- As Bus crash in northern India kills at least 16 Hindu pilgrims
Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is being investigated for a series of multi-billion dollar fraud and money laundering offences in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and America has threatened to squeal on her associates, Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore.
She said after opening up on everything that transpired in the controversial fraudulent transactions, she would be ready to be thrown in jail along with her co-conspirators. Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s explosive comment is contained in a recorded conversation recovered by investigators probing the corruption allegations against the former minister.
Details of the conversations, according to online portal, Premium Times, have now been filed as part of a civil complaint by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) seeking the forfeiture of over $144 million slush fund.
The trio of Mrs Alison-Madueke, Mr. Aluko and Mr. Omokore were listed as persons of interest in the civil complaint filed at the US District Court, Houston, Texas.
The complaint revealed how the three individuals laundered millions of dollars on behalf of Mrs Alison-Madueke, which was used in buying property in the US and the UK for her family in return for oil contracts to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Ltd, AEDC, and Atlantic Energy brass Development Ltd, AEBD, two Shell companies owned by Mr Omokore.
In the conversation with Mr Aluko recorded by herself on May 14, 2014, a clearly angry Mrs Alison-Madueke admitted to helping her associates secure the multi-billion dollars Strategic Alliance Agreements, SAAs, deals. In another conversation with another unknown recipient, the former minister dared Aluko to reveal details of their dealings, and then face the consequences.
She was, however, furious at how the ostentatious acquisitions of Messrs Aluko and Omokore might have led law enforcement agencies across the world to their shady dealings.
In the recorded conversation, Mrs Alison-Madueke, in response to speculations that Mr Aluko was going to blackmail her, threatened to spill the beans.
She said she was ready to reveal to Nigerians all that happened and was ready to follow Messrs Aluko and Omokore to jail.
In the meantime, at least 16 Hindu pilgrims have been killed and many more injured after a bus crash in India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir state, police have said, just days after gunmen shot dead eight worshippers making the same holy visit.
“Sixteen people are now confirmed dead, 19 with serious injuries and eight others with minor injuries,” Jammu and Kashmir police said in a statement on Sunday.
The bus plunged into a gorge in the northern state where hundreds of Hindus make the annual pilgrimage to a Himalayan cave revered as the abode of the god Shiva. Some of the worst injured were being airlifted to hospital, while others were taken to local clinics for treatment, police said.
The tragedy came as another Hindu pilgrim died on Sunday from injuries sustained six days ago when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a bus full of worshippers.
“One lady who was injured in the 10 July attack succumbed to her injuries in hospital,” said Shesh Paul Vaid, the state’s director general of police.
Her death takes the toll from Monday’s attack to eight, with seven women and one man killed in the late-night assault. It was the worst such attack in the divided Himalayan region since 2000 when gunmen fired on a group of Hindu pilgrims, killing 32 people including two police officers.
Tens of thousands of Hindus from all over India travel to Kashmir every year to visit an ice formation in the Amarnath caves that is worshipped as a symbol of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.
Vanguard with additional report from Guardian