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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

JONATHAN WAS NEVER ON EFCC LIST OFCORRUPT GOVERNORS

The Presidency has noted with concern the
lead report in today’s edition of a national
newspaper, The Daily Trust, which contained
malicious, disrespectful and disparaging
remarks about President Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan purportedly authored by an
official of the United States Embassy over two
years ago.
We are completely at a loss as to what
purpose the Daily Trust expects its report
which is wholly based on erroneous opinion
and false conjecture to serve other than the
objectives of those who persist in seeing no
good in the Jonathan Administration and
doing everything possible to distract the
President from his Agenda for National
Transformation.
It is a matter of public record, as the editors
of the Trust well know, that no charge of
corruption was ever made or sustained
against the President while he served as
Governor of Bayelsa State, while his many
achievements as governor of the state speak
for themselves.
The report also includes an unjustifiable
attempt to impugn the President’s integrity by
rehashing a well-worn fictional account of
alleged corruption by the First Lady which has
been dismissed as arrant nonsense by the
former Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu
Ribadu.
For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever,
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has never
been on any EFCC list of corrupt governors
and we challenge anyone to prove otherwise.
In point of fact, it was his record of
achievement and incorruptibility in public
office that recommended him to the
leadership of the PDP as a worthy candidate
for the Vice Presidency in 2007.
Furthermore, the cable which purports to be
the source of the story is unverified.
Moreover, even the alleged cable itself cites as
its source "reports" and yet the newspaper
went ahead to report an alleged incident
which was not in the purported cable and
involved the seizure of large sums of money
from the President's wife while he was
governor.
The incident described above never
happened and is at best a figment of the
reporter’s imagination. Let me state
categorically that at no time was $13.5 million
or any other sum seized from Dame Patience
Jonathan at the Lagos airport or any other
airport.
The former Executive Chairman of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
Malam Nuhu Ribadu, who was in office at the
time President Jonathan was a governor
stated categorically that the allegations were
just lies inserted into the media for political
purposes.
Malam Ribadu's precise statement on this
issue made on the 13th of October, 2010 was
as follows: "We investigated it and there was
nothing connected with Mrs. Jonathan. Even
as at that time those who were desperately
looking to make a political mile out of every
opportunity decided to use that to link it with
them simply because they wanted to kick
them out of office at that time".
Finally, let me state that President Jonathan
remains committed to Press freedom and
freedom of speech which is why he signed
the Freedom of Information Bill into law. With
the passage of this bill into law, the
expectation of the President is that such a law
could be utilized by the Press to thoroughly
investigate allegations before they are
released into the public arena as truth.
The FOI law allows reporters to request for
records from the EFCC which when perused
would establish the truth about any matter
that has been before the EFCC. With the FOI
law, there is no longer any excuse for
speculative journalism beyond laziness.
Reuben Abati, Ph.D
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
6 September 2011

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