Reacting to the newspaper report on the former President Jonathan’s refusal to respond to the House of Representatives’ formal invitation to him over his alleged role in the controversial $1.1bn Malabu Oil deal, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called on him to go and clear himself of any form of complicity, either directly or indirectly as that is the only way he could be absolved.
The anti-corruption organization challenged the former president to avoid applying the old method of dodging as it will not be helpful to him. Speaking on the former President’s refusal to honour HOR’s invitation, Mr. Debo Adeniran, leader of CACOL who retorted said, “Now that his name has come up in the record of the probe, he cannot wish it away. He must be made to realize that it will continue to remain in the record and no matter how long it takes; it’s just going to be a matter of time for him to be made to answer for questions about a lot of atrocities committed under his watch. If he believes his hands are clean, then why the fear to appear?”
“And if on the other hand, his refusal is borne out sheer contempt for the House, he perhaps needs to be reminded that the constitutional immunity does not cover former presidents and so the instrumentality of the law is ever so alive and potent and could always be applied if and when it becomes necessary. The refusal itself is quite unstatemanly.”
The Malabu Oil corruption scandal which has for almost two decades ran through successive regimes, from Abacha’s to Obasanjo’s down to this day, been in the eye of a protracted stormy international investigation with names of some Nigeria’s government top shots including petroleum ministers, justice ministers, even heads of state and oil multinationals featuring prominently. Investigations and litigations in various European juries have frequently thrown up discoveries of high-scale official corruption and compromise which has so far made the Malabu deal a hydra-headed monster that has refused to die.
Adeniran said “It is so sad that even though some names of Nigeria’s top public officials’ had appeared atop many investigative submissions in many foreign lands over this scandalous deal and causing various ad hoc committees to be set up by both legislative chambers at different times, right from the days of Obasanjo’s reign down to this day, nothing concrete has been achieved so far.”
“There is no disputing the fact that GEJ presided over the most corrupt and reckless government ever in the political history of this country. Under his watch, massive looting and squandering of the country’s wealth at the most alarming scale took place.”
“It will be recalled that, directly under his watch, both indicted members of Jonathan’s cabinet in persons of Bello Adoke and Deziani Alison-Madueke, ministers of justice and petroleum respectively, blatantly shunned the House of Representatives probe panel’s invitation to them to appear for questioning over the matter. So, Jonathan has no moral justification to refuse to answer the call of the representatives of the citizens of Nigeria to provide answers to activities that took place during his rule.”
“We therefore strongly advice the former President to honour the invitation of the legislative house without further delay if he places any value on his name. Eventually, the truth will come out and it will prevail.”