Nigeria's President Jonathan 'could sue' over rich list

Goodluck Jonathan on a visit to Kenya, September 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Jonathan's office has asked the website to retract the claim - or face libel proceedings

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has threatened to sue a website that had listed him as one of Africa's 10 richest leaders.

The website ranked Mr Jonathan sixth on its list, claiming his net worth was about $100m (£62m).

A statement from the presidency said Mr Jonathan's inclusion on the list had "no factual basis" and was an attempt to portray him as corrupt.

The site has since removed the Nigerian leader's name from the list.

In the sixth position, where Mr Jonathan was placed alongside King Mswati III of Swaziland, it now says "this article has been removed" and there is a link to another website evaluating his finances.

President Jonathan has been criticised in the past for not declaring his assets publicly.

In 2012, an official from the Nigerian watchdog body, the Code of Conduct Bureau, was quoted by Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper as saying that the president had declared his assets - but was not obliged by law to make the declaration public.

The statement from the presidency on Wednesday said there had been "no significant variation in the totality" of Mr Jonathan's assets as declared to the bureau in 2011.

This figure, the statement said, was "a very, very far cry from $100m figure now being bandied about by and other irresponsible, copy-cat publications".

The statement said that Mr Jonathan had "regularly declared his assets as required by Nigerian laws" since 1999, when he first held public office.

"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 statement said.

The office of the presidency had threatened legal action unless the website retracted the article and offered an apology.

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