The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested Donald Chidi Amamgbo, said to be a cousin to a former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report.
Mr. Amamgbo, who is chief executive of Mezcor Oil and Gas limited, Tridax Oil and Gas Limited, Lynear Energy Limited and Bulk Strategic Reserved Limited, was arrested in Lagos at about 4.20 P.M Thursday.
Investigators told PREMIUM TIMES that evidence gathered so far suggested the oil mogul might have acted as front for Mrs Alison-Madueke, who granted him approval to lo lift Nigerian crude oil without any requisite experience.
“Through his companies, Amamgbo lifted crude oil and gas worth billions of dollars over a period of four years,” an official said.
“A search conducted in the office and premises of Mezcor Oil and Gas Limited at No. 5 Sannar street, Wuse 2, Abuja yielded documents which included payments for the purchase of houses and vehicles.”
Sources at the anti-graft agency said the investigation was continuing.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said, “I am told there is something like that but I don’t have the details.”
The former minister’s husband was earlier arrested and released on February 18 as part of the investigations into her stewardship at the oil industry.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke herself was arrested on October 2, 2015 in London by the UK National Crimes Agency for alleged overseas corruption and money laundering.
After former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became acting president, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was appointed Nigeria’s first female petroleum minister in February 2010, a position she held till May 29, 2015 when Mr. Jonathan left office.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s tenure as petroleum minister turned out one of Nigeria’s most controversial, amid unending allegations of corruption.
Under her watch, dubious oil marketers stole trillions of naira of oil subsidy money. She retained her position after the House of Representative investigated the scandal and indicted the minister.
Probes by independent audit firms, including the KPMG and Pricewaterahousecoopers, confirmed billions of dollars of oil money were missing, the most notable being $20 billion in 2014.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke also supervised a corrupt NNPC, which shady deals had been exposed by PREMIUM TIMES several investigations and confirmed by government and independent auditors.
Long before her stint in the oil and gas sector, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was investigated by the Nigerian Senate on allegation she paid N30.9 billion to contractors while she held office as transportation minister.
In 2009, the Senate also indicted Mrs. Alison-Madueke and recommended her for prosecution for allegedly transferring N1.2 billion into a private account of a toll company without due process.
Regardless of the mounting criticisms against her stewardship, Mrs. Alison-Maduke got elected in November 2014 as the first female president of oil cartel the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The former minister consistently denied any wrongdoing.
In June, after leaving office, she rejected all allegations of embezzlement, saying she never stole from Nigeria.