Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Nigeria's lower house committee to probe oil licence deal

Nigeria's lower house committee to probe oil licence deal

The House of Representatives on Wednesday said it has become paramount that a former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, be invited to testify in the ongoing probe of the award of Oil Prospecting Licence 245, which has become known by the name of the oil company that it was eventually ceded to, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

"Commonsense 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".

Razak Atunwa, the chairman of the committee, in a statement on Wednesday, said the lawmakers were considering inviting Jonathan to assist in 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 committee stated that it was important for Goodluck Jonathan to give his position on whether or not he approved the payment as claimed by some of the principal actors in the scandal who have also claimed that the ex-president received a part of the payout. 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.

The post Malabu Oil Deal: "Why Jonathan Must Appear Before Reps Committee" appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

The revelations were made when the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed Mr. Agaev, whom prosecutors also said met with Mr. Jonathan on more than one occasion in Nigeria during the OPL 245 negotiations.

"I heard from Chief (Etete), he claims that he had to pay 400 million, so, if this is true, if he paid 400 million, then most probably the President, as the biggest boss, took at least the half of it", BuzzFeed wrote, quoting documents prepared by Italian prosecutors.

The $1.3 billion was paid by oil giants, Shell and ENI, for the oil block, one of the richest in Africa. Malabu appealed that decision, and the status of the licence was uncertain at the time that Shell finalised its deal with the Nigerian government in 2011.

Mr. Atunwa promised Nigerians that the House panel would "be meticulous, thorough and comprehensive" in its inquiry.

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