Nigeria : Nigeria tells Cheney/ the Game is Up!!!

Ankhur

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Published on Thursday, December 2, 2010 by Agence France-Presse
Nigeria 'To Charge Dick Cheney' over Halliburton, KBR Bribery Case
by M.J. Smith

LAGOS - Nigerian authorities plan to charge ex-US vice president Dick Cheney in connection with a bribery scandal allegedly involving energy firm Halliburton, a spokesman for the anti-graft agency said Thursday.

Cheney served as head of Halliburton before becoming vice president under George W. Bush. (AFP)Asked whether Cheney would be charged over the investigation into construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in southern Nigeria, Femi Babafemi said, "it's true ... definitely."

The spokesman could not give details on the charges that he says are likely to be filed next week, but said "they are not unconnected to his role as the chief executive of Halliburton."

A prosecutor on the case said Cheney would be charged jointly along with the former and current leadership of Halliburton and others.

Officials from companies in a consortium involved in the LNG plant would also be included in the charges to be "placed before the court at the latest by Tuesday of next week," said Godwin Obla.

Cheney would face conspiracy charges and a Nigerian judge would be asked to issue an arrest warrant for him that would be transmitted to Interpol, said Obla.

"As the CEO of Halliburton, he has the responsibility for acts that occurred during that period," Obla told AFP.

Nigeria's Guardian newspaper also reported that Cheney would be charged. Halliburton's office in Lagos would not comment when reached by phone.

Cheney served as head of Halliburton before becoming vice president under George W. Bush in 2000.

The LNG case involves an alleged 182 million dollar cash-for-contract scandal over 10 years until 2005 over construction of the LNG plant in southern Nigeria. Halliburton has denied involvement in the allegations.

US authorities said last year that Halliburton and its former subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) had agreed to pay 579 million dollars in fines related to the case.

It was one of the biggest fines ever paid by US companies in a foreign corruption case.

In October, a Nigerian court charged a personal aide to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo in a related probe.

Earlier this week, Nigerian anti-corruption authorities summoned a top local official from Halliburton as part of the investigation.

Authorities also raided Halliburton's office in Lagos last week and detained 10 people -- eight Nigerians and two expatriates -- who have since been released as investigations continue. Documents were taken as well.

Nigeria is one of the world's largest oil producers, but corruption remains deeply entrenched. Non-governmental organisations consistently rank the country as one of the world's most corrupt.

Babafemi's agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was established to probe corruption allegations and has carried out a series of high-profile prosecutions.



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Ankhur

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Dick Cheney is Officially a Wanted Man
Nigeria Files Charges against Cheney in Halliburton Bribery Scheme


By Jason Leopold

Global Research, December 8, 2010
Truthout


Dick Cheney is officially a Wanted Man

The former vice president was indicted Tuesday by Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission along with eight other current and former company executives in a bribery and conspiracy scheme related to the construction of a liquefied natural gas facility in the country that took place while Cheney was chief executive of Halliburton.

Halliburton and its one-time subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), were also charged. KBR, which also has handled lucrative US government support contracts for US troops in Iraq and elsewhere, was spun off from Halliburton in 2007 into a separate company.

"It includes Dick Cheney," said Nigerian prosecutor Godwin Obla, about the 16-count charge filed in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. "There are conspiracy charges and giving gratification to public officers. There is also a charge for obstruction of justice...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," Obla added.

Although Nigerian government officials said they would seek Cheney's extradition to respond to the charges, the US government likely won't entertain such a request. Each charge in the indictment carries a three-year prison sentence.

Cheney's lawyer, Terrence O'Donnell, said an investigation conducted by federal prosecutors in the United States "found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role of CEO of Halliburton."

"Any suggestion of misconduct on his part, made now, years later, is entirely baseless," O'Donnell said.

Tara Mullee, a Halliburton spokeswoman said, “It is still our position that Halliburton was not involved in the project to which this bribery investigation relates and there is no legal basis for charges."

The charges revolve around $180 million in bribes allegedly paid to Nigerian government officials between 1994 and 2004 to win a $6 billion construction contract for the Bonny Island natural gas liquefaction plant. The bribes allegedly went to the notoriously corrupt Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and some of his subordinates.

The cash allegedly was laundered through UK lawyer Jeffrey Tesler, who served as a consultant to KBR after it was formed in a 1998 merger that Cheney engineered between Halliburton and Dresser Industries. Tesler was hired in 1995 as an agent of a four-company joint venture that was awarded four engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts by Nigeria LNG Ltd., (NLNG). Tesler was indicted last year and he is fighting extradition to the US.




www.globalresearch.ca
 

Ankhur

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Halliburton May Pay $500 million to Keep Cheney out of Prison: Report


By Daniel Tencer

Global Research, December 10, 2010
Raw Story

Oilfield services company Halliburton is in negotiations with the Nigerian government to keep its former CEO, Dick Cheney, out of prison, according to a news report.
Sources inside Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told GlobalPost this week that a settlement keeping the charges against Cheney out of court could cost as much as $500 million.

Nigeria filed charges against Cheney this week in an investigation of alleged bribery estimated at $180 million. Prosecutors named both Halliburton and KBR in the charges, as well as three European oil and engineering companies -- Technip SA, EniSpa, and Saipem Construction.

The charges allege that engineering contractor KBR, until 2007 a subsidiary of Halliburton, was among companies that paid bribes to secure a $6 billion contract for a natural gas plant. KBR pleaded guilty to the same bribes in a US court in 2009, and agreed to pay a $382 million fine. The Nigerian charges appear to stem from the US case -- though, in that trial, Cheney was never directly charged.

It's not clear from the GlobalPost report if the $500 million figure refers to the amount Halliburton will have to pay, or whether that amount would cover all the companies that have been charged.

Further complicating the issue is that the negotiations appear to be an out-of-court settlement, because Nigerian law doesn't recognize plea bargaining.

The idea that an out-of-court settlement could be used in a criminal case angered anti-corruption activist Adetokunbo Mumuni, who told GlobalPost, "There cannot be an out of court settlement. In a purely criminal matter like this, the full letters of the law should apply. Whoever is involved should be taken through the entire process to determine their guilt or not."

The legal vagueness surrounding the reported negotiations will likely fuel accusations that Halliburton and the other accused companies are attempting to bribe their way out of a bribery prosecution.

But the willingness of Nigerian officials to quote a dollar figure in the midst of negotiations could also fuel speculation that the Nigerian charges are an attempt to shake down the companies for cash.

"The issue should not be so much about the former US vice president, it should be to what extent the law will be properly applied," Mumuni told GlobalPost.

www.globalresearch.ca
 

Ankhur

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Report: Halliburton to Pay $250M in Nigeria Bribery Case

The oil services giant Halliburton has reportedly reached a settlement deal with Nigerian prosecutors in a corruption case against former Vice President Dick Cheney. Last week, Nigerian prosecutors filed charges against Cheney in a $180 million bribery investigation stemming from his time heading the company before taking office. Cheney, Halliburton chief executive David Lesar and six others were indicted on 16 counts for the bribing of Nigerian officials to win a lucrative gas project. Former Halliburton subsidiary KBR pleaded guilty in the United States last year to bribery charges in the case. According to Agence France-Presse, Halliburton has agreed to pay Nigeria a $250 million settlement. The deal would first need approval from the Nigerian government.

www.democracynow.org
 

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