14 December 2010

Nigeria: Halliburton Offers FG N20 Billion to Free Cheney of Corruption Charges

Abuja — Halliburton has offered to pay the Federal Government of Nigeria about N20 Billion in lieu of prosecution of its officials who are currently facing charges in bribe-for-contract scandal. The company also promised to liaise with the United States Government to recover the outstanding $I32 million dollars which is currently frozen in Switzerland.

LEADERSHIP gathered that former United States President, George Bush [Snr] and former United States Secretary of State, Mr. James Baker were part of the negotiations for the deal which will also see former US Vice-President, Richard Bruce 'Dick' Cheney let off the hook of prosecution.

Those in the Federal Government (FG)'s negotiating team include the Attorney General of Federation and Justice Minister, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) who led Nigeria's team at the negotiations which included the Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, legal luminaries, Damian Dodo [SAN] and Godwin Obla and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Roland Ewubare.

Halliburton's Chief Executive and Chairman, David Lesar, who replaced Cheney, Halliburton President, Eastern Hemisphere, Ahmed Lofty, Deputy General Counsel, James Ferguson were also parrt of the negotiations.

It will be recalled that Nigeria's anti-graft agency had said last week that former United States Vice-President, Cheney was not above the law and efforts were in top gear to prosecute him and other officials of Halliburton in the bribe-for-contract scandal.

The Nigerian team reportedly insisted not on the same amount the United States got. "We will not settle for less than what was paid to the U.S Government", the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Bello was quoted to have argued.

Efforts to reach the Minister of the Justice Minister through his Media Aide, Ambrose Momoh was unsuccessful as the Minister was said to be in a meeting, however sources at the EFCC confirmed that a deal was in the offing.

"No decision has been taken yet, the team just returned from London, and the FG is yet to be briefed. Yes the accused persons had offered to pay in lieu of persecution, but no decision has been taken yet" the source confirmed to LEADERSHIP late last night.

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