Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s office has debunked the claim by the Afrobeat singer, Femi Kuti, that he (Jonathan) was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of fraud when he was deputy governor of Bayelsa State.
A statement issued by Wealth Ominabo, a media officer in the former president’s office, on Friday, described the claim as false and spurious.
Ominabo stated that Kuti might have been misled by some fake information that were peddled in the past, by some unscrupulous politicians, stressing that the anti-graft agency gave Jonathan a clean bill at the time in question.
He said, “We have just watched a video broadcast by Femi Kuti, where he sought to clarify his position on the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
“In the same message, we noticed that in trying to push his case, Femi needlessly brought former President Goodluck Jonathan into the fray, by alleging that Dr Jonathan was invited by EFCC during his time as a deputy governor of Bayelsa State.
“We would have ignored the false claim, as we had done in the past if it had not come from Mr Kuti, an internationally acclaimed musician and patriot, who we also hold in high regard.
“While struggling in the video to dissociate himself from politicians whom he accused of corruption, Kuti had said, “Let me remind you that Jonathan was wanted by the EFCC as a Vice Governor (we guess he meant Deputy Governor) of Bayelsa State.”
“This spurious claim is simply a lie, fabricated and repeatedly planted in the media by merchants of mischief for political purposes.
“We have said this before and we will repeat it: For the avoidance of any doubt, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s name was never on any EFCC list of corrupt governors or deputy governors as the case may be. We challenge anybody, including Femi, to prove otherwise.
“Let us remind Femi and others that 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 deputy governor, did categorically dismiss those allegations as lies manufactured by political jobbers.
“It is disappointing that a celebrity of Femi’s stature, whom many respect as a voice of reason and truth, has suddenly become a purveyor of fake news and misinformation.
“We will admonish Femi and his likes to freely express their rights to give their opinion on any national issue without resorting to falsehood and sullying the hard-earned reputation of individuals.”