Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is under investigation over allegations of bribery and money laundering, has breast cancer and will undergo surgery in Britain, says her lawyer on Saturday.
Nigerian authorities said Alison-Madueke, who served as petroleum minister from 2010-2015, was arrested in London last week.
But her lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe, denied this, saying she spent only 45 minutes with the police.
“Mrs. Alison-Madueke was never arrested or detained and her passport was never seized. She was merely invited (by British police), and she honoured it promptly,” Reuters quoted the lawyer as saying in a statement.
“She has breast cancer and it was not detected early. It was discovered nine months ago. She will have surgery in London next week.
On Monday a court official in London said Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had obtained permission to temporarily seize 27,000 pounds ($41,318) from Alison-Madueke.
That came just days after the NCA said its International Corruption Unit had arrested five people in London as part of an inquiry into suspected bribery and money laundering offences.