Alleged bribery: “Please pray for me” – Diezani Allison-Madueke asks Nigerian for prayers

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, is currently facing a significant legal battle as allegations and charges of bribery and corruption have been brought against her by the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (NCA). In a recent court appearance at Southwark Crown Court, she, alongside co-accused individuals Doye Agame and Olatimbo Ayinde, participated in a Plea and Trial Preparation hearing. During this proceeding, her lawyer expressed her eagerness for the case to be heard and resolved, allowing her to move on with her life.

This high-profile case has garnered considerable attention, not only within legal circles but also among the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom. An acquaintance of the former minister, who had a conversation with her after the hearing, shared his perspective on the matter. He expressed empathy for her, acknowledging her previous position of influence and power, and revealed that she had requested prayers from him, saying, “I need prayers, please pray for me.”

Furthermore, the legal aspect of the case is under scrutiny, with a top lawyer who flew from Nigeria to represent his client, Benedict Peters, offering his insights. He asserted that the case against Allison-Madueke is weak and “won’t fly.” Another lawyer, Emeka Ozoani (SAN), who also attended the hearing, questioned the extensive length of time the NCA had spent investigating the case and suggested that they were attempting to justify their use of taxpayers’ money.

The case against Allison-Madueke revolves around allegations that she benefitted financially and otherwise from the awarding of multi-million pounds worth of oil and gas contracts during her tenure as a minister in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration between 2010 and 2015.

During the hearing, both the prosecution and defense presented their views on the expected duration of the trial. It was determined that the trial would likely last between seven to 10 weeks, commencing not earlier than November 2025. However, there was a shared desire to avoid a break during the Christmas season once the trial begins. When the crown prosecutor proposed possible trial dates, Judge Baumgartner suggested that January 19, 2026, might be more suitable for the case, thereby setting the stage for what promises to be a significant legal battle in the coming years.