Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister for petroleum resources, appeared in a London court to face bribery charges on Monday.
Diezani spoke only to give her name, date of birth and address at Westminster Magistrates Court while her lawyer, Mark Bowen told the court she would be pleading not guilty, reports Reuters.
Alison-Madueke, 63, who was a key figure in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, serving as petroleum minister from 2010 to 2015, is accused of receiving bribes in the form of cash, luxury goods, flights on private jets and the use of high-end properties in Britain in return for awarding oil contracts.
“We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million-pound contracts,” said Andy Kelly, Head of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) International Corruption Unit.
“These charges are a milestone in what has been a thorough and complex international investigation.”
The NCA said Alison-Madueke was accused of benefitting from at least 100,000 pounds in cash, chauffeur driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.
”Charges against her also detail financial rewards including furniture, renovation work and staff for the properties, payment of private school fees, and gifts from high-end designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods”, the NCA said.
District Judge Michael Snow granted Diezani bail. The former minister is to produce a surety who would pay 70,000 pounds. She is also to wear an electronic tag at all times. The judge also imposed an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
Diezani’s next court appearance will be at Southwark Crown Court, which deals with serious criminal cases, on October 30.