Nigeria orders re-arrest of suspects in $180m Halliburton bribery

Kingsley Omonobi

24 October 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA—THERE are indications that the Presidency has directed the Police to re-arrest the principal suspects in the $180 million Halliburton bribery scandal, involving prominent Nigerians, for prosecution.

This is sequel to the insistence by the US authorities that the $130 million presently in the US government coffers, will be returned to Nigeria only after the culprits were prosecuted as the Americans have done.

As a result of the directive, the Inspector General of Police has directed the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Investigations Department to resuscitate the investigative report of the CP Ali Amodu-led panel that investigated the scandal and submitted its report in 2010.

Consequently, such principal suspects as the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Dominic Bello; former federal Permanent Secretary and Intercellular boss, Ibrahim Aliyu; former GMD of NNPC, Jackson Gaius-Obaseki; former Special Assistant to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Bodunde Adeyanju and a former Secretary to the board of NNPC, Mrs. Sena Anthony are to be re-arrested for prosecution.

Aside the arrest of the principal suspects in the bribery scandal, it was gathered that the US government is insisting that the whereabouts of the $26.5 million returned by Construction giants, Julius Berger, in a plea bargain arrangement, should be located and handed over to the police.

As at today, nobody including the Police, knows where-about of the said money.

Recall that Julius Berger was one of the indicted concerns in the $180 million Halliburton bribery scandal while another indicted group was TSKJ, the consortium of four companies that won the contract and carried out the construction of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Bonny, Rivers State.

It was reported in 2010 that the Consortium of companies under the umbrella, TSKJ, was also interested in a plea bargain arrangement and may cough out as much as $50 million to the Nigderian government.

Bodunde, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s special assistant on Domestic Affairs, had confessed to the investigating team that he collected the sum of $6 million from Gaius-Obaseki while he was lodging at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja and handed the money over to Mallam Lawal Batagarawa, former Minister of State for Defence, who further handed same to chieftains of a the Peoples Democratic Party.

On Julius Berger’s $26.5million, it was reported in 2010 that the five-man inter-agency panel that investigated the scandal, raised an alarm after Julius Berger entered into a plea bargain arrangement to exonerate it from prosecution but the money was no where to be found.

About the Author

  • We consider the request for the funds from the US authorities an extremely shameless action by the Nigerian government. Did the Nigerian authorities have to be told to prosecute those who actively participated in the bribery saga?