Mixed Fortunes of GEJ’s Super Ministers


Olamilekan Okeowo

They held sway as ministers during the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan; they were the power broker and had the president’s ears. Some, after the administration fell went on to do greater things, while some fell into ignominy and are on the run following allegations of malfeasance, The New Diplomat takes a look at some of these ministers and the fate that befell them.

Diezani Alison-Madueke

From the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’s investigation over allegation of corruption to fighting the battle to save her life as she battles cancer; it has been a torrid time for the former most powerful woman in the former President’s cabinet. Alison-Madueke came on board as the Minister for Petroleum Resources on 6 April 2010, immediately after Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan became acting president in February 2010. During her stay in office, she oversaw the controversial removal of fuel price subsidy and the increase of the pump price of fuel from N65 per litre to N97 per litre. On November 2014, she was elected as the first female president of OPEC.

Since she left office with the Jonathan administration in 2015 however, things have not been so rosy for the former Minister. First, she was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy. Almost concurrently, she was faced with series of corruption charges, ranging from diversion of $6 billion (N 1.2 trillion) from Nigeria treasury to the purchase of real estate in Banana Island, trouble for her has been pouring in torrents.

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Property belonging to her in Abuja worth $18million and jewelleries worth $2million were seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


Some of her accomplices, Messrs Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko were also alleged to have bribed her with real estate in the United Kingdom. There seems no end in sight to the myriads of problem she is currently facing, hers is the perfect example of grace to grass.


Barrister Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN


He came in as the Minister of Justice on 6th of April, 2010 when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced his new cabinet.

His appointment as Minister of Justice and Attorney General on 6 April 2010 was seen as an attempt by Jonathan to introduce a fresh approach in pushing through electoral reforms. He ceased to be attorney general on 29th May 2015, as the Jonathan administration left office, and then went into exile.

Trouble began for him when his house and that of his brother was raided by the EFCC in April this year over allegations of his involvement in the Malabu $1.1 billion scam. The EFCC charged Mr. Adoke and two multinational oil companies, Shell and ENI, to court for their roles in the Malabu $1.1 billion scam. The FG also began an extradition move to have him sent back to Nigeria. He has since filed an UN human rights complaint against the FG and EFCC.

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala



In 2011, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as Minister of Finance in Nigeria with the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan. She had earlier served in the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, first as Finance Minister between 2003-2006 before she was redeployed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Her tenure in office was noted for strengthening Nigeria’s public financial systems, stimulating the housing sector with the establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC). She also initiated the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria programme (GWIN); a gender responsive budgeting system and the Youth Enterprise with Innovation programme (YouWIN), which was said to have supported entrepreneurs as well as created thousands of jobs. As with Madueke, she served out her full tenure until the expiry of the Jonathan administration.

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After serving her tenure, she joined Lazard as a Senior Advisor in September 2015 and in January 2016 she was appointed Chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). She is also co-chair of the Global Commission for the Economy and Climate and also chairs several boards ranging from the Board of the African Union’s African Risk Capacity.






Akinwumi Adesina



Mr Akinwunmi Adesina was Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, from 2010 to 2015. As part of his commitment to advancing agricultural development in the country, he introduced more transparency into the fertiliser supply chain. He also made an attempt to give away mobile phones to farmers but this proved too difficult.

He was appointed the eighth president of the African Development Bank (ADB) on September 1, 2015 becoming the first Nigerian to hold the post. Adesina was also appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement. In 2017, he was awarded 2017 World Food Prize, which has the prestige of a Noble prize in the agricutlural sector.






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