After 8 years, the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (NCA) on Tuesday said that Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been charged with bribery offences.
Alison-Madueke has been on bail since first being arrested in London in October 2015.
The NCA said that she will appear in court in the British capital on October 2 this year.
Mrs Alison-Madueke, aged 63, who also served as president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was an influential figure in the Goodluck Jonathan's government between 2010 and 2015.
The NCA suspects she accepted bribes during her time as Minister for Petroleum Resources, in exchange for awarding multi-million pound oil and gas contracts.
She is alleged to have benefitted from at least £100,000 in cash, chauffeur driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.
Her charges also detail financial rewards including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods.
Mrs Alison-Madueke, who currently lives in St John’s Wood, London, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 2 October.
Andy Kelly, Head of the NCA’s International Corruption Unit (ICU), said: “We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million pound contracts.
“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation.
“Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat.”
Assets worth millions of pounds relating to the alleged offences have already been frozen as part of the ongoing investigation.
In March this year, the NCA also provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that enabled them to recover assets totalling USD$53.1m linked to Mrs Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption.
ICU officers have also worked closely with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria during the investigation, as well as the with the NCA-hosted International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre.
The IACCC brings together specialist anti-corruption investigators from agencies around the world to tackle allegations of corruption involving politically exposed people. It is currently working in 37 different jurisdictions.