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Diezani Alison-Madueke Seeks Leniency Amidst Legal Proceedings

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In a surprising turn of events, Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Nigerian Petroleum Minister and ex-president of OPEC, has publicly appealed to the Bola Tinubu-led government for leniency regarding alleged financial misconduct during her tenure. Currently residing in the UK, Alison-Madueke made this plea in a press statement following a medical visit.

Acknowledging her past mistakes, Alison-Madueke expressed her willingness to return home and face accountability. Her statement, filled with contrition, read, “Yes, no one is flawless. Sometimes, God Almighty permits such occurrences. I’ve been accused of financial misconduct during my tenure as the Petroleum Minister, and it’s true. However, I would like President Bola Tinubu and Nigerians to forgive me, allow me to return home, and contribute because life is transient.”

Beyond a mere plea for leniency, Alison-Madueke pledged to cooperate fully upon her return, stating, “I am ready to return and confess everything, including specific information about the funds entrusted to Dauda Lawal Dare, the current governor of Zamfara State.” She brought to light her past association with Governor Dare, alleging she entrusted him with over $9 billion during his role as Executive Director of First Bank Nigeria PLC.

While currently facing legal proceedings in the UK over separate bribery allegations, Alison-Madueke’s plea adds a new dimension to her case. The Westminster Magistrates Court in London has adjourned a hearing involving her alleged acceptance of a £100,000 bribe, and the UK’s National Crime Agency is actively investigating suspicions of multi-million-pound bribery for oil and gas contracts.

In parallel, the Nigerian government is aggressively pursuing her extradition. The Attorney-General of the Federation has submitted a warrant of arrest and extradition request to UK authorities, while the EFCC is keen on bringing her back to face 13 counts of money laundering charges. Alison-Madueke’s unexpected appeal not only underscores her acknowledgement of wrongdoing but also raises questions about potential revelations upon her return, adding complexity to an already intricate legal saga.

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