Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke is seeking prayers over a case of alleged multi-million pounds bribery and corruption instituted against her by the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (NCA).
Allison-Madueke, together with Doye Agame and Olatimbo Ayinde, appeared before a Southwark Crown Court judge on Monday.
According to her lawyer, the former minister was “anxious for the case to be heard,” and then move on with her life.
After the hearing on the fifth floor courtroom, a prominent member of the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom, who is an acquaintance of the former minister, spoke with TheGuardian after having a conversation with her.
“I feel sorry for her. Here’s a powerful woman who will say come and you come. She told me ‘I need prayers’ and to ‘please pray for me,” he said.
Meanwhile, a top lawyer who flew over from Nigeria to represent his client, Benedict Peters, said that “the case is weak,” and won’t probably send the former minister and others down.
Speaking in front of the court, Emeka Ozoani (SAN), argued that, “they (1NCA) have spent five to six years investigating the case and are trying to justify what they’ve done with taxpayers money.”
“l came to represent one of those linked to the case,” he added.
Asked if he flew from Nigeria just for the hearing. He replied: “Yes. I came because of my client.”
Allison-Madueke, who’s next due in court in February next year, is alleged by the NCA to have benefitted in cash and kind for the awards of multi-million pounds worth of oil and gas contracts while serving in former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration between 2010 and 2015.
During Monday’s hearing, both sides of the bench argued that the trial was expected to last between seven to 10 weeks; beginning not earlier than November 2025.
However, they reasoned that they wouldn’t want the Christmas break to halt the proceedings when the trial eventually begins.
When the crown prosecutor told the judge that it’s either “January 19, 2026,” and that “November 3, 2025, is the second date that the court can accommodate the case,” judge Baumgartner said: “l think January 19, 2026, will be more suited to the case.”