The arrest in London yesterday of former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke may be assumed to be connected with President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts towards recovering stolen oil funds, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed yesterday night, acccording to a report in Daily Trust.
The presidential aide, however, noted that he had no direct information yet on the arrest of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Diezani, alongside four other people, was arrested in London Friday morning by the United Kingdom National Crimes Agency, for crimes related to bribery, corruption and money laundering.
Asked whether the former minister’s arrest had to do with Buhari’s moves to prosecute those who mismanaged oil funds, Shehu said: “It may be assumed that it has to do with the president’s efforts towards recovering stolen oil funds. If you read the president’s address in New York during the just-concluded United Nations General Assembly, he (Buhari) made a passionate appeal to the international community to assist Nigeria in recovering stolen money.”
Buhari had Monday while addressing world leaders at the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York called on the international community to urgently redouble its efforts to strengthen mechanisms for dismantling safe havens for proceeds of corruption.
President Buhari had also urged world leaders to do more to return stolen funds and assets to their countries of origin. He had also reaffirmed his government’s determination to frontally confront the twin evils of corruption and illicit financial outflows.
“Let me reaffirm the Nigerian government’s unwavering commitment to fight corruption and illicit financial flows. By any consideration, corruption and cross border financial crimes are impediments to development, economic growth, and the realization of the well-being of citizens across the globe.
Nigeria is ready and willing to partner with international agencies and individual countries on a bilateral basis to confront crimes and corruption.
“In particular, I call upon the global community to urgently redouble efforts towards strengthening the mechanisms for dismantling safe havens for proceeds of corruption and ensuring the return of stolen funds and assets to their countries of origin,” the president had appealed.
Buhari had also earlier on Sunday at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 70th General Assembly of the UN said the prosecution of those who misappropriated the revenue of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under past administrations would soon commence.
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