Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has declared that the corruption accusation levelled against her by the current Federal Government is malicious and out to victimize her.
The former Minister made the assertion in a statement while reacting to a documentary by Al Jazeera, in which it was alleged that her piece of property in Abuja worth $18m and her jewelry worth $2m were seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as proceeds of alleged corruption.
The statement said, “My attention has been drawn to a report by Al Jazeera, which was released on Monday as a testimony to the effectiveness of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its war against corruption.
“This will not be the first time calculated attempts have been made to demonise and damage my reputation in the public space. Many times, my detractors have gotten away with these irresponsible smear campaigns because they have become accustomed to my characteristic approach of silence in the face of these callous attacks.
“The latest in the string of propaganda attacks launched against my person since I left government as Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister is this Al Jazeera report, which without any court conviction anywhere in the world attempts to dress Diezani Alison Madueke in the garb of a common criminal. This, to say the least, is the height of journalistic brigandage and a sheer mockery of Nigeria’s anti-corruption war before the eyes of the world who are watching and asking if the war against corruption is a circus show where suspects are prosecuted and sentenced on the pages of newspapers and video blogs without anything as remotely in the semblance of a trial in the courts of law.
“When did it become a crime to own a property in Nigeria? When did it become a crime for a woman of my status to have in her possession, jewelry? Jewelry, which women all across the world, including the woman selling tomatoes in Bodija market have in abundance in their closets? In which court of law, anywhere in the world was I prosecuted by the EFCC and found guilty of corruption?
“Coming at such a critical time in my life when I am battling cancer, this poorly executed propaganda bares on its face like tribal marks, a clearly malicious attempt to victimize an innocent woman in what appears an exaggerated plot to validate and give credibility to the anti-corruption crusade under Nigeria’s new regime. People who are battling cancer or those who have lost their loved ones to this medical condition understand what I am going through at this time. This is what makes me ponder at the cold-heartedness of those who will go any length to defame and destroy in the name of propaganda. What happened to our shared humanity?”
The former Minister further explained that she had absolute regard for the law and believed that people who had breached the laws that govern societies should be made to face the wrath of the law.
Noting that a civilized society owes its citizens absolute commitment to the principles of rule of law, equity, fairness and justice, she said, “I have been wrongfully and maliciously maligned and those behind this reckless action know it.
“I leave them to posterity, their conscience and above all the Almighty God who is the final judge of all.”
“With all sense of modesty, I say this only for posterity and for the records. I have strived within my means and the blessings of God to live a decent and accomplished life,” she added.