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Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Nigeria's lower house committee to probe oil licence deal

Nigeria's lower house committee to probe oil licence deal

The Nigerian House of Representatives have plans to invite ex President Goodluck Jonathan for questioning over the Malabu oil scandal.

Jonathan was alleged to have received up to $200m in kickbacks from the Malabu oil deal but the immediate past president has denied the allegations.

In a statement signed by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president said the allegation is a "series of fake news" sponsored by those threatened by his "continuously rising profile in the worldwide community".

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 global community".

Shell on Tuesday said it was aware that some of the payments it made to Nigeria for rights to the oilfield in the 2011 deal would go to a company associated with former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer Dan Etete.

If Mr. Etete actually paid out such an amount in bribes to Nigerian officials, "Agaev stated that he would think President Goodluck Jonathan got at least $200 million of this money", BuzzFeed quoted an excerpt of Federal Bureau of Investigation submissions to Italian authorities as saying.

"The committee is also closely monitoring the proceedings in the Italian Courts instituted by the Public Prosecutor of Milan in which Ministers in Jonathan Administration were mentioned including President Jonathan himself".

"These facts have firmly placed former President Goodluck Jonathan on the Committee's radar", he added.

The House said based on available information indicating that Jonathan knows a lot about the deals that went on, which resulted in the country allegedly losing billions of Dollars, inviting the former president had become paramount.

Cross section of members of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

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

Shell and Eni paid $1.3 billion for the rights to the block, which industry estimates say could hold more than 9 billion barrels of oil. A large part of that sum is believed to have gone to officials of Mr. Jonathan's government including Mohammed Adoke, the then attorney general.

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

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