Ex-Minister Has Cancer, Pray For Her Recovery, Alison-Madueke’s Family Urges Nigerians

Diezani Alison-Madueke

Embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is being probed by the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) for alleged money laundering and corruption-related offences, has cancer and has been receiving treatment in London, her family has revealed.

In a statement released Thursday on behalf of her family, Oscar Onwudiwe, a lawyer, said the former minister was in London to receive treatment for cancer that began to manifest while she was in office.

Although Onwudiwe did not say what form of cancer Mrs. Alison-Madueke was diagnosed with, he added, “The health crisis has unfortunately exacerbated in recent times”.

He disclosed that she only just completed months of chemotherapy last week and is scheduled to undergo surgery next week in London.

Sounding confident of the former minister’s innocence of all the allegations leveled against her, the lawyer called on Nigerians to pray for Alison-Madueke’s recovery so she can respond to the allegations of corruption and bribery.

“The family has been bearing this challenge with prayers and as much grace and fortitude as possible; and would plead with all reasonable Nigerians to pray for her recovery so that she can face this allegation and give account of her stewardship. Yes, she can- and very well, too”.

The statement also claimed that contrary to reports in the media, the ex-minister merely honoured an invitation by the NCA and that she was neither arrested nor her passport seized.

We reported yesterday that Alison-Madueke’s passport was seized and she had been barred from leaving the UK until April 2016 when she would be formally charged.

The statement further denied reports that she was being investigated for trying to buy a property in posh Hyde Park Street, London.

“As though to outdo the sensational allegations in the online publication, the mainstream media in Nigeria has been alleging that Mrs. Diezani attempted to purchase a property on Hyde Park Street in London for a whooping amount which embarrassingly ranges from 12.5 million sterling pounds to 13 billion sterling pounds. This claim is utterly false and laughable, for the amounts mentioned are only in the imagination of the reporters.

“This property is quite popular. It belongs to a well-known eminently successful Nigerian entrepreneur who would also find this allegation embarrassing as the intention to sell the property has neither been contemplated nor disclosed to any person”.

Also denied were reports that Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s mother, Mrs. Agama, as well as her stepson, Ogonna Madueke, own houses in the UK and the United States.

The statement said the family would deal appropriately with those it claimed are bent on tarnishing its name.

“The Madueke family has taken a decision on how to appropriately deal with those who are on a mission to soil their hard earned family name”.