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$21M Not $180M Was Given As Bribes In the Halliburton Scandal - Adoke

Source: EMMA UCHE. - thewillnigeria.com
ATTORNEY GENERAL & MINISTER OF JUSTICE, MR MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE, SAN.
ATTORNEY GENERAL & MINISTER OF JUSTICE, MR MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE, SAN.
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ABUJA, Feb 14, (THEWILL) - The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, told Senators today that the total amount handed out as bribes in the Halliburton bribery scandal was $21 million and not $180 million as earlier reported in some media.

The Minister made the clarification when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary to defend his ministry's budget and answer questions on other matters within the judiciary.

Responding to questions on developments in the prosecution of the Halliburton case, Adoke said the matter was still ongoing but added that the $180 Million tag to it was inaccurate.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had last December, dragged Halliburton and some of its executives to court on a 16-count charge of bribery, money laundering and other felony charges.

It however agreed to an out of court settlement with the American company.

However, the anti-graft agency last year October arrested and arraigned Mr. Adeyanju Bodunde, an aide to former President Obasanjo for allegedly collecting $1.5 million in bribes and laundering funds between 2001 and 2003.

The controversy has been whether Adeyanju collected the bribes on behalf of his principal, Obasanjo.

Adoke however clarified that Adeyanju's confession showed that he did not collect the bribe on behalf of anyone but for himself.

He also said that the "big names" being bandied in the media were not necessarily involved in the scandal as those actually connected with the bribes have since confessed to taking the bribes.

Adoke said: "The scandal predates the Obasanjo Government; it has been on since the Abacha regime."