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Halliburton, Others Pay $130M Fine, Vindicates THEWILL Exclusive Report

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 21, (THEWILL) – United States oil servicing firm, Halliburton today announced it has paid the Nigeria government $35 million to settle bribery allegations that landed former US Vice President Dick Cheney and other company executives in a Nigerian court to face charges.

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency had sued Cheney and nine executives including obtaining a warrant of arrest for Cheney, who was Halliburton's CEO in the late 90s, for allegedly distributing bribes to Nigerian officials.

The bribes totaling $180 million according to court papers were paid between a 1994 and 2004.

Three other companies linked in the bribery scheme, ENI, Technip and Gasoline Corporation, Japan, paid $32.5million; $30million) and $30million respectively in penalties as part of a plea deal.

THEWILL had in an exclusive report on December 13, 2010, detailed how representatives of the Nigerian government, top executives of Halliburton, former US President George Walker Bush (Snr) and former US Secretary of State, Mr. James Baker negotiated in London and reached a settlement that Halliburton would pay about N20 billion naira in fine including helping Nigeria recover about $130 million from a Swiss bank account set up by a former agent of the company.

Top Nigerian officials who were at the meeting are; Attorney General of Federation and Justice Minister, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN); Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye; legal luminaries, Damian Dodo (SAN); Godwin Obla and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Roland Ewubare.

A two paragraph statement by Halliburton today obtained by THEWILL said: “Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) announced today the resolution of the previously disclosed investigation by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) arising out of allegations of improper payments to government officials in Nigeria in connection with the construction and subsequent expansion by a joint venture known as TSKJ of a natural gas liquefaction project on Bonny Island, Nigeria, in which Halliburton's former subsidiary KBR, Inc. had an approximate 25 percent interest.

“Pursuant to this agreement, all lawsuits and charges against KBR and Halliburton corporate entities and associated persons have been withdrawn, the FGN agreed not to bring any further criminal charges or civil claims against those entities or persons, and Halliburton agreed to pay US$32.5 million to the FGN and to pay an additional US$2.5 million for FGN’s attorneys’ fees and other expenses. Among other provisions, Halliburton agreed to provide reasonable assistance in the FGN’s effort to recover amounts frozen in a Swiss bank account of a former TSKJ agent and affirmed a continuing commitment with regard to corporate governance. Any charges related to this settlement will be reflected in discontinued operations,” the company said in it Tuesday statement.

A senior official of the Nigerian government who chose to remain anonymous confirmed the payments to THEWILL.