A few weeks to the inauguration of a new government, the fear of the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, is already driving corrupt officials of the outgoing Goodluck Jonathan administration out of the country.
Buhari has declared that the fight against corruption will be a major drive of his incoming administration.
Dieziani Alison Madueke covers Forbes Africa Woman
It is understood that following her failure to get President Jonathan and the ex-head of state, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar secure a soft landing deal for her from Gen Buhari last weekend, Nigeria’s controversial petroleum minister, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke has fled the country to the United Kingdom, from where she might escape to a safe haven.
A reliable source in the presidential villa said that “madam had to take off far ahead of the inauguration of the government of Gen Buhari because she is scared he may turn his searchlight on the oil sector.”
Ironically, the minister who is widely known to travel around in private jets had to travel this time in the first class cabin of the British Airways flight.
When contacted to confirm the minister’s whereabouts, one of her aides who asked for anonymity confirmed Alison-Madueke indeed left the country on Monday morning but gave a different reason for the trip.
According to the minister’s aide “it is true the Hon. Minister traveled but she went to take care of her health because she has been down medically and she needs proper medical attention.”
Asked when the minister will be back in the country, the aide said “no one can say when she will be back. That depends on her health and the advice of her doctors. She may come before May 29, she may decide to stay back with her children over there till anytime to take care of herself.”
The once powerful woman feigned sickness while going through immigration at the airport departure lounge over fears that she might be stopped from fleeing the country.
Nigerians are waiting to see Mrs Alison-Madueke account for the $20 billion which the former CBN governor and now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has continued to insist was diverted from the federation account by the minister and her cronies in the NNPC.
Apart from this, a group of whistleblowers against corruption has accused Diezani Alison-Madueke, of squandering millions of dollars of public funds to rent private jets for the conduct of her official activities. In a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the group, known as Crusader for Good Governance, demanded that Ms. Allison-Madueke be investigated for her habit of spending extravagant sums to rent private jets for her official hops.
In 2010, President Jonathan appointed Alison-Madueke to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the nerve centre of the Nigerian economy and traditionally the vortex of corruption in a country that is widely regarded as one of the most corrupt in the world.
Since being appointed, Alison-Madueke has become one of the most powerful Nigerian government officials. Several reports have linked her to sleazy oil deals and a penchant for wasting public funds.
BY FABIAN TARPAEL, ABUJA | 11 APRIL, 2015 03:13