A diplomatic passport obtained by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke, from a Caribbean nation, Commonwealth of Dominica, has shielded her from arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the International Police (Interpol).
THISDAY gathered that the office of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica had issued her a diplomatic passport following her appointment as Trade and investment Commissioner with effect from June 1, 2015.
“A diplomatic passport issued on May 21, 2015 , with an expiry date of May 20, 2020 came with the offer of the appointment,” a source close to an anti-graft investigation, told THISDAY.
With the diplomatic passport, she is immune to arrest by any law enforcement agency including the Interpol.
A source said the passport contained 32 pages and in one of the pages, a restraining statement against arrest was affirmed.
“The President of the Commonwealth of Dominica requests and requires in the Name of the Government of Dominica all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary,” the source said.
The number of the diplomatic passport is DP0000445.
In the appointment letter issued by Prime Minister Kerry, Diezani was assigned the task to “direct promotion and marketing of Dominica as a trade and investment domicile, as well as an emerging and unique tourist destination in the Caribbean.”
Continuing, Kerry said, “I envisage you playing an active role in the coordination of road shows and trade and investment expositions as well as providing facilitator services to businessmen interested in investing or doing business with the Caribbean region.
Dominica is ideally placed and equipped to serve as the perfect hub for such commercial activities in this region.”
The source close to EFCC investigation alleged that “Diezani is believed to be busy working for the Commonwealth of Dominica, strengthened by a diplomatic shield which no law enforcement agency around the world can ignore.
“Besides, her British citizenship is another protective hedge she has been using against repatriation to Nigeria to answer overwhelming charges of corruption against her.”
Diezani is awaiting trial for sundry allegations of corruption, including fraudulent ownership of 76 properties in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, valued at about N23 billion.
Besides, she has 14-count charge case against her bordering on stealing and concealment of $153million already preferred against her by the EFCC.
When contacted, a top official of the EFCC, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, confirmed the development.
He added that the commission would operate within the ambit of the law and ensure that Diezani is brought to justice. (Thisday)