Contrary to media report, Nigerian former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has denied involvement in the collection of kickbacks in the $1.3bn OPL 245 Malabu oil block deal involving oil giants, ENI and Royal Dutch Shell.
Jonathan stated this on Tuesday to clear innuendos that he corruptly collected monies from ENI by the Italian authorities or any other law enforcement body.
Jonathan added that the meetings he held with the oil giants were done publicly and official, urging those who are insinuating without evidence to check the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice for any documents relating to the transactions and issues.
In a communique posted on the former Presidential Facebook official page on Tuesday, he said: “I wish to make it clear that former President Jonathan was not accused, indicted or charged for corruptly collecting any monies as kickbacks or bribes from ENI by the Italian authorities or any other law enforcement body the world over.
“In the first place, the negotiations and transactions for the oil block deal predate the Presidency of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan which began on 6th May 2010 and ended on 29th May 2015.
“It may interest those promoting this false narrative to know that all the documents relating to the transactions, issues and decisions of the Federal Government on the Malabo issue, during the Jonathan administration, are in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice.
“As President of Nigeria, there is no doubt that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan met with executives of all the oil majors operating in Nigeria and urged them to, amongst other things, support the growth of the Nigerian oil industry by ramping up their investments and comply with the Local Content Act that he promoted and signed into law.
“At no time did the former President hold private meetings with representatives of ENI to discuss pecuniary issues. All the meetings and discussions former President Jonathan had with ENI, other IOCs and some indigenous operators were conducted officially, and in the presence of relevant Nigerian Government officials and were done in the best interest of the country.”
Jonathan denied sending one Mr. Abubakar Aliyu to seek favour or collect bribes on his behalf.
He said “We make bold to point out that the former President never sent any Abubakar Aliyu, as the innuendoes in the false report suggest, to ENI, the IOCs or any indigenous operator to seek favour or collect any gratification on his behalf.”
The former President in the same statement, restated that he has no bank account, aircraft or houses outside the country, urging the journalists who can take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act he signed into law, to carry out a proper investigation rather than rely on unverified sources.
“We will like to point out for the umpteenth time that whether in office or out of office, former President Jonathan does not own any bank account, aircraft or real estate outside Nigeria. Anyone with contrary information is challenged to publicly publish same.
“As the President who signed the Freedom of Information Act into law, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan lifted the veil on governance and encouraged transparency knowing that evil breeds in secrecy. It is the opinion of the former President that journalists and media houses should take advantage of this law in their investigative journalism rather than rely on hearsay.
“We hope that these clarifications will help guide future reports which should be factual.” He concluded.