The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the alleged corruption, malpractices and breach of due process in the award of OPL 245 (Malabu deal), on Wednesday, said the committee decided to invite former President Goodluck Jonathan over the controversial oil deal because all evidences showed that he was a party in the scandal.
A statement issued by the Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Honourable Razak Atunwa, in Abuja, read:
“The committee was aware of recent information that have come to light, both nationally and internationally, indicating that former President Jonathan may have been complicit in the controversial deal.
“The committee is also closely monitoring the proceedings in the Italian courts, instituted by the public prosecutor of Milan, in which ministers in Jonathan’s administration were mentioned, including the former president himself.
“These facts have firmly placed former President Jonathan on the committee’s radar.
“The committee believes that the former president might well be in a position to assist it with its inquiries.
“Accordingly, the committee is considering inviting him to give evidence before it. An announcement will be made once a formal decision is taken on the matter.
“The committee intends to be meticulous, thorough and comprehensive in its inquiry so as to bring about finality to this seemingly intractable matter.”
Atunwa, who is in-charge of the probing of the $1.3 billion Malabu oil deal, had on Monday, urged Jonathan to testify on his role in the award of Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL 245, to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.
A Russian middleman who brokered the deal, Ednan Agaev told Italian prosecutors that Jonathan may have received a $200 million bribe from former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.
However, the former president described reports linking him to the oil scandal as the work of his detractors, who are threatened by his rising international profile.
The former president has become the highest profile individual involved in the messy scandal.