President Goodluck Jonathan has denied allegations by MEND leader, Henry Okah, that he and his aides masterminded two bombings in 2010 in order to implicate some leaders of Northern Nigeria.
Mr. Okah’s allegations are contained in an affidavit he swore to in South Africa, where he is facing trial for his alleged involvement in terrorist acts against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a statement in Abuja by Reuben Abati, the presidential spokesman, Mr. Jonathan described the allegations as “false in their entirety and without any factual foundation.”
“As the case of Mr. Okah’s involvement in the plotting and execution of terrorist attacks in Nigeria is already before a court of competent jurisdiction in South Africa, the Presidency does not intend to say anymore on the matter for now and will, in accordance with due process and international law, make a full representation on the matter to the court when the trial opens,” the statement said.
Mr. Okah also stated in the affidavit that early in 2010, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke called him over 20 times to solicit his input into getting the portfolio of Petroleum Resources Minister, to which Mr. Jonathan subsequently appointed her. In what seemed to be a reference to that point, the presidency advised the Nigerian media “to respect the sanctity of the legal and judicial processes in this matter and avoid becoming willing tools in the hands of Mr. Okah and his agents in an entirely diversionary trial by the media aimed only at falsely impugning the character and integrity of the President and officials of his administration.”
SaharaReporters broke the story of Mr. Okah’s new affidavit last night, in its pursuit of stories of interest to Nigerian and African peoples everywhere, using the legal tool of a court affidavit. Mrs. Allison-Madueke has not denied that she pursued the support of Mr. Okah in getting Mr. Jonathan’s nod for the post, to which she was reappointed last year, nor has Mr. Oronto-Douglas, whom Okah said met with him in South Africa at the instance of Mr. Jonathan.