The immediate past Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has decried the tradition in Nigeria whereby anyone who occupies the office of oil minister is accused of corruption once their tenure is over.
The former minister, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer in the United Kingdom, is currently the focus of investigations by the UK National Crime Agency and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations that $20 billion oil money disappeared under her watch.
In a latest excerpt from her interview with Dele Momodu’s Boss Newspaper, Madueke recalled that even President Muhammadu Buhari as an oil minister (1976-1978) under the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, was accused of stealing N2.8 billion when the said sum, which was deposited at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Midlands Bank account in the UK, could not be accounted for.
She added, “Till this day no one has been able to prove that the then Major General stole a kobo”.
The former minister insisted that all the allegations of corruption leveled against her are false, adding that as a technocrat with vast experience at Shell Petroleum, she was used to keeping proper records.
She also insinuated that during her tenure as minister of petroleum resources, she knew she stepped on some powerful toes both home and abroad, just to ensure that Nigerians got the best deal.