Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said his government acted in Nigeria’s best interest regarding the sale of the controversial OML 245 to Shell and Eni in 2011.
The former president stated that he never committed any crime or wrongdoing by authorising his cabinet members to strike a deal with some oil firms operating in the country.
This follows recent accusations by the current government that the oil block was undervalued by the Jonathan-led government at the time it was sold in 2011.
In a new claim, filed in a London court on April 8, the Nigerian government accused the former president and other officials, who worked in his government of bribery and corruption, while accusing Eni, Shell, Malabu and other defendants of fraud or/and bribery, dishonest assistance and unlawful means of conspiracy.
However, in a statement, Media adviser to Jonathan, Ikechukwu Eze, described the renewed allegation against the former president as “recycled falsehood that is blatantly dishonest, cheap, and predictable.”
Restating the facts, Eze said that all actions taken by the Jonathan administration in relation to activities in the oil industry were legally conducted by relevant Nigerian government officials and were carried out in the best interest of the country.
He said the documents relating to the transactions and decisions of the Federal Government on the Malabu issue, during the Jonathan administration, are in the relevant government offices, where they are accessible.
“We will like to point out that whether in office or out of office, former President Jonathan still does not own any bank account, business or real estate outside Nigeria.”
Mr Eze said that beyond the “wave of conjecture,” former President Jonathan was not linked, indicted or charged for collecting any monies as kickbacks or bribes from ENI by the Italian authorities or any other law enforcement body the world over.
Although the former President is not under any probe on the matter in the country, but in the court filing, the Nigerian government sought to know about the $3.5 billion in damages from oil giants Eni and Shell over the controversial Malabu oil deal.
Mr Eze however, claimed that the accusations was intentioned to eclipse the goodwill and positive reports of former President Jonathan’s diligent engagement in South Africa’s national and provisional elections.