21 July 2015, Warri – The Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, CENTREP, Warri, Delta State, has described the recent directives by President Muhammadu Buhari, authorising immediate prosecution of all culprits involved in the $180 million Halliburton bribe scandal, as a bold attempt to tackle official corruption and greed in the polity.
National coordinator of the group, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, in a statement, yesterday, said, “We are not oblivious of the fact that sometime in April, 2010, the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders released the much needed documents and evidence needed by the Nigerian Government to prosecute all the culprits involved in the Halliburton bribe scandal case.”
He said the culprits on the Nigeria side included two former Heads of State, a former Vice President and ex-Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshall A. D Bello, but the Acting President at the time, later President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, did nothing, while the United States decisively prosecuted those found culpable on its side and jailed them. His words, On the Nigerian side, the Nigerian authorities swept the matter under the carpet with the kangaroo trial of one of the alleged culprits.”
“We believe that the above directive of President Buhari has signaled the beginning of the prosecution and the jailing of culprits involved in high profile corruption cases by the Nigerian Government and we also believe that the above would help to teach public officeholders with scratchy palms the need to respect public funds kept under their care,” he asserted.