Jonathan to testify in probe of Malabu oil deal

Jonathan to testify in probe of Malabu oil deal

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:52 pm

Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has been invited to testify in the ongoing probe of house of the award of oil prospecting licence (OPL) 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas by a commitee of House of Representatives.

“Mr Jonathan was the president at the material time the ministers brokered the deal that led to the allegation of $1bn diversion of funds,” the committee said in a statement on why it is inviting the former President.

“Mr Jonathan’s name features in the proceedings initiated by the public prosecutor of Milan in Italy;

“A UK court judgment in relation to an application to return part of the money being restrained, castigated the Jonathan administration as not having acted in the best interest of Nigeria in relation to the ‘deal’;

“Accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of the constitution, the committee has decided to request that former President Goodluck Jonathan gives evidence as to his role in the matter.”

Razak Atunwa, chairman of the committee however said the former president was at liberty to make a written submission to the committee appear in person

“The proper thing is that the committee has taken a decision that he must give evidence,” The Cable quoted him as saying.

“Section 89 of the constitution requires that we ask for the evidence; we’ve asked him for evidence and he must give evidence, we have asked him to give his response and submission.

“A matter entirely for him is, he may desire to send us a written submission, and we consider every written submission. We take it one step at a time.

“The normal proceeding for a committee hearing investigating such matter is to take a written submission and whatever comes out of that will have to be decided at the end of the probe.

The Committe began fresh probe of the Malabu deal following reports that the former President benefitted from it.

“The committee is aware of recent information that has come to light, both nationally and internationally, indicating that former president Goodluck Jonathan may have been complicit in the controversial OPL 245 deal,” Atunwa had said.

“These facts have firmly placed former president Jonathan on the committee’s radar. The committee believes that former president Jonathan may well be in a position to assist it with its inquiries,” Atunwa said.

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