Goodluck Jonathan denies oil deal kickbacks

Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan did not receive kickbacks from a $1.3bn deal involving oil giants ENI and Shell which is under investigation in Italy, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Mr Jonathan said he had not been “accused, indicted or charged for corruptly collecting monies” linked to the 2011 deal for an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

His spokesman also said – “for the umpteenth time” – that Mr Jonathan did not hold assets outside Nigeria.

We will like to point out for the umpteenth time that whether in office or out of office, former President Jonathan does not own any bank account, aircraft or real estate outside Nigeria. Anyone with contrary information is challenged to publicly publish same.”

Italian prosecutors late last month released court documents that outline criminal proceedings against the two oil majors and 11 people, including senior executives from the companies, AFP news agency reported.

Mr Jonathan, who left office in May 2015, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, his long-time oil minister who was also the first female president of Opec, do not feature on the list.

But the prosecutors alleged in court papers that they played a key role in the deal in which $466m went to remunerate Nigerian government officials, including Mr Jonathan and Ms Alison-Madueke.

No formal charges have been brought and the parties usually have 20 days to respond to a preliminary investigation report before any formal prosecution.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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