GROUP under the auspices of
the Niger Delta Advancement
Front NAF yesterday
kicked against the House of
Representatives summoning
ex-President Goodluck
Jonathan to appear before it
over Malabu oil deal involving
the controversial OPL 245 oil
field which was bought by
Italian oil giant ENI and Shell
in 2011.
The group, according to
its National President, Dr.
Ikiomasi Wakama, in a
statement, vowed to resist
any attempt that would
make former Goodluck
Jonathan an escape goat by
appearing before the House of
Representatives.
Wondering why the
lawmakers singled out one of
their own, who sacrificed so
much for the unity of Nigeria,
the group described the
summon as a witch-hunt that
must not be accomplished.
The statement which NAF
National President issued
yesterday said, “As much
as we believe in the unity of
Nigeria, we must not also be
the only ones to be paying
the price, we can assure the
National Assembly that we
will resist every attempt to
make Goodluck Jonathan
appear before them.” The
statement that condemned the
summon notice, also classified
it as vilification of Jonathan,
who did his best for the
country.
According to Wakama
“It has come to our notice
that the Nigerian House of
Representatives, in a show of
naked overzealousness and
utter disrespect, is proposing
to summoned the immediate
past President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, Dr.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
over his perceived role in the
Malabu Oil deal involving the
controversial OPL 245 oil field
which was bought by Italian
oil giant ENI and Shell in 2011.
“We condemn in all fullness,
the continued vilification of
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
and the various attempts at
undermining a good man who
did his best for the country
in service and strengthening
our democracy and unity as a
Nation.”
According to NAF, a
Nigerian court had on January
26, 2017 given an order ceding
control of OPL 245 to the
Federal Government pending
investigations on the $1.1
billion deal.”
The statement added that on
March 17, an Abuja Federal
High Court reversed its seizure
of the oil block with the judge
stating that the forfeiture order
was irregularly filed.
NAF said that in February
this year, Italian Oil Company
ENI’s Board of Statutory
and Watch Structure had
commissioned an independent
US law firm to carry out
forensic investigation of the
2011 transaction between ENI
and Shell and the Nigerian
Government for the acquisition
of OPL 245 license in Nigeria.
The investigation, said the
group, examined new materials
and further information filed
by prosecutors in Milan and
Nigeria as part of closure of
the investigation in December
2016.
The group pointed out
that “the Law firm however,
confirmed the conclusion
reached by previous
investigations in 2015 stating
that there was no evidence of
corrupt conduct in relation
to the transaction thereby
exonerated the Former
President Goodluck Jonathan.
So the question is “who is after
Goodluck Jonathan?
“Against this background,
we therefore see a calculated
grand plan of deliberate
mischief from the Nigerian
House of Representatives to
continue to witch-hunt and
malign former President
Jonathan and his government
on a matter that competent
courts and international
investigators have carefully
studied and given a clean
bill of health.” The statement
raised questions what must
have prompted the lawmakers,
stressing whether it is because
Don Etete is from the Niger
Delta.
The group asks “is it because
Etete is from the Niger Delta
that his block should be
taken? Who allocated the oil
block to the Abacha family?
Is that not the height of
corruption? So people of the
Niger Delta should not own
oil blocks? What sin have they
committed? What sin have
they committed? etc.)”
Raising further questions
about the impropriety of the
summon, the group asked
whether the Nigerian House of
Representatives now working
on behalf of the Nigerian
people or the Abacha family
who have been working round
the clock to seize OPL 245 from
Malabu Oil and its owners?
The NAF asked how
come these investigations
by EFCC and the House of
Representatives are coming
at the same time when the
Abacha family has renewed its
quest to acquire OPL 245.
“ How come that out of all
the oil blocks awarded by
the Abacha junta to the Mai
Deribes, Indimis and the many
others, it is the Malabu oil deal
that has continued to be the
subject of national discourse?
Deliberately contorted and
twisted to suit the mischievous
propagandists who have
sworn that Malabu oil and
its owners will see no peace
as much as we know that
Goodluck Jonathan has no
interest or stake in it?
“We are more concerned
knowing that the Malabu Oil
deal predates the Jonathan
administration and we are left
to wonder why the House of
Representatives would want to
summon only former President
Jonathan and not Obasanjo
who probably should have
a better explanation on the
subject matter. Or better still,
start with the Abacha family.
“It is unfortunate that a
country that has not been able
to summon those responsible
for the Halliburton scam which
has won Nigeria international
condemnation and for which
many have been convicted in
international courts would
want to witch-hunt former
president Goodluck Jonathan
because they are bent on
excavating evidence against
the Jonathan presidency and
the Malabu oil deal even when
it has been clearly established
that there was none?
“What about those who
plotted coup to topple
previous administrations in
this country and are working
free, are they not supposed to
be tried after serving out as
presidents? Can’t the National
assembly go after coup
plotters in order to forestall
future occurrences, rather
than hunting an innocent
man in the person of former
President Goodluck Jonathan,
who handed over power
willingly just to promote our
Democracy which those in the
National Assembly are one of
the biggest beneficiaries?”

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