By Ebi Perekeme
Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he has no accounts or property abroad.
Jonathan made the comment in response to a report that the federal government has requested for the statements of public officers including him and his wife, Patience; former ministers of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Rilwanu Lukman.
The request was reported to have been made by Abubakar Malami, the attorney general of the federation, to help an ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) know individuals involved in the Process & Industrial Developments Ltd gas deal.
“Our attention has been drawn to international media reports to the effect that the Federal Government of Nigeria has subpoenaed bank records for former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan in the United States of America,” the statement signed by Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s spokesman, read.
“We aver that the Federal Government of Nigeria did not contact Dr Jonathan or his wife before issuing these subpoenas. If they had, we would have advised them of the fact that you cannot subpoena what does not exist.”
Eze referenced a comment made by Jonathan during the swearing-in of new ministers on March 5, 2014, when the former president said he had no accounts or property abroad.
“We are confident in stating that between that time and now, nothing has changed with regards to Dr Goodluck Jonathan. He has no accounts in the United States of America and encourages US authorities to cooperate fully with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s subpoena.
“We would also like to state that during his tenure as President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan extended every courtesy to former Presidents and Heads of state because he believed and still believes that promoting, projecting and protecting Nigeria’s sovereignty and the image is the paramount duty of her government because it is not possible to belittle Nigerians without belittling Nigeria.”
Eze said the P&ID contract was signed before the Jonathan administration and that he “gave appropriate counsel to the incoming government in the handover notes of 2015, which advice if carried out, would have prevented the current unfortunate circumstances”.
Nigeria hopes to overturn a $9.7 billion judgement awarded against it for breach of agreement in a botched gas project.