Halliburton Offers Nigeria $250 Million To Avoid Bribery Charges
The government of Nigeria said yesterday they may drop all charges of bribery and corruption against Halliburton and Dick Cheney, after being offered $250 million by Halliburton to ‘make the charges go away’.
Cheney was being accused of paying off Nigerian officials in order to secure the rights to build a liquefied natural gas factuality in the country. Specifically, it appears $180 million in bribes were paid between 1994 – 2004, during Cheney’s tenure at Halliburton, in order to secure some $6 billion in construction contracts.
So last weekend, Nigeria’s anti-corruption unit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, met with Halliburton and Cheney representatives in London. As a result, Halliburton offered to pay $250 million.
A spokesmen for the anti-corruption unit, Femi Babafemi, likes the deal. “It will need to be ratified by the government and expect a decision by the end of the week,” he said.
Halliburton spokesmen Tara Mulle, despite the payment of $250 million, maintains the charges are baseless.
$180 million in bribes were paid between 1994 – 2004, to secure $6 billion in construction contracts.
“It is still our position that Halliburton was not involved in the project to which this bribery investigation relates and there is no legal basis for charges.”
Johnnie Carson, the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs reiterates the seriousness of these charges.
“If Cheney would be allowed to stand trial in Nigeria, charges laid should be carefully and deeply substantiated as they were ‘very serious,’”
Realistically, there will be no legal accountability or charges that stand against Cheney, the original bribes from 2004, and this weeks 250$ million puts roughly $430 million directly into the pockets of the Nigerian government, and secures Halliburton $6 billion in Nigerian contracts.
Cheney’s attorney, Terrence O’Connell, said there is no reason to suspect that his client is guilty.
“This matter involves the activities of an international four-company joint venture (which included KBR, then a subsidiary of Halliburton) well over a decade ago, said. Clearly, time heals all wounds, if events occurring a decade are exempt from scrutiny.