$1.1b Malabu Oil deal: 'Why Jonathan must appear before Reps committee'

The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the alleged corruption, malpractices and breach of due process in the award of OPL 245 (Malabu deal), on Wednesday, said the committee chose to invite former President Goodluck Jonathan over the controversial oil deal because all evidences showed that he was a party in the scandal.

On April 9, PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr. Jonathan might have received up to $200 million in bribes to approve the deal that has now become subject of worldwide investigation.

"The committee believes that the former president might well be in a position to assist it with its inquiries".

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 worldwide community".

The Malabu oil deal, one of the biggest scams perpetrated by state actors is one that may not leave our consciousness anytime soon.

The report was based on Italian court documents obtained by BuzzFeed and Italian business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore. About $1.1 billion of the money was paid directly into a Nigerian government account while about $200 million had been earlier paid by Shell.

Cross section of members of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

The Russian also repeated the claim in a follow-up interview with Italian prosecutors, led by Fabio De Pasquale in Milan.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rep Atunwa, said Jonathan's input in the probe was important.

245, which comprises a large area of 1,958 square kilometers, including two deep water fields and reckoned to hold an estimated 9.2 billion barrels of crude oil, followed over three months of continuous investigation. About $1.1 billion of the money was paid directly into a Nigerian government account with JP Morgan while about $200 million had been paid by Shell as signature bonus before the 2011 agreement.

It would however be noted that the EFCC has already filed charges against former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Dan Etete, Adoke and others with respect to the Malabu oil scandal.

"The Committee intends to be meticulous, thorough and comprehensive in its inquiry so as to bring about finality to this seemingly intractable matter".

  • Tracy Ferguson