Family members of a former Nigerian Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, have dismissed reports that she is dead.
SaharaReporters rang a close family friend of the Maduekes in Lagos, but the source denied reports of the former minister’s death. “I am going to a crucial meeting with [retired Rear Admiral] Alison Amaechina Madueke, and I can tell you the former minister is not dead.”
Also, her Lagos- based lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe who had earlier told Saharareporters that a family meeting was going on about her later called to say she is alive.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke has been in the UK receiving treatment for cancer since former President Goodluck Jonathan left office in May 2015. In October she was arrested by agents of the National Crime Agency in the UK accused of money laundering.
SaharaReporters was first to report exclusively that Mrs. Alison-Madueke, a graduate of architecture at Washington, DC-based Howard University, was stricken with cancer. She had denied our report, only for her family lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe, to admit two months ago that she was being treated for cancer.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke hailed from Bayelsa State and worked for Shell Petroleum prior to her appointment to the cabinet of former President Umaru Yar’Adua. At Mr. Yar’Adua’s death in 2010, President Jonathan appointed Mrs. Alison-Madueke to the Petroleum Ministry. She was widely regarded as the most powerful member of Mr. Jonathan’s cabinet.
Her tenure was marked by numerous questionable deals, including controversies over billions of dollars of oil revenues that were reportedly not deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In recent interviews with a Nigerian publisher, Dele Momodu, the former Petroleum Minister denied ever stealing Nigeria’s funds.