The United Kingdom-based Chevening Scholarship has removed the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, from its list of female achievers, according to a report by Sahara Reporters.
Chevening is an international scholarship scheme which enables students with leadership qualities from 144 countries and territories to undertake postgraduate study or courses in universities in the UK.
After receiving a Chevening scholarship in 2002, Diezani attended Cambridge University for her MBA and then returned to Nigeria where she became the first female Executive Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company.
After emerging as the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria and the first female President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Chevening on its website, listed her as one of its best female alumni in commemoration of the March 8 International Women’s Day.
Diezani was listed among other international and accomplished women like the Vice President, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Wang li; a former Minister for Social Development in Jordan, Hala Bsaisu Lattouf; and a Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Hertzegovina, Denisa Sarajlic-Maglic.
After recognising Diezani as one of its best alumni, Chevening had stated on its website that “We are proud of all our alumni who carry Chevening values with them through their careers, and on this day, we take special delight in recognising and applauding just some of the many women associated with Chevening across the world who work tirelessly to bring about positive change.
“We hope that the trail they are blazing will empower the next generation of young female leaders to ‘make it happen’ on an even bigger scale in the years to come.”
Besides, the UK Independent in a report on Wednesday had made references to Chevening’s high rating of the embattled minister.
However, following Diezani’s arrest by the UK’s National Crime Agency along with five other people on allegation of bribery and corruption offences, Chevening delisted her name from its website but retained the names of its other ‘celebrated women.’
Checks by one of our correspondents on Thursday showed that Diezani’s name had indeed been removed from its website.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission may have arrested a special assistant to the embattled minister.
It was gathered that the Diezani’s aide was ýpicked up by operatives of the commission at Banana Island in Lagos.
The source said the aide had been with operatives of the EFCC for a few days and had made some statements.
Diezani has four personal assistants and it is not clear if more of them will be quizzed in relation with the ongoing probe.
“You know that the EFCC operatives are really going after Diezani’s aides. One of them was picked up at Banana Island on Tuesday. He has been singing like a bird. The man has made useful information,” the source said.
When one of our correspondents contacted the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, for his comment, he said that he did not know anything about the investigation.
Since the UK police started collaborating with the EFCC in the ongoing investigation into the oil deals under Diezani, the EFCC has come up with a policy not to comment on it.
It was gathered that it was in line with the official policy of the UK agency to keep everything secret about those being probed.