FORMER Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, denied claims that he received a bribe of $200 million as proceeds from the Malabu oil deal.
Jonathan, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, said the allegation against him was sponsored by those threatened by his continuously rising profile in the international community.
Eze reiterated the fact that while in office and now that he is out of office, former President Jonathan did not open and does not own any bank account, aircraft or real estate outside Nigeria, adding that anyone with contrary information is challenged to publicly publish same.
Eze said, “Common sense should have shown the purveyors of this slander that the Malabu oil deal far predated the Jonathan regime and it would only make sense for him to be bribed if he had a time machine to go back in time to when the deal was struck.
“The report relied on hearsay evidence from a man of questionable character who provided no substance to back up his false claim. The man quoted by the report said he ‘assumed’ that Dr. Jonathan would be bribed.
“Since when has the assumption of a crook been enough to smear the reputation of a patriot and international statesman like Dr. Goodluck Jonathan?”
Eze further stated that the report wrongly claimed that Jonathan and Etete had known each other for years, when Jonathan served as a tutor to Etete’s children while he was a minister.
He said, “This claim is clearly ridiculous and nothing can be further from the truth. In the first place, the former President couldn’t have been a ‘tutor’ to Etete’s children without first establishing contact with the family.
“This is because Jonathan met Etete who served as the Petroleum Minister in General Abacha’s military regime for the first time under the succeeding civilian administration, when he was already the deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.
Even then, the fact remains that ex-President Jonathan has never met any of Etete’s children.
“Besides, Jonathan couldn’t have been anybody’s private tutor during that period, because he was already in the directorate cadre in Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC (now NDDC), having already left the academia, at the time Etete was a serving minister.”
Eze explained that the series of fake and fallacious stories are deliberately contrived for reasons that are yet to be publicly disclosed, adding that stories apparently intended to rubbish Jonathan’s name locally and internationally, is being recycled with more lies added to garnish the narrative, and is coming at a time the ex-President is making efforts to resolve the issues in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“Jonathan appeals to the media to report facts rather than innuendo and gossip. He asks that the media ought to remember that he signed the Freedom of Information Act into law and it is only fair to use it to investigate allegations and establish the truth.
“Dr. Jonathan cannot stop criminals from ‘assuming’, but he can and he will stop them from getting away with blatant lies,” Eze noted.