Ex-Convict Saga/2nd Term: How Ibori bribed Obasanjo with N3.7 billion …Spent N750 Million Halliburton Bribe on 2003 Election says Ex Presidents's Aide
Fresh allegation came to fore of how the former president collected a whooping N3.7 billion bribe from fugitive James Ibori to kill the infamous ex-convict case. The cash, pointblanknews.com learnt, was meant to put an end to the “James Onanefe Ibori” ex-convict saga, which died on arrival at the Supreme Court.
Shortly before Ibori's bid for second term, two chieftains of the PDP, Goodnews Agbi and Anthony Alabi contested his eligibility to contest the Governorship by virtue of his alleged conviction for negligence and criminal breach of trust by a Bwari Upper Area Court in 1995.
The two chieftains of the PDP, Agbi and Alabi had contested the eligibility of Ibori to contest the Governorship by virtue of his alleged conviction for negligence and criminal breach of trust by a Bwari Upper Area Court in 1995.
In another development, sources told Pointblanknews.com that the Personal Assistant to Obasanjo, Adeyanju Bodunde, confessed during interrogators that he got the N750 million Halliburton bribe on behalf of his boss, and that the sum was part of the 2003 elections war chest for the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Very credible sources who led Pointblanknews.com into the confession of the former aide to the former President disclosed that all the briberies and inducement for ballots that rocked the 2003 presidential elections were all done with the Halliburton bribe money.
All other suspects such as former Petroleum Minister, Chief Don Etiebet, former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Gaius Obaseki have all confessed to the bribe allegations.
Others who were also interrogated are: Ibrahim Aliyu, AVM Abdullahi Dominic Bello; Mohammed Gidado Bakare; Urban Shelter Limited; Intercellular Nigeria Limited; Sherwood Petroleum Limited; Tri-Star Investment Limited; Maizube Holdings Limited; TSKJ Nigeria Limited-(a) Technip S.A.; (b) Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. (c) Kellog Brown and Root Inc(d) Japan Gasoline Corporation of Japan, George Mark, Hans George Christ, Heinrich J. Stockhausen; Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Bilfinger Berger GMBH.
Sources hinted Pointblanknews.com that Bodunde told investigators that when the N750 million bribe money was received, former President Obasanjo and some top PDP members directed that the money be “invested into the 2003 election project.”
Obaseki, it was learnt corroborated Bodunde's claim but failed to identify or reveal the name of the political party that benefitted from the bribe money.
Between 1995 and 2004, the Nigeria Government awarded about $6b contract to a consortium of four companies - Technip of France, Snamprogetti, a subsidiary of ENU S.PA.of Italy, Kellogg of the United States of America, later known as KBR and Japan Gasoline Corp, for the construction of Trains 1-6 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Bonny, Rivers State. The consortium was registered as TSKJ.
The U.S. Department of Justice is conducted a criminal investigation into an alleged $180 million bribe paid by Halliburton and three other companies to the government of Nigeria. The alleged bribe was paid in exchange for awarding the contract to the companies to build a $6 billion natural gas plant in Nigeria's southern delta region. The bribes were paid during the time when Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened its own formal investigation on June 11, 2004.
A panel report on the scandal chaired by former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, in May 2009 said a French Petro giant, Elf's activities in France in 2003, Georges Ramer, former Director of Technip, made depositions to the effect that TSKJ had secured the relevant contracts through bribery of key government officials and politicians in Nigeria.
However, the N3.7 Billion bribe money was allegedly shared among the Supreme, and Appeal Courts justices and High Court Judges who sat on the matter at various times..
The duo of Agbi and Alabi had gone to an Abuja High Court where, the judge ruled that “there was no conviction. They proceeded to the Appeal Court, which held that one James Onanefe Ibori was convicted and that the lower court erred. The Supreme Court upheld this ruling. However both courts said the plaintiffs failed to establish that Governor James Onanefe Ibori was the same as ex convict James Onanefe Ibori.
But before the matter got to the appellate Court, Ibori ran to President Obasanjo for counseling considering the fact that his second term ambition could be in jeopardy because of the huge influence enjoyed by his rival, Great Ogboru, an Alliance for Democracy, AD Governorship candidate.
Sources hinted Pointblanknews.com that it was during the counseling that President Obasanjo requested that a N3.7 Billion be made available to “make the matter go away.”
After the Supreme Court ruled that while there was a conviction but evidence did not show he was the same person and an Abuja High Court ruled that “there was no convincing evidence by the plaintiff, Agbi and Alabi were suspended from the PDP for one month.
Chief Ibori had almost at the same time allegedly donated millions to the Obasanjo's second term bid.
Ibori and his then girlfriend, Theresa Nakanda had been convicted in London for fraud.
Court details revealed that Ibori and his girlfriend carried on their defrauding of Wickes for a long period of time. Unknown to them, security cameras monitored their activities and, sometime in 1991, policemen were called in to arrest both Ibori and Nakanda. The Isleworth Crown Court convicted them both for stealing. They were let go after paying 300 and 450 pounds each as fines for stealing and dishonest acts.
Despite that conviction, Ibori continued his acts of fraud in the UK. In 1992 he was arrested for using an American Express Gold credit card stolen from another person. He was tried at the Clerkenwell Magistrate's Court and convicted for stealing and credit card fraud. Again, the court imposed fines of £300 and £400 respectively as penalty.