Domenico Gitto, the Italian national whose gift of a church donated to President Goodluck Jonathan’s hometown of Otuoke in Bayelsa state caused controversy earlier this year, is dead.
The circumstances surrounding his passing are unclear, but a Premium Times report speculated that Gitto struggled with depression.
The owner of Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Limited, Gitto had reportedly “been troubled for sometime owning to the huge debt piled up by his company in Nigerian banks,” the Times wrote.
According to the report, Gitto owed Union Bank a whopping N10 billion, while he was in N6 billion deep with Diamond Bank.
“A third bank, FCMB, had written to the Federal Ministry of Works asking that all money to be paid Gitto by the ministry be paid to the bank, over a N5billion debt owed it,” it said.
Gitto was in the news earlier this year when he donated a church to the President’s hometown, stirring up rumours that the Italian’s gift came with strings attached. The President was further criticised for accepting the gift, which many said compromised his integrity and the oath of office.
However, Jonathan maintained that he never sought the gift from Gitto and had only mentioned in passing the deteriorating state of the church.
Gitto Construzioni is reportedly handling several road and housing projects, that could be affected by Gitto’s passing.