Nigeria charges former US VP Cheney over bribery

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 13:03

Abuja: Nigeria`s anti-corruption body
on Wednesday charged former US Vice President Dick Cheney over a
bribery scandal involving oil services firm Halliburton Co.
during time he served as its top official.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed
16-count charge meant to bring Cheney appear in the oil-rich
country`s court to face USD 240 million bribery allegation.
"The charges are made against the backdrop of bribes
which were assumed to have been paid to some Nigerian
officials concerning the construction of a Liquefied Natural
Gas at Bonny Island," EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said.
A Nigerian subsidiary of Houston, US based firm,
Halliburton was mentioned in the charge, Babafemi said.

Last week, Babafemi had said that Cheney was still the
chief executive of the oil company when the supposed crime was
committed in Nigeria despite being exonerated in the US case
when it was discovered that he had resigned before the bribe.

The case revolves around the construction of a
Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Southern state of Rivers state.

Early last week, the EFCC invited officials of the
oil service company for questioning in relation to the case.

An earlier investigation was done by the US but the
EFCC said the agency wants to probe it from the Nigeria`s side
of things.

Also 10 employees of Halliburton were arrested,
released and made to remain in the country in anticipation of
more investigations.

Their travel documents were seized by the EFCC. Ten
Nigerians were also arrested alongside the expatriate workers
over the investigation.

KBR and Halliburton had agreed to pay USD 579 million
settlement in the US after guilty plea last year over the
charges which said USD 180 million was paid in bribe to
Nigerian officials to secure a contract worth USD 6 billion
between 1994 and 2004 at Bonny Island Liquefied Natural Gas
(LNG) project.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 13:03

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