We received a report that Nigeria former president President Goodluck Jonathan today, denied reports from the media that he received kickbacks in the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block deal involving oil giants ENI and Royal Dutch Shell. His media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze in a statement defended the former president . This is what the statement reads…
“Our attention has been drawn to news reports published mostly byonline media which suggested through innuendo, rather than factualevidence, that former President Goodluck Jonathan received kickbacksin the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block deal involving oil giants ENI andRoyal Dutch Shell.
With regards to the publication, we wish to make it clear that formerPresident Jonathan was not accused, indicted or charged for corruptlycollecting any monies as kickbacks or bribes from ENI the Italianauthorities or any other law enforcement body the world over.
In the first place, we have to categorically state that thenegotiations and transactions for the oil block deal predate thePresidency of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan which began on 6th May 2010and ended on 29th May 2015.
It may interest those promoting this false narrative to know that allthe documents relating to the transactions, issues and decisions ofthe Federal Government on the Malabo issue, during the Jonathanadministration, are in the office of the Attorney General of theFederation/Minister of Justice.
As President of Nigeria, there is no doubt that Dr. Goodluck Jonathanmet with executives of all the oil majors operating in Nigeria andurged them to, amongst other things, support the growth of theNigerian oil industry ramping up their investments and comply withthe Local Content Act that he promoted and signed into law.
We however wish to state, for emphasis, that at no time did the formerPresident hold private meetings with representatives of ENI to discusspecuniary issues. All the meetings and discussions former PresidentJonathan had with ENI, other IOCs and some indigenous operators wereconducted officially, and in the presence of relevant NigerianGovernment officials, and were done in the best interest of thecountry.
We make bold to point out that the former President never sent anyAbubakar Aliyu, as the innuendoes in the false report suggest, to ENI,the IOCs or any indigenous operator to seek favour or collect anygratification on his behalf.
We will like to point out for the umpteenth time that whether inoffice or out of office, former President Jonathan does not own anybank account, aircraft or real estate outside Nigeria. Anyone withcontrary information is challenged to publicly publish same.
As the President who signed the Freedom of Information Act into law,Dr. Goodluck Jonathan lifted the veil on governance and encouragedtransparency knowing that evil breeds in secrecy. It is the opinion ofthe former President that journalists and media houses should takeadvantage of this law in their investigative journalism, rather thanrely on hearsay.
We hope that these clarifications will help guide future reports whichshould be factual.
Media Adviser to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan