10 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Embattled former minister of petroleum, Ms. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been confirmed to have cancer by the family’s lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe.
The former minister, who has been embroiled in series of corruption allegations in the United
Kingdom, was also recently arrested by the National Crime Agency in London.
The family, in a statement released to debunk a rash of publications about her and the family, following her arrest in the United Kingdom last week, disclosed that Diezani “has been receiving treatment for cancer in the UK which started while she was in office.”
It noted that, “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 lawyer denied reports that Diezani attempted to buy a “property on Hyde Park Street in London for a whooping amount which embarrassingly ranges from 12.5 million sterling pounds to 13 billion sterling pounds.”
He said, “This claim is utterly false and laughable, for the amounts mentioned are only in the imagination of the reporters. This property is quite popular. It belongs to a well-known eminently successful Nigerian entrepreneur who would also find this allegation embarrassing as the intention to sell the property has neither been contemplated nor disclosed to any person.”
Onwudiwe also denied reports that Ugonna, Diezani’s son, owns property in the United States, saying, “However, it is clear that here is a deliberate and vicious campaign to demonise members of the Madueke family, with all manner of frivolous allegations.
“For example, an online news media gleefully published that Mr. Ugonna Madueke ‘owns at least three properties in the United States.’ It even called the properties ‘POSH’ and went on to state the addresses. They lied.”
He added, “Mr. Ugonna Madueke has no property anywhere in the United States and has never owned one.
“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.”