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Ex-Minister Of Petroleum Resources Now Runs Her Office From Home

June 11, 2011

Diezani Allison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources, is running the ministry from her home, SaharaReporters has learned.

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Diezani Allison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources, is running the ministry from her home, SaharaReporters has learned.

Several ministry sources say the ex-minister issues orders and directives to the Permanent Secretary, Goni Musa, to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Augustine Oniwon, and to the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Regulatory Agency, Goody Egbuji.

“Everyday they receive orders from her on what to do and what not to do, what documents to sign and what to keep in view (KIP),” said a top NNPC executive speaking to SaharaReporters in confidence.

“The fact is that she  has held everyone hostage, and senior level executives are cautious, afraid that she might return as minister,” the source said.

Allison-Madueka ceased to be Minister of Petroleum on May 30 when President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the Federal Executive Council.

The Lagos based newspaper, 234next,  recently exposed how she  used fronts to receive kickbacks from oil marketers in exchange for authorization to import finished petroleum products and oil lifting. She was also said to be illegally and secretly awarding oil blocks to obscure companies in exchange for bribes running into millions of dollars, a charge she denied.

A former minister told SaharaReporters that during the tenure of the last federal executive council, Mrs. Allison-Maduekwe was the only minister who, with unusual effrontery, stood up to the President, at times throwing tantrums at cabinet meetings to protest decisions taken by Mr. Jonathan.

But despite the allegations against her, the former minister is still confident that she would return to her old job in Jonathan’s incoming cabinet.

Another source in the petroleum ministry explained that before the expiration of her tenure, the former minister placed her loyalists in the various parastatals and has continued to control them them "remotely" from home.

For instance, Egbuji the PPPRA executive secretary, was one of her aides  before he was redeployed to the agency. Shortly after he arrived the PPPRA, the bribe-for-oil scandal broke.

Through Egbuji, a source said, the minister has sidelined the board of the PPPRA led by former Peoples Democratic Party’s chairman, Ahmadu Ali, and has continued to direct affairs at the agency, even after the cabinet was dissolved.

In February this year, Allison-Madueke unilaterally extended the tenure of the GMD of the NNPC, Augustine Oniwon, but did not put a time frame on the extension, in what insiders believe is a ploy to control Oniwon.

“The GMD has remained indebted to her and prays each day to be allowed another day,” said another official in the ministry. “So she tells him what to do and what not to do. He is virtually in her pocket.”

The minister is also said to be using the Managing Director of the NPDC, a subsidiary of the NNPC, to engage in fraudulent deals with some oil companies such as Seven Energy International Limited, which recently got concessions to operate two lucrative oil blocks under clearly controversial circumstances.

Mrs. Allison-Madueke is not laying low either. She has recently engaged high profiled PR managers to wage a strategic media campaign. SaharaReporters learnt that she summoned several nocturnal meetings with  media executives and journalists on various levels to boost her image in the media after doling out millions naira as bribes to journalists.

Patience Jonathan, the first lady, has reportedly vowed to ensure that Mrs. Allison-Madueke doesn't return to her position as minister of petroleum resources.

Mrs. Allison-Madueke and President Goodluck Johnson have been romantically linked in several reports.

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