14 November 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — FOLLOWING a directive by President Goodluck Jonathan that the $180 million Halliburton bribery scam be reopened and the principal suspects re-arrested for prosecution, a list of some of the foreign banks through which huge sums running into millions of dollars were wired to prominent Nigerians has been uncovered.
The bribes, amounting to $180 million, was offered to top Nigerian government officials by the US firm to enable TSKJ, a company which it is part of, to win construction contract for the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, project.
According to sources, such principal suspects like a former military head of state (names withheld), used the American Express Bank Annex at the Towers World Financial Centre, New York, the Seaway National Bank, Chicago, and the Bank of New York to wire over $37.5 million of the bribe money.
Accounts used by the former head of state between 2002 and 2003 include A/C No 187765 Chips VID 250517, Maizubi Holdings, Minna, A/C No 0074952045, Rooting No 071001216, Foundation Inc. A/C No 9800263826 Swift/Sort Code GHBAGRAA001 and A/C No 0039342923-21 Rooting No 052001533.
Another principal suspect through who the British lawyer, Jeffrey Tesler wired huge sums to prominent Nigerians is Air Vice Marshal Abdul Dominic Bello and the banks/account numbers through which over $68 million were wired are Lloyds Bank of London, A/C No 736827, Tri-Star, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, London, Tri-Star, American Express Bank, A/C No 2101653, Tri-Star, HSBC, A/C No 31505024, and Lloyds Bank, A/C No 0737041, Tri-Star.
It was gathered that these huge sums of bribe money were shared with the active knowledge and connivance of Mrs. Sena Anthony, Company Secretary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the majority shareholder in NLNG project.
Mrs. Anthony was arrested, detained and interrogated for days during the first investigation and was subsequently declared by investigators as key to unraveling the complete list of the bribery beneficiaries.
Concerning another former head of state (names withheld), it was learnt that a total of about $39 million was collected on his behalf by cronies over a period of time using a construction giant as go-between and purporting that the huge sums of money were invested in a prominent political party whereas, only a minute fraction actually got to the party.
The source disclosed that Malabu Oil owned by a former minister of petroleum benefitted from the bribery scam to the tune of about $2 million; Umaru Shinkafi, through the American Express Bank in London and in a Joint account he operated with Ashiru Bisiji Aliyu, got wired $1. 65 million.
For the brother of former head of state, Abdukadir Abacha, various sums amounting to about $13 million got to him through account names—Headway Eng. Ltd. A/C No 68579222; Strategic Ind. Ltd-A/c No 76434366; and Action Invt. Intern Ltd.
Ibrahim Aliyu, a former federal permanent secretary, among many other transactions, used Union Bank Plc London office at Copt Avenue with account No 02101/01/010 312/Swift Address UBNIGB31A.
Mr. MG Bakari, owner of Sherwood, used various accounts acting for himself and a former head of state to wire huge sums and they include Bank HSBC, Euston Road, London, A/C No 39067293 Sort Code 40-04-07, Swift Code MIDOGB; A/C No 024002112100; Monument Trust, Channels Island, Sherwood A/C No 024002112001 through which the sum of Euro 664,020. 83 were wired to Sherwood.
Recall that the decision of President Jonathan to order the re-opening of the case of Halliburton bribery scandal involving prominent Nigerians, for prosecution followed the insistence by the US authorities that the about $130 million presently in the US government coffers, will only be returned to Nigeria if the prime suspects are prosecuted.
Consequently, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, directed the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge 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.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the whereabouts of the $26.5 million returned by construction giants, Julius Berger, in a plea bargain arrangement, to avoid prosecution, is yet to be located and handed over to the police, as nobody, including the police, seems to know where the money was paid or deposited.