Nigeria: Halliburton $25 million plea-bargain money disappears
Where is the $25million plea-bargain money paid by a multi-national company operating in the country and indicted in the monumental Halliburton scandal? This is the riddle security operatives are trying to unravel as they commence investigations into the $25million plea-bargain over the multi-billion dollar scam. Authoritative sources
said the money could not be located in any Federal Government account.
The sources told Saturday Tribune that if the firm paid any plea bargain money, government was not aware because it could not be traced.
The company, one of the firms indicted in the Halliburton $420 million bribery scandal, had opted for a plea bargain instead of prosecution.
The authoritative sources told Saturday Tribune that government was yet to ascertain if the firm actually paid any money into its coffers.
During police investigations into the bribery scandal, the firm was alleged to be the conduit pipe Halliburton used to distribute money to top government functionaries.
However at the conclusion of investigation, the firm allegedly paid the sum of $25 million as plea bargain in order not to be prosecuted.
The only suspect that was charged to court was a former special assistant to former president, Bodunde Adeyemi, whose trial is still in progress.
The case was reopened , two weeks ago when the Federal Government requested the United States’ government to release the balance of the bribery money held up in a US bank.
In its response, the U.S. government bluntly refused to release the money under the pretext that the government was not serious in fighting corruption.
The only condition given to release the money was the immediate prosecution of all top shots including the said firm that were indicted in the scandal.
Following the US threat not to release the money, the government immediately directed the re-arrest and prosecution of all those implicated in the scandal.
The bribe was allegedly given by Halliburton, to facilitate getting contract to construct the multi- billion naira second face of the LNG project in Rivers State.