Nigeria’s former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is currently under investigation in Britain for alleged corruption while in office, was granted Dominican citizenship earlier this year, including a diplomatic passport number DP0000445, apparently all within just one month of meeting Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.??Madueke’s new citizenship was confirmed in a May 29, 2015 approval letter by Skerrit. The letter also stated that the former minister had been appointed a trade and investment commissioner and was expected to help in promoting and marketing Dominica as a trade and investment domicile.? On October 2, the International Corruption Unit (ICU) of Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested Madueke and four others on suspicion of bribery and money laundering.?The NCA is reportedly conducting an extensive investigation into oil deals during Madueke’s term of office.?In a statement on Sunday, the government of Dominica denied that Madueke was offered or encouraged by Skerrit to make Dominica her home.?Skerrit explained that in May of this year, during a routine stop-over visit to London, Madueke was introduced to him as the immediate past minister of petroleum resources in Nigeria and also immediate past president of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. “These discussions however took place well before any question of an investigation by the relevant authorities arose,” the statement read.?The statement went on to say that, “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 Madueke as trade and investment commissioner for Dominica, with the specific remit of promoting and marketing the trade and investment opportunities of Dominica. The issue of a diplomatic passport was said to be entirely in accordance with existing convention, protocol and practice.?What was not explained, however, is the actual extent of the “thorough due diligence” said to have been undertaken between Skerrit’s meeting with Madueke in May and the grant of Dominican citizenship to her later the same month.?In the meantime, the ministry of foreign affairs in Dominica reportedly suspended all relations with Madueke immediately following her arrest in October 2015, pending the outcome of the investigations.
By Caribbean News Now contributor