The House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee investigating the OPL 245 Malabu oil deal has resolved to invite ex-President Goodluck Jonathan over alleged diversion of $1.3 billion. The committee is investigating the alleged corruption, malpractices, breach of due process in the award of Oil Prospecting Licence , OPL, 245. Recall that an earlier attempt by the committee on April 17 to summon the former President was resisted by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers who felt the invitation was an affront on the former President Goodluck ebere jonathan, through his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, denied allegations that he received a bribe of $200 million as proceeds from the Malabu oil deal and that he never received any summons from the adhoc committee. But Rasak Atunwa, chairman of the committee, who disclosed news of Jonathan’s invitation while interacting with journalists, yesterday, in Abuja on the outcome of the investigation the committee conducted so far, said the invitation of the former President would determine the next steps to be taken by the committee. He said: “The committee noted that it had conducted extensive investigation into the OPL 245 saga and that it is drawing to a close. “However, the committee is of the view that in the interest of thoroughness, natural justice and fair play, it is imperative that evidence should be taken from former President Goodluck Jonathan. “In arriving at this decision, the committee took account of the following facts: Jonathan was the President at the material time the ministers brokered the so-called resolution agreement that led to the allegation of $1.3 billion diversion of funds. “Jonathan’s name features in the proceedings initiated by the Public Prosecutor of Milan in Italy.” “A UK court judgment in relation to an application to return part of the money being restrained, castigated the Jonathan administration as not having acted in the best interest of Nigeria in relation to the deal. “The Attorney-General of the Federation at the material time, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who, of course, has been charged in relation to the case by the EFCC, has recently instituted proceedings in court. “He pleaded that all his actions were as instructed by former President Goodluck Jonathan. “Accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of the constitution, the committee has decided to request that former President Goodluck Jonathan give evidence to the committee as to his role in the matter. “The secretariat will write him asking for his response and submissions.” While responding to questions, he said that the former president was at liberty to make a written submission to the committee or otherwise. He also said former president’s response would determine the next line of action to be taken by the Adhoc committee, adding: “The proper thing is that the committee has taken a decision that he must give evidence.” “Section 89 of the Constitution requires that we ask for the evidence; we’ve asked him for evidence and he must give evidence, we have asked him to give his response and submission. “A matter entirely for him is, he may desire to send us a written submission, and we consider every written submission. We take it one step at a time. “The normal proceeding for a committee hearing investigating such matter is to take a written submission and whatever comes out of that will have to be decided at the committee level.
…..Credit – Vanguardng