Dele Momodu has refuted the report making the rounds in social media since last week that former NNPC boss, Diezani Allison-Madueke, has been appointed commissioner and given a diplomatic passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
This was disclosed in his platform the boss Newspapers published on Sunday.
According to the report, the boss stated that the impeccable sources reveal that the fact of the matter was that well before she had a brush with the Nigerian government, based on her pedigree, she was offered these privileges but it had been suspended since October 2015!
Meanwhile, a Dominican news outlet DA Vibeshad in December 20, 2015, in debunking the report involving the former Minister shared a statement from the office of the nation’s Prime Minister dismissing claims that the former Petroleum Minister had been offered their citizenship.
The report reads:
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has denied allegations that a former Nigerian government minister was offered or encouraged to make Dominica her home and acquired Dominican citizenship as suggested in an article by Sahara Reporters.
The article published on 18 December 2015 on Saharareporters.com alleges that Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former minister of petroleum resources and immediate past president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), “is on the verge of leaving her present abode in the United Kingdom for the Commonwealth of Dominica where she has reportedly acquired the citizenship”.
According to the article, Madueke is currently under investigation in Britain for alleged corruption while in office and had “secretly acquired the citizenship of the small Caribbean country of only 72,000 people”.
In a press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on Sunday 20 December 2015, Prime Minister Skerrit explained that in May of this year, during a routine stop-over visit to London, he was introduced to Madueke and that these discussions took place well before any question of an investigation by the relevant authorities arose.
Mr Skerrit wrote that “the idea of relocating to Dominica was never discussed, far less agreed, in any discussions with or on behalf of Diezani Alison Madueke” but that the discussions “surrounded her continued residence in the United Kingdom and ability to travel to Africa in order assist Dominica”.
The Prime Minister’s statement on the report is as follows;
“The academic and professional credentials of Mrs. Madueke were impeccable. She had been a senior government minister since 2007, having served also as Minister of Transport and Minister of Mines and Steel Development. Additionally, she served as an Executive Official and Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria.
In my Budget Address to the people of Dominica two years ago, I outlined the intention and policy of my Government to recruit persons of experience, influence and integrity to serve and represent Dominica in various capacities abroad. As a small nation with very limited resources, we do not have the capacity to establish consular or other offices in many regions of the world. In this case, who better to speak for and on behalf of Dominica in parts of the African continent than a former President of OPEC and former Chairman of the West African Gas Pipeline Authority.
Also, it must be recalled here that Mrs. Madueke was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, having studied for her Bachelor’s degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and post-graduate studies at Cambridge University in the UK.
So, on the recommendation of a number of outstanding individuals of note, and after thorough due diligence studies were undertaken, the Government of Dominica agreed to the appointment of the former Nigerian Government Minister as Trade and Investment Commissioner for Dominica, with the specific remit of promoting and marketing the trade and investment opportunities of Dominica.
This was especially the case considering her obvious contacts following her stint as President of OPEC.
The issue of her relocating to Dominica was never raised in any of our discussions, because at the time Mrs. Madueke was to my knowledge in good standing in Nigeria and United Kingdom, having only just demitted office in Nigeria and established living arrangements in the United Kingdom.
The arrangement of Mrs. Madueke serving in an honorary capacity, with no direct remuneration from Dominica and Dominica facilitating her travels across Europe and Africa with the issuance of a diplomatic passport, was entirely in accordance with existing convention, protocol and practice, until the very recent and unexpected development of the investigations by UK and Nigerian authorities. This development was not foreseen nor anticipated by the due diligence undertaken on behalf of the Government, and could not have been and was not foreseen by me or the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
I should add that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs moved with dispatch to suspend all relations with Mrs. Madueke immediately following her arrest in October 2015, pending the outcome of the investigations. This suspension took place in the month of October. Our position is that the relationship with Mrs. Madueke and all that flows from this will remain completely suspended until such time as the probe into her conduct as a Minister of Government is concluded and a determination made by the relevant authorities.”