Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, appeared before Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London, United Kingdom on Monday morning, October 2, over charges of bribery.
Reuters reports that the former minister was charged with receiving bribes in the form of cash, luxury goods, flights on private jets and the use of high-end properties in Britain in return for awarding oil contracts.
Alison-Madueke was arrested in London in 2015, shortly after the expiration of her office, and was charged in August with six bribery offences. She has spent the past eight years on police bail, living in St John’s Wood, an expensive area of London.
Appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, she spoke only to give her name, date of birth and address. She was not asked to formally enter a plea, although her lawyer Mark Bowen told the court she would be pleading not guilty.
According to Reuters, the charges against her, read out in court, all related to events alleged to have taken place in London during her time as a Nigerian minister.
Prosecutor Andy Young said she was alleged to have accepted a wide range of benefits in cash and in kind from people who wanted to receive or continue to receive the award of oil contracts which he said were worth billions of dollars in total.
The advantages included a delivery of £100,000 ($121,620) in cash, the payment of private school fees for her son, and the use and refurbishment of several luxurious properties in London and in the English countryside.
They also included the use of a Range Rover car, payment of bills for chauffeur-driven cars, furniture, and purchases from the upmarket London department store Harrods and from Vincenzo Caffarella, which sells Italian decorative arts and antiques.
District Judge Michael Snow granted Alison-Madueke bail but imposed terms including an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, an electronic tag to be worn at all times and a 70,000-pound surety to be paid before she could leave the court building.
Her next court appearance will be at Southwark Crown Court, which deals with serious criminal cases, on Oct. 30.