The President has consequently, directed the appropriate security agencies to reopen investigations into the case and make appropriate recommendations.
President Olusegun Obasanjo, who led Nigeria from 1999-2000, obtained considerable helpings of the infamous Haliburton bribe money, according to a Special Investigation Panel headed by Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, in 2008. [see below]
According to a report in the Saturday Tribune, the U.S. government made it clear that unless those involved were prosecuted, part of the bribe money, about $140 million, recovered and still in the US, would not be repatriated to Nigeria.
“Following this development, President Buhari has directed the investigation committee made up of representatives of all security agencies to dust off the file and complete the investigations and charge those indicted to court,” the source said.
By Friday afternoon, key security officers involved in the investigations were seen by Saturday Tribune gathering files and dusting off documents on the case.
The case was investigated four years ago by a security panel headed by retired AIG Ahmadu Ali, who at the end of the case charged a former personal aide to a former Head of State to court but the case was later struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution.
Jeffry Tesler, who was the go-between in the payment of the bribes paid to secure the contract for the final phase of the multibillion naira Nationa Liquefied Natural Gas project was sentenced to 21 months in prison and forfeited $148.964 million from his Swiss accounts to the United States government.
The American government’s report on the Halliburton bribery scandal had indicted three former Nigerian leaders, a former number two citizen, a minister, intelligence chiefs and corporate giants in the list of bribery beneficiaries.
One of the indicted corporate titans, a construction company that allegedly handled the distribution of the money later opted for plea bargaining and paid the sum of $25 million to the government.
The source added that the go-between, Jeffry Tesler had served out his prison sentence and returned to England.
The security source further disclosed to Saturday Tribune that the case file would soon be reopened “and all those who were invited during the investigation will soon appear again.”
The source source said, “My brother, this is a serious case now because the government of the day is very eager to prosecute anybody indicted in it so as to serve as a deterrent to others.”
How Obasanjo Shared $74m Haliburton Bribe, Pocketed $5m With PDP- Mike Okiro (From the Archives)
President Olusegun Obasanjo, who led Nigeria from 1999-2000, during which time he swore to fight corruption in the country, obtained considerable helpings of the infamous Haliburton bribe money, the Special Investigation Panel headed by Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, has declared in an interim report.
According to the document, which was submitted to *President Umaru Yar’Adua in May last year by Mr. Okiro, Obasanjo shared the sum of $74 million USD between 2000 and 2001 with his Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, as well as Funsho Kupolokun and Gaius Obaseki, who were successive heads of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation during the government’s early years.
During that same time span, said the interim report, Obasanjo and the ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, also pocketed $5m from the Halliburton slush funds.
Other major beneficiaries included General Sani Abacha, who got $40 million in 1994-95; Ibrahim Aliyu, $11.7million in 2001-2002; former Minister, Dan Etete, $2.5 million in 1996-1998; Abdulkadir Abacha, $1.8 in 1998; and M. G. Bakari, $3.1 million
Among the more startling of the revelations in the interim report, the panel wrote as follows about some of the key Nigerians involved:
On Chief Olusegun Obasanjo: “He was President of Nigeria from May 1999 – May 2007. Reports suggest that Stanley met with Chief Obasanjo and then Group Managing Director of NNPC, Gaius Obaseki, in Abuja on 11th November 2001 to negotiate pay-offs in respect of Trains 4&5. On 20th December 2001 Obaseki reportedly met with Chodan and Stanley in London over lunch in furtherance of discussions. In March 2002, TSKJ won the Train 4 and 5 contacts for $3.6 billion USD allegations are the Gen. Obasanjo may have received a minimum of $4 million USD as pay-off