- President fumes over publication threatens legal action
President Goodluck Jonathan has been ranked the sixth wealthiest leader in Africa by Rich Lifestyle, a US-based website.
In an article entitled, ‘Richest African Presidents 2014, the website compiled a list of the nine richest presidents and kings in Africa. According to the article, President Jonathan shares the sixth spot with King Mswati III, the king of Swaziland, each with a net worth of $100 million.
The leaders on the list, according to how they were ranked on the site, are as follows;
Angolan president, Jose Eduardo dos Santo, who has ruled Angola for 34 years, topped the list with a net worth of $20 billion. His daughter, Isabel dos Santos, has also been ranked on the Forbes Africa’s billionaires with a net worth of $3.8 billion. She’s currently Africa’s richest woman and also the world’s richest black woman.
Coming in second is Mohammed VI, the king of Morocco with a net worth of $2.5 billion. He ascended to the throne following his father’s death in 1999 and is also ranked as the country’s leading businessman.
In third position with an estimated net worth of $600 million is Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. He came to power in August 1979 by ousting his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in a military coup. He has overseen the emergence of the nation as an important oil producer, beginning in the 1990s.
Following close behind, with a worth of $500 Million, is Kenya’s Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. According to the website, Kenyatta and his family own stakes in Kenya’s largest dairy company Brookside Dairies, media company Mediamax, Heritage Hotels, Commercial Bank of Africa and hundreds of thousands of prime Kenyan lands.
The website named Paul Biya, the leader of Cameroon for 31 years, fifth wealthiest African leader with a net worth of $200 million.
The sixth spot is shared by Jonathan and King Mswati III of Swaziland, both with estimated net worth of $100 million each.
Chadian ruler, Idriss Deby, who has ruled for 23 years comes in eight position with a net worth of $50 million.
Rounding off the list is Zimbabwe’s multiple election winner, Robert Mugabe, with a net worth of $10 million.
Jonathan Denies Being Worth $100m
…Threatens court action against authors of report
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday described as baseless and libellous the article in the website, RichestLifestyle.com, which listed him as the sixth richest African president with an estimated net worth of $100 million.
Accordingly, he has threatened to drag the website as well as other media organizations that have reproduced the report to court should they fail to retract the report and tender an unreserved apology to him.
A statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, condemned the “totally unwarranted inclusion” of Jonathan’s name in the publication, describing it another attempt to unjustifiably portray him as a corrupt leader “and incite public disaffection against him.”
Abati stated: “We categorically assert that there is no factual basis for ranking President Jonathan as the sixth richest African head of state with a net worth of about $100 million. As is well known, President Jonathan has never been a businessman or entrepreneur but a life-long public servant.
“The President has held public office since 1999 and has regularly declared his assets as required by Nigerian laws. He has had no personal income since 1999 other than his official remuneration as deputy governor, governor, vice president, acting president and president, which are matters of public record.”
The presidential spokesman further stated that there had been no significant variation in the totality of Jonathan’s personal wealth as contained in his last assets declaration to the Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau in 2011 which, it said, was a far cry from the $100 million figure listed by the website.
While threatening to go to court if the authors of the report fail to retract it and tender an apology to the president, Abati noted that the insinuation of the publication was that the president had corruptly enriched himself while in office, which, he said, was certainly not the case.
“We therefore demand a retraction and an unreserved apology from Richest Lifestyle.com and all those who have reproduced the offensive article; otherwise, they should be prepared to substantiate their libellous claims against the president in courts of law within and outside Nigeria,” Abati warned.[Leadership]