Nigeria News : Jonathan opens up as Buhari Govt searches for U.S. ‘bank accounts’, Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has declared that he has no account or property abroad.
Jonathan made the clarification in a statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze.
The reaction followed moves by the Buhari administration to subpoena bank records of Jonathan and his wife, Patience.
“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,” Eze said.
“Weaver 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,” he added.
The statement reminded the public that on March 5, 2014, during the swearing-in of new ministers, Jonathan said “I am loyal to Nigeria’s economy. I don’t have accounts or property abroad.”
It insisted that between that time and the present, nothing has changed about the former Nigerian leader.
Aside from Jonathan and Patience, the Nigerian government is also searching for bank records of Diezani Alison-Madueke and Rilwanu Lukman.
Both were, at different times, former Minister of Petroleum Resources in Africa’s biggest country.
Bloomberg reports that financial institutions that have been contacted include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and New York branches of Deutsche Bank AG and United Bank for Africa Plc.
Nigeria wants “all documents concerning any transactions to, from, or for the benefit” of the Jonathans from 2009 to date.
Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was quoted as saying that information retrieved will assist the investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to know individuals in the Process & Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) gas deal.
In court filings, Malami stated that there is good reason to believe that former ministers were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria.
However, P&ID says Malami’s application is “nothing but an absurdly overbroad fishing expedition”.
The company insisted that the AGF is claiming fraud and bribery to avoid paying the judgment debt that amounts to about 30% of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.