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)
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.