Opposition leader, Lennox Linton, has written to Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, concerning the issuing of a Dominican diplomatic passport to former Nigerian minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who currently under investigation in Britain for alleged corruption while in office.
In the letter, Linton posed seven questions to the Prime Minister, which he said is unanswered seven months “after your unilateral, clandestine engagement of a corruption-tainted former Nigerian Government Minister for a diplomatic assignment in Dominica’s international affairs, underline your gross disrespect for the fundamentals of good governance.”
“Elsewhere in the civilized world, leaders who similarly position themselves to mercilessly injure the public interest are required to resign,” he wrote.
Reports surfaced recently Alison-Madueke, is being investigated in Britain for alleged corruption while she was the Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria.
It is further reported that she received Dominican citizenship on May 29, 2015, through an approval letter by Skerrit, given a diplomatic passport, number DP0000445, and appointed Dominica’s Trade and Investment Commissioner.
Reports also indicated that the National Crime Agency (NCA), which is investigating Alison-Madueke in the United Kingdom, suspects that she acquired the citizenship of Dominica with the intent to relocate.
The government has since distanced itself from the matter saying due diligence was done in appointing Alison-Madueke as a commissioner for Dominica and there “is no truth to the rumour of a former Government Minister of Nigeria being offered or encouraged by the Prime Minister or Government of Dominica to make The Commonwealth of Dominica her home.”
The government also said all relations with former Nigerian minister have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations.
But the opposition is not buying the government’s explanation.
In his letter. Linton pointed to other instances where Dominican diplomatic passports and immunity were given to other individuals who appeared to be questionable. He listed Francesco Corallo, who was on Interpol’s most wanted list and who the government had sought to make its permanent envoy to the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome; NG Lap Seng, who is accused of international racketeering and money laundering; Rudolph King and Timothy Cornwall who were jailed for fraud while they served as Labour Party appointed ambassadors of Dominica; Italian aristocrat, Paolo Zampolli, a ranking diplomat at Dominica’s United Nations Mission in New York even awaiting trial on the charge of stealing over US$4-million in brokerage commissions from a real estate firm.
“Instead of being accountable with honest disclosures about these outrageous compromises of the public interest, you continue to engage in lies, deception and insults to the intelligence of the people you are sworn to serve,” Linton stated in his letter. “In the process, you are selfishly intensifying your relentless assault on Dominica’s international image and its credibility as a trustworthy participant in the war on terrorism, money laundering and other crimes against global civilization.”
In the matter concerning Alison-Madueke, Linton described the government’s explanation as “naked lies concocted to deceive.”
Linton’s full letter is below.