Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former minister of petroleum resources, has appeared at the Westminster Magistrates court in the UK over an alleged £100,000 bribe.
Michael Snow, the district judge, granted Alison-Madueke a £70,000 bail.
Snow however imposed other terms on Alison-Madueke including an 11 pm to 6 am curfew, an electronic tag to be worn at all times and a 70,000-pound surety to be paid before she could leave the court building.
Her next court appearance will be at Southwark Crown Court, which deals with serious criminal cases, on October 30.
A source told TheCable that the ex-minister was charged alongside her brother and Timbo Ayinde, an oil businessman.
During today’s proceedings, Alison-Madueke gave her name, date of birth and address.
She was not asked to formally enter a plea, although Mark Bowen, her lawyer, told the court that she would be pleading not guilty.
In August, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said they suspected Diezani had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts.
In a statement published on its website, NCA said Diezani “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,” the statement reads.
In March this year, the NCA also provided evidence to the US department of justice that enabled them to recover assets totalling USD $53.1 million linked to Diezan’s alleged corruption.
Andy Kelly, head of the NCA’s international corruption unit (ICU), said the “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,” Kelly added.
In October 2015, Diezani and four other persons were arrested in the UK over alleged bribery and money laundering offences.
A magistrate court in the UK granted Diezani bail but her passport was seized while she was asked to report at the Charing Cross police station.
Diezani was the minister of petroleum resources from 2010 to 2015 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Shortly before Jonathan handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, she left the country.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the former minister stole $2.5 billion from the Nigerian government while she was a minister.