Former Nigerian oil minister Diezani K. Alison-Madueke. Image courtesy of World Economic Forum/Flickr.

Former Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke was reportedly arrested in the UK on Friday in connection with an ongoing corruption probe in her home country.

A source close to Nigeria’s presidential circle told Reuters that Alison-Madueke was detained, although a London police spokesperson said there was no record of an arrest.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said on Friday it had arrested five people across London “as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offenses” that began in 2013 under the Proceeds of Corruption Unit.

“All five people arrested were released on conditional police bail later that evening, pending further investigation both in the UK and overseas,” the NCA said.

The agency has not yet released the names of those arrested.

Nigerian news outlets reported that Alison-Madueke was granted bail after being held for several hours.

Two security officials told Reuters a house in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja belonging to Alison-Madueke was sealed by a financial crimes unit. 

The arrest may be a part of an ongoing corruption probe targeting Nigeria’s oil sector.

Former Nigerian central banker Lamido Sanusi was fired early last year after raising concerns that Nigeria’s state owned oil company had failed to remit billions of dollars in oil revenues to the state between January 2012 and July 2013.

Representatives for Alison-Madueke declined to comment but the former oil minister has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Alison-Madueke served as oil minister from 2010 until May 2015 in the administration of president Goodluck Jonathan, who was ousted by voters in March in favor of Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari, who took office in May, said on Sunday that suspects who allegedly misappropriated revenue from the state’s oil company during past administrators will face prosecution soon, Reuters noted.

Buhari promised voters he would root out corruption in Nigeria, an OPEC member whose coffers are being squeezed by low global oil prices.


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