Knowing how volatile and difficult it is to hold an executive position in the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is very surprising that a woman could hold three different top spots in the country’s governance since 2007. The woman in contention is described as one of the two most powerful women in Nigeria alongside fellow colleague, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. The powers bestowed on these women by President Goodluck Jonathan are so enormous that many thought both of them are jointly holding the position of the vice president of Nigeria. Anyway, maybe any dicey relationship is going on between the duo and the president, your guess is as good as mine. This report, however, is not dueling on that, but to reveal the dirty secrets of Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke who is always trailed with one controversy or another.
In September 2008, there was an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap Mrs. Allison-Madueke by those who were not happy with her style of administration at her house in Abuja. To compensate her for such unexpected attack on her person and the trauma she may have gone through from the hands of her abductors, the federal government appointed her the minister for Mines and Steel Development on 23rd of December 2008. Diezani on October 2009 fell prey to the dreaded watchful eyes of the senate which indicted her and recommended her for prosecution for alleged transfer of N1.2 billion into the private account of a toll company without due process and in breach of concession agreement. However, due to the powerful connection of Diezani with the top echelons of government, the allegations have not been proven till date and the minister has maintained her seeming innocence.
One step wrongly taken by the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan after taking over power in February 2010 was his resolve to appoint Madueke as the Minister for Petroleum Resources after dissolving his cabinet on March 17, 2010. Nigerians were of the opinion that there must be something hidden between Diezani and the president for him to have found her worthy of being part of his cabinet. The arrogant iron lady was sworn in on April 6, 2010. After emerging as the minister of one of Nigeria’s most sensitive ministries, Madueke introduced a very controversial policy aimed at removing subsidies on petrol. This move caused a heated argument between the federal government and Nigerians. Not minding the brouhaha in the country, Diezani vehemently supported the discontinuation of the subsidy on the grounds that it “poses a huge financial burden on the government, disproportionately benefits the wealthy, and encourages inefficiency, corruption and diversion of scarce public resources away from investment in critical infrastructure”.
Enmeshed in many other controversies which did not befit the calibre of Madueke’s status, Nigerians expected her to be booted out by the president during his cabinet reshuffle on September, 2013. However, it was a big surprise when Jonathan decided to leave untouched the trio of Diezani Alison Madueke, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and equally controversial Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
Mrs. Allison-Madueke fraudulently escaped the wrath of the law when she was interrogated on an allegation of a shady deal of a whopping N9 trillion oil deal in May 2013. The House of Representatives mandated an ad-hoc committee to investigate the petroleum minister over the deal. The house was told that in perpetrating the deal, there was a deliberate exclusion of indigenous operators from exercising their rights of first refusal in transactions that led to the carving out of oil blocks. With this revelation, Nigerians should know that Diezani Allison-Madueke is a big time player in the hardship being meted on them as far as fuel scarcity is concerned.
The Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke unequivocally and categorically admitted before the Senate Committee on Finance that she spent a whopping sum of N3.5 billion on kerosene subsidy without appropriation. This is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
You cannot spend government money without appropriation by the National Assembly. Extra budgetary expenditure is an offence under the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. The President and Commander in Chief, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has maintained a studied silence since this startling revelation was made.
Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke is from Bayelsa State. President Jonathan is also from Bayelsa State. The NNPC under the watch of President Jonathan and Mrs. Allison Madueke has become a cesspool of graft and corruption. There cannot be two standards for dealing with erring public officials. If Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was fired for alleged financial impropriety , why has President Jonathan not fired Mrs. Allison Madueke? Why has the president not fired the top management of the NNPC that illegally failed to remit the sum of $20 billion realised from the sale of crude oil to the federation?
Recently after he was suspended and disgraced from office, former CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi claimed that the money stolen from NNPC was used to maintain flamboyant lifestyle. According to Sanusi, the so-called kerosene subsidy money spent by the Federal Government in fact pays for “private jets…yachts… and expensive property (of some public office holders) in Beverly Hills (United States) and Switzerland.” Though he didn’t mention names, anybody who can read between the lines knows that he is referring to the crooked oil baroness Dieziani Madueke who has been enmeshed from one scandal to another to the extent that her children move around in private jets.
As at now, Mrs. Madueke is running from pillar to post to salvage her image and using all her contacts with Aso Rock to stall the probe of the controversial kerosene subsidy by the House of Representatives and probably to stall her going to jail because of the scam under her watch as the petroleum minister.