President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday denied allegations brought against him 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 is the detained leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), blamed for the 2010 Independence Day bomb that killed at least 10 people with many more injured.
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.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jonathan has denied the allegation in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, describing 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, 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.”