Nigeria says ex-president Jonathan and oil minister took bribes – court filing

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The Nigerian government has accused former President Goodluck Jonathan and Diezani Madueke, his then oil minister of accepting bribes and breaking the country’s laws to broker a $1.3 billion oil deal eight years ago, a London court filing shows.

The deal, in which Shell and Italian peer Eni jointly acquired the rights to the OPL 245 offshore oilfield, has spawned legal cases spanning several countries.

In papers advancing a London commercial court suit against Shell and Eni, lawyers for the Nigerian government said Jonathan and Alison-Madueke conspired to “receive bribes and make a secret profit”, keeping the government from getting what it was owed from the deal.

“Bribes were paid,” the filing, reviewed by Reuters, states. It says “the receipt of those bribes and the participation in the scheme of said officials was in breach of their fiduciary duties and Nigerian criminal law.”

A spokesman for Jonathan declined to comment and said the former president was in South Africa as part of an election monitoring team. A London-based lawyer for Madueke did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nigerian attorney general Abubakar Malami did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 2011 deal is also the subject of a corruption trial in Milan in which two middlemen have been convicted and former and current Shell and Eni officials are also on trial.

An Eni spokesman said the Italian firm was assessing whether UK courts had jurisdiction on a case of “such duplication” to the Milan proceedings and repeated its view on “the correctness and compliance of every aspect of the transaction.”

Shell did not immediately comment, but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in relation to OPL 245.

The London lawsuit relates to payments that Shell and Eni made to acquire the licence.… Read More...

Jonathan, Atiku pay tribute to Yar’Adua on 9th anniversary of his death

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has showered tributes on late former President Umoru Musa Yar’Adua on the occasion to mark the 9th anniversary of the passing away of the late President, who died in office on May 5, 2010.
In a series of tweets confirmed from his official Twitter handle @Goodluckjonathan, the former President  said that Yar’Adua brought peace and lived peace in the country and nurtured democracy in Nigeria.
” He used the opportunity he had in public service to build bridges of love, foster unity and give hope to Nigerians.
“Yar’Adua was a man of integrity with a humble spirit who always took upon himself the burden of national reconciliation, peace building and democratic consolidation.
“On this day nine years ago, I lost a friend, colleague, brother and boss. He was a selfless leader, who placed national interests above personal and ethnic gains”, Jonathan said.

Also, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has hailed late former President Umoru Musa Yar’Adua on the 9th anniversary of his death, describing him as a ” man of peace and a leader with a vision”.

The late Yar’Adua died in office after a protracted illness diagnosed as accute pericarditis in May 2010 and was buried in his home state of Katsina. Yar’Adua was elected President in 2007 after serving as the governor of Katsina State, he was succeeded by his then deputy, Goodluck Jonathan.

Atiku in a statement he personally signed on Sunday,made available to BusinessDay by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said the late President Yar’adua was a man he was closely connected to.

” First, because his late brother, the great Tafida of Katsina, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, was my political mentor who taught both myself and Umaru, the ropes in politics.

“Obviously, with Umaru, the apple did … Read More...