Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly gone into exile in the Ivory Coast, after exploring several countries in Africa where he can “hide.”
Jonathan’s relocation was reportedly leaked by some of his former aides to security agencies, and several of those aides are currently under arrest and/or interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for graft and corruption.
As a way of allegedly covering his tracks, Jonathan is said to have paid for and arranged several tours of the United States and the United Kingdom — some of which reportedly included buying awards from available colleges and universities to create a semblance of popularity.
Sources close to the former president revealed, though, that most of the Western nations had started asking Mr. Jonathan hard questions relating to his alleged corrupt activities while in office.
Jonathan reportedly considered moving to Kenya, where there are speculations that he has financial ties to a dairy firm, but the Kenyans reportedly turned him down, claiming the pressure to give him to authorities would be too much if he was indicted for corruption.
In opting for Cote d’Ivoire, the former president is returning to an ally, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who Jonathan assisted in gaining power in 2010.
According to sources, Jonathan used his connections with President Ouattara to invest in the refinery business there.
Ivorian officials in Washington, D.C., reportedly told SaharaReporters that Mr. Jonathan has been living in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital, for close to two months, but they could not confirm if he has been granted political asylum there.
Jonathan arrived back in Cote d’Ivoire from a trip to Ecuador about two weeks ago.
Kone Seydou, the Cote d’Ivoire government spokesperson, said the government does not have any official position on Mr. Jonathan’s presence in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jonathan is reportedly sending text messages to his friends in Nigeria, saying that the published story about his exile in ThisDay is an attempt by publisher Nduka Obaigbena, who was an insider in Jonathan’s government, to “rubbish” him.
Mr. Obaigbena received vast sums of seedy money from the former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki who is currently under probe by the EFCC following his arrest.