British police said on Tuesday they had charged former Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke with bribery offences, saying they suspected she had accepted bribes in return for awarding multi-million-pound oil and gas contracts, reports Reuters.
Alison-Madueke, 63, was a key figure in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, serving as petroleum minister from 2010 to 2015.
She also acted as president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million-pound contracts,” said Andy Kelly, Head of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) International Corruption Unit.
“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation.”
The NCA said Alison-Madueke was accused of benefitting from at least 100,000 pounds in cash, chauffeur driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.
Charges against her 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 NCA said.
Since she left office she has been dogged by corruption allegations but denies the charges.
British police said she was currently living in St John’s Wood, an upmarket area of west London, and would appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on October 2.