…… Family confirms Cancer treatments in the UK
The family of the embattled former minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke have accused the media of falsely leading a war against Madueke over her arrest by the UK anti-corruption agency over allegations of corruption and money laundering.
She has however denied allegations of money laundering and bribery levelled against her.
She was invited along with four others by the United Kingdom’s National Crimes Agency (NCA) last Friday but she denied being questioned over allegations of fraud. Besides, her international passport was not seized, it was claimed.
A statement yesterday on behalf of Diezani Alison-Madueke’s marital and paternal families, the Madueke and Agama families, by Barr. Oscar Onwudiwe, their private attorney, the family claimed that there were a lot of inaccuracies in the media reports of Diezani’s travails and blamed the media for what it described as “obsession with defaming highly placed people”
The statement accused the media of choosing to engage in “a frenzy” rather than contact the family for its reaction.
The statement said: “The Madueke family is appalled at the ongoing media frenzy against Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke following an invitation to her by the British authorities last Friday for reasons which have yet to be disclosed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the family would like to state categorically that it has no issues with any persons from the family being invited anywhere in the world to answer questions about their private or official conduct.The Madueke family believes in law and order, honour and due process. It is a deliberate and vicious campaign to demonise members of the Madueke family, with all manner of frivolous allegations”
The statement said: “It is worth emphasising that Mrs Alison-Madueke was never arrested or detained and her passport was never seized. She was merely invited, and she honoured it promptly. The Madueke family, like most other families, have their own challenges. For instance, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been receiving treatment for cancer in the UK which started while she was in office.
“The health crisis has unfortunately exacerbated in recent times. She completed months of chemotherapy just last week and she is scheduled to undergo surgery next week in London.The family has been bearing this challenge with prayers and as much grace and fortitude as possible; and would plead with all reasonable Nigerians to pray for her recovery so that she can face this allegation and give account of her stewardship. Yes, she can—and very well, too.
“The Madueke and Agama families would want the decent public to know that neither Ugonna nor Somze or Abiye or anyone related to the two families was picked up or arrested or invited for questioning by anybody whatsoever. Ugonna’s father (the Rear Admiral) has been in Lagos and working in his office.The lies about his having travelled with a team of lawyers should please stop. The Madueke family has taken a decision on how to appropriately deal with those who are on a mission to soil their hard earned family name.”
On the ex-minister’s mother, the statement said: “Mrs. Beatrice Agama, the 81-year old mother of Mrs. Diezani Madueke, owns a house in the United Kingdom. A LIE! Mrs. Agama has no house or property in the United Kingdom.She has been staying in a rented two-bedroom flat from where she is receiving medical attention for a broken femur”
The family said “it is clear that there is a deliberate and vicious campaign to demonise members of the Madueke family with all manner of frivolous allegations”, claiming that an online news media report that Mr. Ugonna Madueke “owns at least three posh properties in the United States with stated addresses was an apparent falsehood.” It maintained that Ugonna Madueke has no property anywhere in the United States and has never owned one.
It said, “The USA is a country which runs on transparency, accountability and technology. A little honest effort by the online news media would have provided in a few minutes the true ownership of the properties at issue. For historical accuracy, the Madueke family avers without any fear of contradiction that 11711 Scooter Lane (a three-bedroom town house) in Fairfax, Virginia, was acquired by the Madueke family in 1997 when Ugonna was only 10 years old.
“Ugonna’s siblings lived in this property while attending George Mason University in Virginia, USA. Records available to the appropriate authorities in the United States can also show that 13116 Silver Maple Court in Bowie, Maryland, USA belongs to an uncle of the Madueke siblings and was purchased in 1995 when Ugonna was only 8 years old. As a student of the University of Maryland in 2002, Ugonna stayed with his uncle at the said address. All of these were before Mrs. Diezani was appointed to government office. No Madueke or a distant relation has anything to do with the ownership of No. 4227 Summit Manor Court in Virginia.”