Tuesday, January 10, 2017 7:14 pm
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday denied reports that he received kickbacks in the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block deal involving oil giants ENI, Royal Dutch Shell and former Nigeria’s petroleum minister, Dan Etete.
Reports yesterday had indicated that Jonathan was being investigated by the Italian authorities probing the Malabu deal as one of the beneficiaries of kickbacks paid to Etete for the controversial oil bloc.
Ikechuckwu Eze, spokesperson to the former President said in a statement issued in Abuja that 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.
Eze argued that the negotiations and transactions for the oil block deal predate the Presidency of 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.
“We however wish to state, for emphasis, that 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.
“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.
“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,” the former President said.