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USAfrica: $180 million bribery scandal, Nigeria tangles with U.S former VP Cheney

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Dick Cheney, former VP of the U.S

USAfrica Special report: $180 million bribery scandal, Nigeria tangles with U.S former VP Cheney.

By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com and Nigeria360 e-group
USAfrica, Houston, Texas.
December 1, 2010: Richard Bruce ‘Dick’ Cheney, the controversial former Vice President of the United States  is expected to be hit with charges regarding a $180 million bribery scandal in Nigeria, a carry-over of his roles as CEO at the oil and gas corporation Halliburton.
The allegations and case against him are expected to involve 5 others from key oil services corporations.
Cheney led the formation of  Halliburton’s former subsidiary, the bribery-tended KBR Inc., which is based here in Houston, Texas.
The man who served as the 46th Vice President of the United States from 2001 to 2009 under President George
W. Bush will likely hear charges by the first weekend of December 2010 from Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
USAfricaonline.com understands that part of the charges will deal with KBR and Halliburton agreeing to pay $579 million in February 2009 as punitive fees for their bribing and underhand payments to Nigerian officials and businesses during the rulerships of retired late Gen. Sani. Abacha, retired Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, the transition regime of Chief Shonekan and especially the presidency of retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo’s very close aides/assistants have faced prosecution for their roles in taking huge bribes which are hinted and believed to have benefitted their boss.
USAfrica notes that, significantly, the U.S Justice Department and the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission have spearheaded the aggressive efforts against the bribe givers and takers. With the key bribe givers including Cheney’s Halliburton/KBR, Saipem, Technip  who aggressively sought to win the lucrative and plum $6 billion liquefied natural-gas contract by giving away a whopping $178 million in bribes to Nigerian officials, former soldiers and influential types.  There’s another major level to the dealings, under the umbrella name of TSJK. TSJK stands for Technip, Snamprogetti, JGC of Japan and KBR. In short a coalition of oil and gas services heavyweights operating inside Nigeria, onshore and off-shore.
On the other hand, the very popular Panalpina made what seems to be bribe and illegal payments largely to Nigerian customs officials on behalf of the more influential and powerful  Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Nigeria.
USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com recall that during the contentious battle against Obasanjo’s failed quest for an unconstitutional 3rd term as President of Nigeria, we reported about the oil money pool involving the co-joined interests of Obasanjo, his then embattled VP Atiku Abubakar, Obasanjo’s business associate Otunba Fasawe and others. Some of those funds, apparently, were part of the slush fund for their major political and operations for their ruling party, the PDP and personal interests.
The potential entanglement with Cheney will highlight the international connections and underpinnings of bribery and corruption in Nigeria. But Nigerians wonder why its feared and mixed performance EFCC has lacked the will and record to fully follow and tackle ALL the leaders of Nigeria who steal monies and take bribes to ruin the access of millions of Nigerians to steady power supply or even basic fuel/kerosine and gas.
A torn on the side of current President Barack Obama, Cheney was born on January 30, 1941, and has faced several heart-disease conditions and political conflicts. But I know that the usually formidable and hard-charging Cheney has never had a slippery, embarrassing  public money dance with displeased Nigerians and the EFCC. Remarkably, while Cheney’s about to face the reaches of Nigeria’s international law, Nigeria’s president Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is facing allegations of having provided bribe (“transport money”) of US$50,000 (in American dollars, not his country’s Naira, to a political group of activists invited into the seat of the presidency in Abuja).
For Cheney and others facing potential prosecution, the issue remains: how, when and where technical matters of law, jurisdictional and tenure considerations play in this oily matter?                                           CHIDO Nwangwu, Founder of the first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet www.USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, Harvest of Chinua Achebe, analyst on CNN International, recipient of journalism and public policy multimedia excellence awards,  list owner of Nigeria360 e-group,  IgboEvents, e-group AfricanChristians, publisher of the photos-events mega-site with the largest collection of contemporary images/events of continental Africans in north America, www.PhotoWorks.TV, etc, is based in Houston, Texas. Chido@USAfricaonline.com wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436)
——

VIDEO of the CNN International broadcast/profile of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Chido Nwangwu.  http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn

USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the  most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks) established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; www.PhotoWorks.TVin 2005.

Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journalhttp://usafricaonline.com/chido.obamaafrica09.html

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World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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