Nigeria‘s anti-corruption police said today that they will charge former US vice-president Dick Cheney over a $180m bribery case involving energy firm Halliburton.The announcement follows a probe into the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in the conflict-ridden Niger Delta.
Halliburton’s top official in Nigeria has been summoned and 10 of its Nigerian and expat staff detained for questioning after a raid on the company’s office in Lagos. Cheney was head of Halliburton before becoming George W Bush’s vice-president in 2001.
From the BBC:
Agency spokesman Femi Babafemi said that the charges were likely to be brought next week.
The case involves engineering firm KBR, which has admitted bribing officials.
Mr Cheney was Halliburton’s chief executive before becoming vice-president to George W Bush in 2001.
Mr Babafemi said the charges were “not unconnected to his role as the chief executive of Halliburton”.
KBR last year pleaded guilty to paying $180m (£115m) in bribes to Nigerian officials prior to 2007, when it was a subsidiary of Halliburton. The firm agreed to pay $579m (£372m)in fines related to the case in the US.
But Nigeria, along with France and Switzerland, has conducted its own investigations into the case.
Elizabeth Dickinson of FP writes:
Nigeria might sound like an odd place for this to be coming from, but the country’s anti-corruption commission actually has quite the record of competance in breaking corporate and government scandals. So if you were wondering, this is “for real.”
The EFCC should have instead attempted to target those top Nigerians already disclosed as having received bribes in the Halliburton scandal. Several names have as being tied to the scandal, and they include: former dictator Ibrahim Babangida (who recently said he will no longer run for office in 2011), late former dictator Sani Abacha (who robbed the country of at least $500 million), Rilwanu Lukman, Don Etiebet, Orji Kalu, Aliyu Gusau (who wants to be president in 2011) and many other familiar names. Even former president Olusegun Obasanjo is reported to be one who received bribes from the company. If the EFCC plans to ever be considered credible, it must focus on these and other Nigerian citizens and not throw around the names of foreign that it has little or no access to.
This looks like a really good one to follow. Stay tuned.