Former president Goodluck Jonathan has said that there is nothing new in what he described as fabricated bribery claim by the Federal Government alleging that his then oil minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, accepted bribes and broke the country’s laws to broker a $1.3 billion oil deal eight years ago.
According to a London court filing, the deal, in which Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell and Italian peer Eni jointly acquired the rights to the OPL 245 offshore oilfield, has spawned legal cases spanning several countries.
According to reports, a London commercial court suit against Shell and Eni, lawyers for the Nigerian government said Jonathan and Diezani conspired to “receive bribes and make a secret profit”, keeping the government from getting what it was owed from the deal.
In a statement by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, titled ‘On Malabu: Let The Facts, Rather Than Propaganda, Guide All Concerned’, the former president said ‘there is nothing new in this fabricated bribery claim which he had severally debunked in the past’.
Jonathan, who maintained that he ‘did not ask for or collect any bribes, said 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.
Describing the report as a recycled falsehood that is blatantly dishonest, cheap, and predictable, said, Eze said there is nothing new in this fabricated bribery claim which Jonathan 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,” he stated.