Malabu oil: Jonathan, Diezani, Adoke must be tried – Reps blow hot

Goodluck Jonathan

The House of Representatives has reacted to the no-case submission the Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made to President Muhammadu Buhari on the lingering Oil Prospecting Licence 245 deal.

About $1.1 billion of the Malabu Oil deal was allegedly shared by officials who represented the Federal Government in the controversial transaction.

Mentioned in the case are a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello- Adoke.

The two top officials served in the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

But, Malami in a recent letter to Buhari sought to withdraw any case against the former officials on the grounds that there was no evidence to initiate a successful prosecution.

The House of Representatives are still investigating the matter when the AGF made his submission to Buhari.

The lawmakers have vowed to carry out their investigations to a logical conclusion.

The Chairman of the House ad hoc committee investigating the deal, Razak Atunwa, told Punch on Sunday that the House was shocked by the AGF ’s letter.

Atunwa, who is a member of the ruling party, said the position of the AGF raised concerns over the anti-corruption war of the present administration.

He said, “I am worried that the AGF would write such a letter to Mr. President, that there is no evidence. It is a serious matter.

“What is important is that we will do our work as an independent arm of government.

“Hopefully, by March, the report will be ready. It is for Nigerians to know that we did our job. Whatever the executive arm of government or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission choose to do with it is their business.

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“So, while we are worried by the AGF ’s letter , our investigations as a House will continue.

“Again, whether Jonathan comes to testify or not, we will have a report ready by March.”

The panel had invited Jonathan on July 5 , 2017 to clarify certain issues but up to February 23 this year, he had not responded to inquiries by the panel.

Atunwa explained that hearing from Jonathan was also an indication that “thoroughness, natural justice and fair play” was applied to the investigation.

He added, “Mr. Jonathan was the President at the material time that (his cabinet) ministers brokered the deal that led to the allegation of $1bn diversion of funds.

“Mr. Jonathan ’s name features in the proceedings initiated by the Public Prosecutor of Milan in Italy. A United Kingdom court judgment in relation to an application to return part of the money being restrained, castigated the Jonathan administration as not having acted in the best interest of Nigeria in relation to the ‘deal .’

“The Attorney- General of the Federation at the material time, Mohammed Bello- Adoke, has recently instituted proceedings in court wherein he pleads that all his actions were as instructed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

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