LONDON: Dec. 7, 2010.
Nigeria may issue Bench Warrant through Interpol for the immediate arrest of Dick Cheney, former American Vice President following a suit just filed against the American top politician in a FCT, High Court in Abuja, it has just emerged. Halliburton’s Chief Executive, David Lar is also on the list od the most wanted by the court in Nigeria.
Seven more, comprising corporate bodies and their bosses are joined as defendants in the suit filed in the Abuja High Court.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency filed the charges against former US Vice President and the head of oil services firm, Halliburton Co on Tuesday over an alleged scheme to bribe Nigerian officials.
EFCC officially filed the case in court alleging perpetuation of corruption in Nigeria.
Sixteen -count charges are filed against the American top figures at a federal high court in Abuja.
The alleged corrupt practices dated back to mid-1990s. The other executives are joined in the suit.
EFCC also filed charges against the company under which umbrella the corruption was induced and carried out .
“Charges have been filed against Dick Cheney and eight others (individual and entities),” EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi told Reuters.
Houston-based engineering firm KBR, a former Halliburton unit, pleaded guilty last year to U.S. charges that it paid $180 million in bribes between 1994 and 2004 to Nigerian officials to secure $6 billion in contracts for the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Niger Delta.
KBR and Halliburton, which was once headed by Cheney, reached a $579 million settlement in the United States but Nigeria, France and Switzerland have conducted their own investigations into the case.
Halliburton split from KBR in 2007 and has said that its current operations in Nigeria are unrelated.
The executives charged in Nigeria also include KBR Chief Executive Officer William Utt, and former KBR chief executive Albert “Jack” Stanley, Babafemi said.
Statement from Nigerian prosecutors. Source: SR
Prosecutors in the Federal Attorney General’s office, led by Godwin Obla, confirmed to Saharareporters from the Office of the Minister of Justice that Nigeria has officially filed 16 -count charges to bring Dick Cheney to trial for corruptly enriching Nigerian officials when he led Halliburton, an oil services firm that distributed over $180 million to top Nigerian officials in order to obtain juicy contracts from the Nigerian government.
Also included in the charges are the current Managing Directors of Halliburton and KBR.
Yesterday in Houston, United States, a British national, Mr. Wojciech Chodan, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the US.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is spearheading the trial of Mr. Cheney and others. According to Mr. Obla, the next steps includes issuing a bench warrant and seeking the help of the Interpol to track down and arrest Mr. Cheney to enable him face trial in Nigeria.
A few hours ago, the prosecution team on behalf of the state of Nigeria filed a 16 count charge against the following persons and organization;
1. HALLIBURTON INC.
2. HALLIBURTON NIGERIA LIMITED
3. KELLOGG, BROWN & ROOT INC (KBR)
4. RICHARD “DICK” CHENEY.
5. ALBERT “JACK” STANLEY
6. WILLIAM UTT
7. DAVID LESAR
8. TSKJ NIGERIA LIMITED
9. TSKJ CONSORTIUM
This is in line with its avowed commitment to urgently and relentlessly trace, locate, identify and bring to justice all the participants in the criminal enterprise associated with the bribe for contract arrangement associated with the Bonny LNG payments and spanning over a long period of time. Names, positions, office(s) or geography would have no bearing or effect whatsoever on the decisions of the prosecution whatsoever as it relates to the prosecution of this matter.
It is important to stress that the filing of this charge today is just one out of many steps that would be taken by the prosecution. The illicit proceeds of that enterprise would be located.
Properties acquired in consequence of this would be traced and forfeited and organizations associated with the criminal enterprise may be liable to forfeiture to the state of Nigeria.
It is rather ironic that as the Nigerian State embarks upon this prosecution today, a major actor, Mr Wojciech J Chodan who was extradited from the United States to the United Kingdom was simultaneously pleading guilty to bribery allegations Charges to the LNG project.
What more justification does the Nigerian State requires as a victim when transitional countries are taking a very firm and decisive view of this situation