Cor­rup­tion-ac­cused Nige­rian min­is­ter is­sued Do­minica diplo­matic pass­port

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - By Caribbean News Now con­trib­u­tor

Nige­ria’s for­mer min­is­ter of petroleum re­sources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Bri­tain for al­leged cor­rup­tion while in of­fice, was granted Do­mini­can cit­i­zen­ship ear­lier this year, in­clud­ing a diplo­matic pass­port num­ber DP0000445, ap­par­ently all within just one month of meet­ing Prime Min­is­ter Roo­sevelt Sk­er­rit. Madueke’s new cit­i­zen­ship was con­firmed in a May 29, 2015 ap­proval let­ter by Sk­er­rit. The let­ter also stated that the for­mer min­is­ter had been ap­pointed a trade and in­vest­ment com­mis­sioner and was ex­pected to help in pro­mot­ing and mar­ket­ing Do­minica as a trade and in­vest­ment domi­cile. On Oc­to­ber 2, the In­ter­na­tional Cor­rup­tion Unit (ICU) of Bri­tain’s Na­tional Crime Agency (NCA) ar­rested Madueke and four oth­ers on sus­pi­cion of bribery and money laun­der­ing. The NCA is re­port­edly con­duct­ing an ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion into oil deals dur­ing Madueke’s term of of­fice. In a state­ment on Sun­day, the gov­ern­ment of Do­minica de­nied that Madueke was of­fered or en­cour­aged by Sk­er­rit to make Do­minica her home. Sk­er­rit ex­plained that in May of this year, dur­ing a rou­tine stopover visit to Lon­don, Madueke was in­tro­duced to him as the im­me­di­ate past min­is­ter of petroleum re­sources in Nige­ria and also im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dent of OPEC, the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries. “Th­ese dis­cus­sions how­ever took place well be­fore any ques­tion of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties arose,” the state­ment read. The state­ment went on to say that, “on the rec­om­men­da­tion of a num­ber of out­stand­ing in­di­vid­u­als of note, and af­ter thor­ough due dili­gence stud­ies were un­der­taken”, the gov­ern­ment of Do­minica agreed to the ap­point­ment of Madueke as trade and in­vest­ment com­mis­sioner for Do­minica, with the spe­cific re­mit of pro­mot­ing and mar­ket­ing the trade and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties of Do­minica. The is­sue of a diplo­matic pass­port was said to be en­tirely in ac­cor­dance with ex­ist­ing con­ven­tion, pro­to­col and prac­tice. What was not ex­plained, how­ever, is the ac­tual ex­tent of the “thor­ough due dili­gence” said to have been un­der­taken be­tween Sk­er­rit’s meet­ing with Madueke in May and the grant of Do­mini­can cit­i­zen­ship to her later the same month. In the mean­time, the min­istry of for­eign af­fairs in Do­minica re­port­edly sus­pended all re­la­tions with Madueke im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing her ar­rest in Oc­to­ber 2015, pend­ing the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Diezani Alison-Madueke: Nige­ria’s ex-min­is­ter of

petroleum re­sources.

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