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Obasanjo's Aide Docked In Halliburton Bribery Trial

By EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF. - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, Oct 13, (THEWILL) – A former Special Assistant to ex president Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Adeyanju Bodunde was today arraigned before an Abuja Federal High Court on charges bordering mainly on money laundering in the $180 million dollars Halliburton bribery scheme.

The federal government has alleged that Bodunde received the sum of N740 million naira from the bride monies in violation of Nigeria’s Money Laundering Act.

THEWILL gathered that only Mr. Bodunde was arraigned following the withdrawal of charges against Julius Berger and its officials after the company entered a deal with the Nigerian government to pay a fine of $29.9 million dollars for violating Nigerian laws when it distributed bribes to local officials.

Mr. Bodunde however pleaded not guilty to the new six-count charges and was subsequently granted bail by trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello under extremely liberal terms, that is, N1 million naira bail bond with a surety in like sum resident in Abuja who must depose to an affidavit of means.

"When a prosecutor leaves the issue of bail to the judge's discretion he is otherwise saying that he is not opposing the bail.

"Besides, I have looked at the punishment for the offences. I hereby admit the accused person to bail," Justice Adamu Bello said.

He ordered that Bodunde be released if he fulfils the bail condition today and thereafter adjourned the case to December 16, 2010 for trial.

Photo: Mr. Adeyanju Bodunde on arrival at an Abuja Federal High Court today, October 13, 2010. Photo: THEWILL.

The new charges are:

Count 1: That you, Adeyanju Bodunde sometime between 2002 and 2003, within the jurisdiction of this court did accept cash payment in the sum of USD 1,000,000.00 (One million United States Dollars) from one George Mark and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15(d0 of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.

Count 2: That you, Adeyanju Bodunde sometime between 2002 and 2003, within the jurisdiction of this court did accept cash payment in the sum of USD 1,000,000.00 (One million United States Dollars) from one George Mark and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15(d0 of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.

Count 3: That you, Adeyanju Bodunde sometime between 2002 and 2003, within the jurisdiction of this court did accept cash payment in the sum of USD 1,000,000.00 (One million United States Dollars) from one George Mark and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15(d0 of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.

Count 4: That you, Adeyanju Bodunde sometime between 2002 and 2003, within the jurisdiction of this court did accept cash payment in the sum of N140, 000,000.00 (One Hundred and Forty Million Naira) from one George Mark and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15(d0 of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.

Count 5: That you, Adeyanju Bodunde sometime between 2002 and 2003, within the jurisdiction of this court did accept cash payment in the sum of USD 500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) from one Hans George Christ and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.

Count 6: That you, Adeyanju Bodunde sometime between 2002 and 2003, within the jurisdiction of this court did accept cash payment in the sum of USD 500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) from one Hans George Christ and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.

Chief Godwin Obla led the government prosecution while Mr. Akinyemi Aremu stood in for Mr. Bodunde.