How Alison-Madueke intimidated me to drop reports about her alleged corruption – Columbia Professor, Anya Schiffrin

Photo credit: Haber
Photo credit: Haber

When an American journalist and author, Anya Schiffrin, was working on her book, Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism From Around the World, she thought it was expedient for her to exclude from it an investigative series from Nigeria on alleged corrupt practices of the then petroleum minister in the country, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The book, published in 2014, showcases the outstanding works of investigative journalists in different parts of the world. The series on Mrs. Alison-Madueke was published in 2011 by the rested NEXT newspaper. They were republished last year on PREMIUM TIMES, with permission from NEXT.

Today, Mrs. Schiffrin, who is also a journalism professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, expresses regret for her decision on Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who remains one of the most controversial public officers in Nigeria, since she left office more than a year ago.

Mrs. Schiffrin, 54, said she took the decision because the then minister threatened her with a lawsuit.

“(We) got a series by a terrific, highly respected Nigerian journalist named Musikilu Mojeed saying that a government official, Alison-Madueke, was corrupt,” Mrs. Schiffrin said in an interview with Guernica magazine, last year.

“I Googled (Madueke) and found an article by a British journalist saying that she was working to clean up corruption. So I contacted him and asked, ‘Do you realize that this extremely well-respected Nigerian journalist said (Madueke) is corrupt?’ The British journalist was not at all defensive and said, ‘I’ll get back to you.’

Diezani Alison-Madueke
Diezani Alison-Madueke

“In the meantime, I began asking people I knew in Nigeria. I started getting these very guarded and cryptic emails and messages. I think no one wanted to commit themselves in writing, but they said things like, ‘(Mojeed) is really reliable.’ They didn’t say, ‘That woman is corrupt,’ but rather, ‘The newspaper is reliable.’

“Someone I knew also contacted Madueke’s office. But the next thing that happens is I get a letter from her lawyer (asking not to publish these stories) because they are libelous. Meanwhile, the British journalist got back to me and said he did not stand by his original story anymore.

Mrs. Schiffrin said by the time they had a rethink and decided to include the series on Mrs. Alison-Madueke, there wasn’t any more space in the book. It was a tough call for her, she said.

“Once I got the lawyer’s letter, of course, I regretted the decision not to include the series even more,” she said.

Mr. Mojeed, who is currently PREMIUM TIMES’ Editor-in-Chief, was working with NEXT then, and co-authored the series on Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

The series portrayed Mrs. Alison-Madueke as corruptly enriching herself and her cronies through suspicious, and sometimes secret, multi-million dollars oil deals at the country’s expense.

In one of the reports, the then minister was alleged to have violated Nigerian laws and regulations, and awarded multi-million dollars oil-lifting contracts to ‘briefcase companies’ owned by her U.S-based jeweller, Christopher Aire.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke was arrested late last year in London by the UK National Crimes Agency for offences related to bribery and corruption, but was later released on bail, alongside four other persons arrested with her.

Back home in Nigeria, the former minister has been under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


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  • DD

    She’s a coward. Didn’t she have her own lawyers? Moreover, her report was going to be based on what Premium Times/Next had already written, and her liability would have been limited.

    • absam777

      I agree with you. I hope she has learnt her lesson and henceforth teach her student to always follow the odour of corruption and not a lawyer’s treat.

    • Rayford

      Premium Times Editor,

      Musikilu Mojeed is 2nd to none

      Without a doubt Musikilu Mojeed is the best investigative Nigerian journalist in the 21st century.

      He is too serious-minded to be doubted on the facts he presents with perfect fidelity to the truth.

      • Burning Spear

        The Ape was sponsored to write those silly stories—where is his news media today————-dead————–so will Premium times –currently being sponsored by the CIA ati the Apes in APC also go—ONE DAY SOMEDAY

        • Höly Wähala

          What would you do if Premium Times were to go out of existence? Drunkard.

  • Dominic Stella

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    Price:#200,000 – N1,500,000

  • vagabonds in power

    99.9 percent of the stories published by NEXT were found to be false—————sponsored by Tinubu and his Yoruba ati Fulani cohorts to pull the Ijaw Nation down————–Mrs Madueke is not he first Ijaw Oil Minister——————David West was the first and ended up in prison–as the only oil Minister to go to jail—-But Rilwanu Lukman who owns oil wells in Akwa Ibom and an oil rig never smelled prison because of his Fulani tribal marks——————————–Jubril Aminu also a Fulani-was never investigated by an sane Nigerian Journalist—————Today he is a free man in his Adamawa state——–In spite of him distributing oilblocks to Fulani emirs scattered all over the North——as if the oil wells were water sachets—————- —————–But Ijaw woman Mrs Madueke was not freed to enjoy the oil revenue from her oil producing community in Bayelsa state———— where oil was first discovered in 1956——————Separation is the only way out-of the mess we are faced with in Nigeria—————————Not the rule of the Fulanis –Yorubas and their Ibo surrogates———sponsring fake storeis against——the Ijaw Nation——–She should have published the story if she was sure of her facts————————–animals

    • Okokondem

      You deserve everything you are getting. You didn’t forsee this in 1967/1968 when you and your ancestors sold their souls, for no other reason order than to sabotage the IGBOS, by forming alliance with the same group of people you constantly vilify today. I said this to you before and I say it again, you will not get sympathy from me, nor should you from any right-thinking Igbo person. So, wallow in your self created misery at your own time and place and stop beclouding every issue and every topic of discussion with the same tired self pity.

    • EFE

      And who are the animals ? Since you claimed that Lukman shared oil wells,how many did you manage to acquire from your beloved sister ? A word is enough… Are you wise ?

  • Burning Spear

    99% OF THE OIL WELLS IN THE CREEK OF THE NIGER DELTA IS OWNED BY THE MOST CORRUPT PEOPLE IN NIGERIA CORE NORTH.

    MUHAMMADU BUHARI ,TY DANJUMA,ABACHA FAMILY,SANNI BELLO ,ATIKU,ABDULSALAMI ABUBAKAR ,ALHAJI SALEH GAMBO,ALHAJI DANTATA, LAMIDO SANUSI,ALHAJI FOLAWIYO ,ADO BAYERO,YARADUA FAMILY,RILWANU LUKMAN ALHAJI MOHAMMED INDIMI AND THE OBASANJO.

    SEE THE INJUSTICE IN THIS GEOGRAPHICAL SPACE CALLED NIGERIA .

    OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned by General Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exports about 300,000 barrels of crude daily.

    NOML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999.

    Sanni Bello is an inlaw to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria.

    ,OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.

    • Rommel

      Why did Diezani not revoke the oil wells when she and president Jonathan had the power to do that? are you aware that records show that 57% of all the income that Nigeria has earned from crude oil ever since its discovery in Nigeria occurred under president Jonathan? with this alone,those tales by moonlight you people have been spreading will not stand anymore,it is shocking to keep hearing such nonsense which signifies that you know next to nothing about the oil industry

      • Burning Spear

        As fo u—————–u need a Native doctor to re-wash yr head with herbs———————Can u revoke the oilblock licence of danjuma–which he has already sold to the Chinese—————–Monkey–Can u revoke the ooil BLOCK LICENCE IBB gifted Madam Alakija—————-Is she still operating the oil wells—sold off since the era of IBB–made her billions quietly————————————-Monkey

        • EFE

          Why the broken post really ? Make some sense please. Or keep your peace.

      • EFE

        Well penned Sir.

  • Mufu Ola

    That American journalist is chicken hearted.Why the “regret” now?

  • George

    These people has started importing Ashawo from foreign land as they did under ABACHA God never sleep.

    Now that Buhari is fighting with his kitchen wife its time to bring those Ashawo to him hence this uncharitable lady lying shamelessly here about non-existed corruption.

    • jeepee

      I hope, u read wot u posted, shame on u…

      • George

        What I posted was best answer for that foreign ashawooooooooooooo looking where to hock up with a president with kitchen wife.

    • SteveOMarcus

      Your miserable life is a pointer to the damage corruption has wrought upon you. No wonder you can not reason like other normal Nigerians.

      • George

        Keep on crying on behalf of your half dead presido ok animals

    • Cincinnatus

      No matter how much feces you fling out of your mouth, Nigerians won’t believe you, primarily because of your lack of grace and class. Just go away and collect your money for spreading your employer’s mental disorder.

      • George

        yOU ARE just as callous as your mumu half dead buhari who think corruptions is about news papers stories.

        It shall never be well with your tribe. Animals

  • Rommel

    Now she knows and I hope understand how Nigeria functions

  • Cincinnatus

    The woman and Patience Jonathan need to be bagged properly. They really destroyed Nigeria’s chance to start building something. Just strip them and their cronies of their wealth and send them home with coins. But our president may be losing his spine to act. Over 60% of 180 million can’t afford $2 a day; and put in mind that your bus conductors and drivers are not below the poverty line. If you ask me, we should have started killing people by now but democracy, freedom and human right will make sure we don’t defeat corruption within the short time we have. We will have to accept it as part of our future eventually with what Buhari is doing dragging around like his will is failing him.

  • thusspokez

    BTW Where is Alison-Madueke currently enjoying her loots? And has the Buhari government and Nigerian law enforcement agencies given up on her? Of course, they have no chance of getting any western court to okay their extradition request given the Buhari’s government and SSS gross abuse of human rights and rule of law in Nigeria.

    All Mrs. Alison-Madueke need to do in any hearing for her repatriation in her host court is to show copies of Nigerian newspapers headline news of the gestapo SSS raids; and Buhari egging them on.

  • thusspokez

    “(We) got a series by a terrific, highly respected Nigerian journalist named Musikilu Mojeed saying that a government official, Alison Madueke, was corrupt,” Mrs. Schiffrin said in an interview with Guernica magazine, last year.

    “highly respected Nigerian journalist” ????Bwwwwaaaahahahahaha! LOL! This lady is so naive and even daft. Finding a respected Nigerian journalist — let alone a highly respected one — is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

  • obamajack2

    We don’t need you to know that she was very corrupt. She was GEJ proxy in looting sprees.

  • Burning Spear

    99% OF THE OIL WELLS IN THE CREEK OF THE NIGER DELTA IS OWNED BY THE MOST CORRUPT PEOPLE IN NIGERIA CORE NORTH.

    MUHAMMADU BUHARI ,TY DANJUMA,ABACHA FAMILY,SANNI BELLO ,ATIKU,ABDULSALAMI ABUBAKAR ,ALHAJI SALEH GAMBO,ALHAJI DANTATA, LAMIDO SANUSI,ALHAJI FOLAWIYO ,ADO BAYERO,YARADUA FAMILY,RILWANU LUKMAN ALHAJI MOHAMMED INDIMI AND THE OBASANJO.

    SEE THE INJUSTICE IN THIS GEOGRAPHICAL SPACE CALLED NIGERIA .

    OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned by General Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exports about 300,000 barrels of crude daily.

    NOML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999.

    Sanni Bello is an inlaw to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria.

    ,OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.

  • Okokondem

    To Burning Spears AND
    Vagabonds in power,

    GOOD MORNING! You deserve everything you are getting. You didn’t forsee this in 1967/1968 when you and your ancestors sold their souls, for no other reason order than to sabotage the IGBOS, by forming alliance with the same group you constantly vilify today. I said this to you before and I say it again, you are not worthy of my sympathy, nor of any right-thinking Igbo person. So, wallow in your self created misery at your own time, and place, and stop beclouding every issue and every topic of discussion with the same tired self pity.

    As for our other Southern brethren in the west, you will learn the hard. Continue with your usual unreasoned, ill-fated political and strategic alliances. Sooner or later you will come to your senses and realize that your paranoia against your brothers in the east is purely unfounded.

  • YouAreWrong

    Turns out, there actually are some Nigerian barristers who really do need your help with MILLION DOLLARS $ (USD) GOVERNMENT OIL SALE ACCOUNT TRANSACTIONS.
    Check those emails, folks