THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE
U.S. Department of Justice indicts former Nigerian presidents in Halliburton scandal
By Emeka Umejei
LAGOS — Eighty people,
including Nigerians as well as those living and others who have died, among them four former leaders of Nigeria and two of their wives, in addition to former governors and min- isters — indeed the top ech- elons of the country’s political and military establishments, including technocrats — have been indicted by the United States Department of Justice over a $27 billion Halliburton bribery scandal.
Among theM are Jack Cha-
goury, Gilbert Chagoury and T.W. Oerlemans, an Austra- lian, but they are rather small fish compared with indicted former Nigerian heads of state Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Ernest Shonekan, and Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Maryam, the late wife of Ba-
bangida; Mariam, the wife of the late Abacha, and his son, the late Ibrahim, are included; likewise Mike Akhigbe, the second in command in the Ab- dulsalami junta; former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu; and former military governors of Rivers State, Anthony Ukpo and Samuel Ewang.
Also among the dead are
Abdulkadir Ahmed, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor; and renowned economist, Pius Okigbo, who headed the probe panel on the Gulf Crude Oil Excess sales set up by the CBN in 1994.
Among those alive are
former petroleum minister Rilwanu Lukman, and newly reappointed National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau. (See full list).
According to the report of
the investigators, the 80 per- sons received part of the $27 billion bribe facilitated by for- eign contractors for Hallibur- ton to get the contract to build the Nigerian Liquefied Natu- ral Gas (NLNG) plant, Africa’s first, in Bonny, Rivers State.
The scandal dates back to
1994 when some foreign com- panies put up bids for the con- struction of the plant that was to cost $6 billion. To win the contract, a joint venture com- pany, named TSKJ, was set up - comprising equal holdings between some companies, Technip (French), Sanmpro- getti (Italian), KBR (U.S.), and part of the Halliburton group and Japanese engineering and construction company, JGC.
The investigators said the
consortium bribed political leaders and top government functionaries through Tri-Star Investment Limited and Maru- beni Inc. They also recruited British lawyer Jeffery Tesler to coordinate the affairs of Tri-Star, as well as Wojciech Chodan, an American, to co- ordinate the affairs of Maru- beni.
TSKJ mandated Tri-Star
to solely take charge of brib- ing Nigerian officials at senior level, Marubeni was restricted to bribing junior level officials. Tesler disclosed in a court de- position that TSKJ mandated both companies to bribe the officials.
As part of the investigation,
the Swiss Justice Department followed the steps of the Police Judiciare of France, which in 2003, started an investigation that revealed fraudulent Halli- burton payments to Tesler.
In the U.S., KBR and Hal-
liburton have admitted to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by engag- ing in a decade-long bribing scheme to secure contracts in Nigeria.
Both agreed to pay a com-
bined fine of $579 million to settle criminal and civil charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Com- mission (SEC) and the Depart- ment of Justice.
Those Indicted include
Ibrahim Babangida, Maryam Babangida,Ernest Shonekan, Abubakar Abdulsalami, M.D. Yusufu, T.W. Oerlemans, Pius Okigbo, Aminu Saleh, Don Etiebet, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, Edmund Daukoru, Vic- toria Ihonde, Toyin Olakunrin, Gilbert Temisan Grant and Ga- briel.
Malawi to outlaw polygamy
The Malawi government
will soon draft a law that will outlaw polygamy. Minister of Gender, Women and Children
Development Patricia Kaliati said the move intends to help stop growing rates in HIV and AIDS cases.
The minister said those
that currently have more than three wives will be barred from marrying more, and that the law will not be altered by reli- gious or any other factors.
“Violations of this law
will attract a penalty of five years without an option of a fine. We want to reduce cases of HIV infection in the country,” she said. Currently, a major-
ity of Moslem Malawi- ans practice polygamy. Malawi has a prevalence rate of 12% and about a million people live with the virus.
portability in Kenya
Commission of Kenya (CCK) has said it will implement mobile number portabil- ity from July. The Commis- sion said this would improve consumer choice and lower prices in the country. Ac- cording to CCK’s director, Charles Njoroge, the infra- structure needed for number portability would be ready by mid year.
The regulator first an-
nounced its plans to speed up mobile portability three years ago, according to Kenya’s Daily Nation.
Mobile phone users will
then be able to migrate from one network to another with- out changing their numbers. They would have to inform their operator of choice which network they want to switch to when they need to.
“Therefore from July net-
works will cease to be identi- fied by their prefixes (num- bers) and business will depend on which firm offers the best service,” said Njoroge at a workshop in Nairobi.
However, he added that
mobile phone users would pay a small administrative fee for the switching service, but he would ensure “that consum- ers are not overcharged.”
Also, CCK announced the
enforcement of a cost study into prices of wholesale and retail mobile voice call termi- nations, to allow later for issu- ing new interconnection rates that are aligned with market trends.
corporations comply with trade rules
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Harare — Foreign-owned
companies have been rushing to submit their empowerment proposals to the government on how they intend to comply with the gazetted indigenisa- tion regulations.
It is understood that over
100 companies have so far submitted their proposals for consideration.
However, there are prob-
lems in the banking sector with government sources, saying Barclays and Stanbic “are being unnecessarily dif- ficult” and have not made any positive communications.
Standard Chartered Bank
has asked for an extension for submission, which Govern- ment has reportedly granted. FBC, MBCA and ABC Hold- ings have already submitted their proposals. Other firms that have submitted their pro- posals are Zimplats, Bindura Nickel, Mimosa Gold Mine, La Farge Cement, Sisk Construc- tion, OK Zimbabwe, Delta Bev- erages, Econet and British American Tobacco.
Youth Development, Indi-
genisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said, “Everything has gone well and the response has been tremendous. However, we are dismayed by the atti- tude of some of the banks.”
Though he refused to say
which banks were problem- atic, reliable sources fingered two institutions.
“Stanbic and Barclays have
been quiet and attempts to engage them have been met with a cold response,” the source said.
Director of Indigenisation
and Empowerment in the Min- istry Godfrey Sigobodhlo told the Herald that some compa- nies had applied for an exten- sion of the deadline to afford them more time to study the law: “More than 100 compa- nies have submitted their pro- posals and some have applied for an extension of the dead- line. So far, the minister has only approved OK Zimbabwe’s proposal.
“The OK Zimbabwe pro-
posal was approved on the basis of its strength on how the company seeks to restore its vibrancy and to contrib- ute to the economy,” he said. “Extension of the deadline is a matter for the minister’s discretion and appropriate re- quests must be addressed to the minister in terms of Sec- tion 4 (subsection 6) of the In- digenisation Act.”
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April 21-27, 2010 Page A-2
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