Former VP Cheney charged with bribery in Nigerian oil scandal
c-Africa, U.S., World news
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges against ex-US vice president Dick Cheney and executives of the oil firm Halliburton, over alleged bribes to Nigerian officials in the 1990s.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency filed charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and the head of oil services firm Halliburton Co on Tuesday over an alleged scheme to bribe Nigerian officials.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it had filed 16-count charges at a federal high court in Abuja against Cheney, Halliburton Chief Executive David Lesar and two other executives, in a case dating back to the mid-1990s.
It also filed charges against Halliburton as a company, which was once headed by Cheney, and four associated businesses.
“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 reached a $579 million settlement in the United States but Nigeria, France and Switzerland have conducted their own investigations into the case.
Those charged in Nigeria include KBR Chief Executive Officer William Utt, and former KBR chief executive Albert “Jack” Stanley, who worked under Cheney when he headed Halliburton, Babafemi said.
Reading from the charge sheet, Babafemi said the executives were accused of conspiring to make a $132 million payment “for the purpose of the gratification of public officials”.Stanley pleaded guilty in 2008 to U.S. charges related to the case.
The Nigeria offices of Halliburton, which split from KBR in 2007 were raided by the EFCC in November, 2010.
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