, an EFFC source who spoke to The Cable said: “The raid on her [Alison-Madueke] residence today (Friday) yielded vital information that will help in the prosecution of the case. Many agencies across several countries are involved in this investigation. Anti-money laundering agencies in Austria, France, Switzerland, Nigeria and the UK are working together on it.”
When approached for comments, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said: “I have no comment or information on it. It is a security matter.”