The immediate past minister of petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani Alison- Madueke has denied the ownership of the $18 million residential mansion at Asokoro area of Abuja, with its reported furnishings of two million dollars and a bullet-proof gym, which the Al Jazeera Television claimed, in a recent broadcast, to be owned by her.
Claiming that the information being peddled by the Qatar-based television station lacks any modicum of truth, Mrs Alison-Madueke has also denied stealing any public money, as was also alleged by Al Jazeera TV to facilitate the procurement of any such phantom property or for any other matter, whatsoever.
These rebuttals were made on behalf of the former minister who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer in the United Kingdom, by her counsel, Dr. Chike Amobi, who wondered why a respected media organisation of the calibre of Al Jazeera could not conduct further investigations to ascertain the ownership of the property which it purportedly claimed was owned by the former minister.
According to Dr Amobi, rather than steal any money, “the honourable minister, our client, did her utmost best to protect the interests of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, adding that “ however, in their haste to achieve high ratings from publishing sensational stories, the producers of the Al Jazeera programme had mischievously neglected to conduct a cursory investigation of the readily available property records, which would have revealed the names and identities of the true owners of the property”.
As soon as the Al Jazeera story on the alleged expensive home of the former minister, which it indicated the EFCC had also impounded alongside her expensive jewellery, purportedly valued at about two million dollars, there was a rebuttal which was widely used in the social media, but which was given credence by the respected Vanguard Online of June 14, 2016, attempting to explain off the fact that it was not out of place for the former minister, who had attained great stature in the society and in the industry to afford the reported jewellery, which the Al Jazeera had advertised that she had acquired with fraudulently obtained resources.
However, Mrs Alison Madueke’s lawyer has equally repudiated the so-called reaction which was attributed to the embattled former minister, saying that the so-called reaction could not have originated from Mrs Alison-Madueke, even if only for the pedestrian language and syntax employed in the so-called reaction. “Anyone who knows or has spent time with our client would readily attest to the fact that she neither thinks nor speaks in that manner”, the former minister’s lawyer said. He stressed further that, “we therefore, find it disturbingly worrisome that someone would take the time to publish these seemingly favourable statements and attribute them to our client”, without obtaining her consent, nor her “imprimatur on the statements”.
Mrs Alison-Madueke stridently condemned what she described as the irresponsible journalism of Al Jazeera for broadcasting what her lawyer said were verifiably false statements against his client as much as she distanced herself from and disclaimed the ‘reactions’ that were attributed to her.