Stop Ex-minister Diezani from Using My Name, Estranged Husband Urges Court

Admiral Alison Madueke has filed a petition in the Lagos State High Court, seeking a legal declaration to end his marriage to Diezani and requesting that she stop using his last name.

He is asking the court to order the former Minister of Petroleum Resources to revert to her maiden name, Agama.

This was contained in Madueke’s petition for jactitation of marriage (declaration that a marital union has ended).

The ex-Chief of Naval Staff argues that Diezani’s ongoing use of his name despite their marriage being legally over is damaging to his reputation and could lead to unintended consequences, including mistaken liability, particularly given the corruption allegations against her.

Madueke is a former military governor of Anambra and Imo states. He married Diezani on June 30, 1999, under the Marriage Act.

The petitioner, Madueke, noted that Diezani had previously filed for divorce at the Nassarawa State High Court in Mararaba Gurku in November 2021, citing an irreconcilable breakdown of their marriage, seeking to end their union formally.

He said he did not oppose the suit, resulting in the court’s dissolution of the marriage, yet Diezani persists in using his surname, despite the formal termination of their marital union.

He stated, “On the 13th day of April 2022, judgment was delivered in Suit No. NSD/MG345/2021 by Hon. Justice A.A. Ozegya dissolving the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.”

“The said dissolution of marriage has now become absolute by the operation of law.”

“Even though the marriage has been dissolved and is now legally finalised, the respondent continues to use the petitioner’s first name (Alison) and surname (Madueke) as her own without any justification or consent from the petitioner.”

“It is now more than two-years that the respondent continues to use the name of the petitioner to his embarrassment.”

Madueke revealed that he directed his legal representatives to serve Diezani a formal request on December 14, 2023, demanding that she cease using his surname and revert to her maiden name, Agama.

However, despite this legal notice, Diezani has failed to respond and continues to use his name.

The petition further read, “The respondent has continued to hold out herself as the wife of the petitioner even when the marriage has been dissolved.

“The respondent is undergoing criminal trials in both Nigeria and the United Kingdom. The charge in Nigeria is Suit No. FUC/ABI/CR/208/2010.”

“The respondent faces public allegations of corruption and financial misconduct, for which trials are ongoing for both.”

“The persistent portrayal of the respondent as the spouse of the petitioner is creating embarrassment, a misleading impression and tarnishing the reputation, integrity, and public image of the petitioner.”

“The respondent’s continued use of the petitioner’s first and surname falsely suggests to the public a continuing relationship between the parties though same has since legally ended.”

“The respondent’s continued use of the petitioner’s first and family names poses a significant risk of legal and financial harm to the petitioner.”

“The petitioner seeks the intervention of this Honourable Court to prevent the respondent from further using his first name and surname, thereby safeguarding his image, personality, and reputation.”

Madueke sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining Diezani from further using his names following the dissolution of their marriage.

He also prayed for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondent from further asserting, by words or conduct, the existence of marriage between them.

He is seeking a court order that compels Diezani to revert to her maiden name and to publicly announce in a national newspaper, both in Nigeria and the UK, that she has ceased using his surname.

Diezani has held several significant positions in the Nigerian government, including Minister of Transportation, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, and Minister of Petroleum Resources.

She was also the first female President of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, elected in November 2014.

Diezani was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of embezzling $2.5bn from the Nigerian government during her tenure from 2010 to 2015 under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Corruption allegations have led to her arrest and legal proceedings in both Nigeria and the United Kingdom.