Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has denied allegations levelled against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, daring the anti-graft agency to provide incontrovertible any evidence against her.
She also faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption fight, saying it was aimed at demonising and destroying a few Nigerians.
The former minister said this in a viral statement on a blog, while reacting to several media reports about her on Saturday.
A Federal High Court in Lagos had recently ordered that the $153m which was illegally lodged by the ex-minister through cronies in three banks be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
However, Diezani denied ownership of the money, insisting that she had no access to funds from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
She said, “I wish to state that I cannot forfeit what was never mine. I do not know the basis on which the EFCC has chosen to say that I am the owner of these funds as no evidence was provided against me before the order was obtained and they have not in fact served me with the order or any evidence since they obtained it. As of the time of my writing this rebuttal (January 19, 2017), the EFCC has still not furnished me or my lawyers with a copy of the order.”
In a terse text message on Saturday night, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, however, challenged the former minister to come back to Nigeria if she believed she had done nothing wrong.
“She (Diezani) should return to the country and clear her name,” Uwujaren said without making further comments.
In her statement, Diezani also denied ownership of an $18m (N5.7bn) mansion located on Margaret Thatcher Close, Asokoro, Abuja, which was seized by the EFCC in June.