Former naval chief, Alison Madueke, seeks to reclaim name from ex-wife Diezani

Alison Madueke (r) and Diezani

Retired Rear Admiral Alison Madueke has filed a petition with the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, urging the court to stop his ex-wife and former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, from using his surname

Madueke claims that Diezani's continued use of his name is causing him further embarrassment and reputational damage.

Madueke and Diezani were married under the Marriage Act on June 30, 1999. However, in November 2021, Diezani filed for divorce at the Nasarawa State High Court in Mararaba Gurku, citing the "irreconcilable breakdown" of their marriage. The marriage was formally dissolved by the court on April 13, 2022.

Madueke stated that since May 2015, he has lived apart from Diezani after she travelled to the UK

While he did not object to the divorce, Madueke argues that Diezani's use of his surname despite their marriage being legally dissolved is unacceptable

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

“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 said 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 Agama, her maiden name. 

He said the former minister failed to respond to the legal notice and continues to use his name.

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

“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.”


In October 2023, Diezani appeared at the Westminster Magistrates Court in the UK over an alleged £100,000 bribe.

Michael Snow, the district judge, granted her bail in the sum of £70,000.

Snow however imposed other conditions on Diezani after deeming her “a flight risk”.

In October 2015, Diezani and four other persons were arrested in the UK over alleged bribery and money laundering.

A magistrate court in the UK granted Diezani bail but her passport was seized. She was asked to report at the Charing Cross police station afterwards.

Diezani was minister of petroleum resources from 2010 to 2015 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

She left the country in 2015 shortly before Jonathan handed over power to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the former minister stole $2.5 billion from federal coffers as minister.

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