Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Report Of $200 Million Malabu Bribe False In Its Entirety – Jonathan

Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, describes a recent report suggesting that he received $200 million kickbacks from the Malabu oil deal as fake news - Jonathan says the report is sponsored by those threatened by his continuously rising profile in the international community - The former president faults the report which he said relied on hearsay evidence from a man of questionable character who provided no evidence to back his claim.

Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has dismissed a report which suggested that he received the sum of $200 million as bribe from the Malabu oil deal. The report which was published by an American news website, Buzzfeed, claimed Jonathan probably received as much as $200 million to approve the controversial $1.3 billion sale of OPL 245 oil field.

In reaction however, the former president in a statement on Tuesday, April 11, by Ikechukwu Eze, his media adviser, described the report as “fake news sponsored by those threatened by Jonathan continuously rising profile in the international community”.

The statement said: “The allegations that former President Goodluck Jonathan received $200 million as proceeds from the Malabu Oil deal which were published on a gossip news site, Buzzfeed, and republished by a few other newspapers, is false in its entirety, and is one more in the series of fake news sponsored by those threatened by Dr. Jonathan’s continuously rising profile in the international community.

“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." Jonathan faulted the report which he said relied on hearsay evidence from a man of questionable character who provided no evidence to back his 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.

"This story, coming so soon after the fake news that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan refused British help in rescuing the Chibok Girls (a story that the British Government debunked) and that he plans to contest the 2019 elections (another lie), proves that these fallacious stories are deliberately contrived for reasons that are yet to be publicly disclosed,” the statement said. “It is instructive that this same old fable apparently intended to rubbish Jonathan’s name locally and internationally, is being recycled with more lies added to garnish the narrative, at a time the ex-President is making efforts to resolve the issues in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)."

Jonathan maintained that while he was in office and now that he is out of office, he did not open and does not own any bank account, aircraft or real estate outside Nigeria. He challenged anyone with contrary information to publicly publish them.

The former president also asked the media to be objective in their report. “Finally, Dr. 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," the statement noted. Jonathan’s reaction to the report is coming a day after the House of Representatives has said it is preparing to summon the former president to explain his role in the controversial award of OPL 245 oil block license, which is famously known as the Malabu deal.

 Razak Atunwa, chairman of the house committee on justice who leads an ad-hoc panel investigating the $1.3 billion Malabu oil deal, said on Monday, April 10, that efforts have commenced towards summoning the former president to testify over the issue following new details that were uncovered in latest news report about the Malabu scandal.