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The statement by the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit on Diezani Alison-Madueke

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“In May of 2015, during a routine stop-over visit to London, I was introduced to Madueke. We heard some discussions and these discussions took place well before any question of an investigation by relevant authorities in UK and Nigeria arose.

The idea of relocating to Dominica was never discussed, far less agreed in any discussions with or on behalf of Diezani Alison Madueke, but there were discussions surrounding her continued residence in the United Kingdom and ability to travel to Africa in order to assist Dominica.

The academic and professional credentials of Mrs. Madueke were impeccable. She had been a senior government minister since 2007, having served also as Minister of Transport and Minister of Mines and Steel Development. Additionally, she served as an Executive Official and Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria.

In my Budget Address to the people of Dominica two years ago, I outlined the intention and policy of my Government to recruit persons of experience, influence and integrity to serve and represent Dominica in various capacities abroad. As a small nation with very limited resources, we do not have the capacity to establish consular or other offices in many regions of the world. In this case, who better to speak for and on behalf of Dominica in parts of the African continent than a former President of OPEC and former Chairman of the West African Gas Pipeline Authority.

Also, it must be recalled here that Mrs. Madueke was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, having studied for her Bachelor’s degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and post-graduate studies at Cambridge University in the UK.

So, on the recommendation of a number of outstanding individuals of note, and after thorough due diligence studies were undertaken, the Government of Dominica agreed to the appointment of the former Nigerian Government Minister as Trade and Investment Commissioner for Dominica, with the specific remit of promoting and marketing the trade and investment opportunities of Dominica.
This was especially the case considering her obvious contacts following her stint as President of OPEC.

The issue of her relocating to Dominica was never raised in any of our discussions, because at the time Mrs. Madueke was to my knowledge in good standing in Nigeria and United Kingdom, having only just demitted office in Nigeria and established living arrangements in the United Kingdom.

The arrangement of Mrs. Madueke serving in an honorary capacity, with no direct remuneration from Dominica and Dominica facilitating her travels across Europe and Africa with the issuance of a diplomatic passport, was entirely in accordance with existing convention, protocol and practice, until the very recent and unexpected development of the investigations by UK and Nigerian authorities. This development was not foreseen nor anticipated by the due diligence undertaken on behalf of the Government, and could not have been and was not foreseen by me or the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

I should add that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs moved with dispatch to suspend all relations with Mrs. Madueke immediately following her arrest in October 2015, pending the outcome of the investigations. This suspension took place in the month of October. Our position is that the relationship with Mrs. Madueke and all that flows from this will remain completely suspended until such time as the probe into her conduct as a Minister of Government is concluded and a determination made by the relevant authorities.”

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