Halliburton Saga: Presidency orders prosecution

ABUJA — Following last week's report in one of the national dailies, of the American government’s threat to dump its support and mobilise the international community against supporting President Goodluck Jonathan if he decides to contest the 2011 elections unless culprits in the $190 million Halliburton scandal were brought to book, the Presidency has ordered the immediate prosecution of all the eight suspects indicted by the Halliburton scandal with the amount now put at $198million.

It was gathered that President Jonathan gave the marching orders to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, following pressure from some senior citizens for him to overlook those indicted and narrow the prosecution to only two persons because of plans to overlook some highly placed persons.

The marching orders for prosecution, it was further gathered, followed complaints by the United States government rejecting the earlier plea bargain by one Aliyu Ibrahim, cousin to the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on behalf of former minister, Don Etiebet (said to have collected over $10million); Bodunde Adeyanju; former minister, Lawal Batagarawa; AVM AD Bello retired and former NNPC Group Managing Director, Gaius Obaseki, especially since they (US government) said they have tried all those involved in the US and jailed them for corruption.

Others are Alhaji Abdukadir Abacha and Chief Dan Etete while Mr. George Mark of Julius Berger will appear as principal witness.

Towards this end, the Attorney-General has consequently directed the probe panel to forward all evidence and investigations reports to his office for compilation of charges against all those indicted in the $198 million bribery scandal.

The source revealed that the office of the Attorney-General is also dusting up all the evidence for the prosecution, which was sent to the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa, but was ignored and swept under the carpet.

Said the source: “President Jonathan has vowed that all those involved would face the music no matter whose ox is gored. Because he will not allow anybody to tarnish his government, since he has taken the oath to fight corruption seriously.”

Emphasizing that the US has in the past few months written letters to the Federal Government asking to know why it is dragging its feet in prosecuting those indicted in the bribery scandal, the source said: “Towards this end, it was gathered that in the next few weeks, the president would put in place stringent measures to be taken against corrupt officials in the country.”

In the letters written to the Federal Government, the US government expressed its willingness to assist the Nigerian government in retrieving the about $70 million part of the money now trapped in Swiss Bank, once those indicted are put on trial.

According to the source, the US government is also not happy that one of the suspects confessed to the panel that over $6 million he collected was put into the Presidential election of a frontline political party.

Consequently, and following the Presidential directive to prosecute the bribe takers, members of the investigating team billed to visit the US are now to be given visa to the US for further investigation and collation of some vital documents.

By Kingsley Omonobi

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Truly, i have not yet lost hope in 9ja. Who says we still dont have a future?

    I know God Almighty is still interested in us despite our several failings.

    May ALL her enemies - real and imagined, in and out of the corridors of power, present and past - come to their expected destruction! AMEN!!

    Long live the federal republic of Nigeria!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. They will all be caught one after another. This is just the beginning

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment