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Malabu Bribe: Jonathan Replies FG, Says He’s No Account Nor Property Outside Nigeria

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan

By Onome Oghenetega

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday described media reports where the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government accused him and the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke of accepting bribe in the Malabu Oil Deal as false.

Jonathan stated that the claims by the Buhari’s government in the reports that he owned properties and foreign bank accounts were attempts to tarnish his reputation over growing image and positive goodwill from comity of nations.

In a statement signed by Media Adviser to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Ikechukwu Eze said although there was nothing new in the “fabricated bribery claim”, noted that he never asked for bribe or collected any bribe in the controversial Malabu oil deal case.

According to him, “Our attention has been drawn to a media report which alleged that lawyers to the Federal Government had, in a London court filing,  accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of accepting bribes in order “to broker a $1.3 billion oil deal eight years ago.”  We will quickly dismiss this report as a recycled falsehood that is blatantly dishonest, cheap, and predictable.

“Although there is nothing new in this fabricated bribery claim which we had severally debunked in the past, we will continue to restate the following facts:

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan did not ask for or collect any bribes, neither has he been charged for asking or collecting bribes, neither will he ever be charged with asking for or collecting bribes, because such never happened.

“That this particular dispute predated the Jonathan administration and survives it.

“That former President Jonathan is 61 years old and throughout his life has never opened an account, nor owned property outside Nigeria. Perhaps those behind this latest propaganda would be bold enough to make the same deposition?

“The fact remains that as recent national events continue to vindicate former President Jonathan, and as the world continues to celebrate him, those who are insecure will feed such propaganda to their media agents to feed their inferiority complex.

“In fact, we expected something like this ever since it was announced that former President Jonathan would lead the Election Observation Mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa to South Africa’s national and provincial elections.

“We are well aware that this claim was intentioned to eclipse the goodwill and positive reports of former President Jonathan’s diligent engagement in South Africa’s national and provisional elections.

“The fact that most major media houses in the country refused to republish this falsehood bears out our conviction that Nigerians can no longer be deceived by hollow and diversionary claims of corruption, in the face of worsening state of affairs in the country.”

The statement added, “We have always made it clear that beyond this wave of conjecture,  former President Jonathan was not linked, indicted or charged for collecting any monies as kickbacks or bribes from ENI by the Italian authorities or any other law enforcement body the world over.

“It bears repeating that the documents relating to the transactions and decisions of the Federal Government on the Malabo issue, during the Jonathan administration, are in the relevant Government offices, where they are accessible.

“We would like to point out that all the actions taken by the Jonathan administration in relation to activities in the oil industry were legally conducted by relevant Nigerian Government officials and were carried out in the best interest of the country.

“Finally, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we will like to point out that whether in office or out of office, former President Jonathan still does not own any bank account, business or real estate outside Nigeria. It, therefore, beggars belief that so much useful energy is channelled by dark forces into this futile bid to bring down a man whose political ambition was not and still is not worth the blood of any citizen.”

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