Nigeria’s President Mohammadu Buhari has reportedly rejected a refund of $250 million from immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Nigerian government in return for immunity from further investigation and possible prosecution.
A source and a ranking member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said the former minister has been reaching out to influential government and ruling party officials, in and outside Abuja, to prevail on President Buhari to accept her offer and let bygones be bygone.
According to Saharareporters.com sources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke had enlisted the support of several figures close to Mr. Buhari, including Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, to intercede with the incumbent president.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke was one of the closest ministers to former President Goodluck Jonathan, and is reputed to have anchored and facilitated numerous money-laundering scandals and deals that characterized the era of the just-ended Jonathan administration.
The former Petroleum Minister oversaw several oil swap deals, the disposition of oil wells handed over by Shell Petroleum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the direct looting of funds through the NNPC.
Former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was forced out of office after he revealed that the NNPC had failed to remit more than $20 billion in oil revenues with the CBN.
The former Petroleum Minister is the latest of several officials who served under Mr. Jonathan’s government that are currently negotiating “soft landing deals” with the Buhari administration.
The incumbent president, who was sworn in on May 29, 2015, has vowed to probe various questionable financial actions taken by his successor or officials of his government. Mr. Buhari is reportedly determined to recover billions of dollars in stolen funds.