EFCC to Probe Halliburton Bribery Scandal

Ise-Oluwa Ige & Bukola Ojeme

Nigeria: THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it is set to launch investigations into the alleged involvement of some Nigerian officials over the Halliburton bribe scandal. About $180 million was paid out as bribe through a subsidiary of Halliburton,

 Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), to facilitate the award of $6 billion LNG contracts.


Meanwhile, April 14 has been set for hearing after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja gave the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) the green light to prosecute a lawsuit seeking an order compelling the EFCC to probe and prosecute former President Olusegun Obasanjo over alleged corruption.

 EFCC chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri, said the Commission has requested the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to furnish it with details of Nigerian officials indicted in the Halliburton bribe scam as well as the actual judgment against them.

She made this known in Abuja during the opening of the 3rd Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Compliance Stakeholders summit expected to end today in Abuja.

 The EFCC boss also affirmed that investigations into the matter would be professionally executed, without prejudice to the calibre of those involved.

Her words: “Yes, we are working on that case. We have written to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on the need to have the actual court judgment so that we can see the actual names; what each person did. We even invited some people that were mentioned specifically, we recorded their statements and we are working on it.


“You know, nobody is above the laws of the land, the law is no respecter of persons, and everybody is equal before the law. So, I don’t know whether prominent or whatever; if you are indicted, if our investigations prove that you have breached the law, of course you are liable,” Waziri added.

 The EFCC boss further reiterated the need for AML/CFT compliance to economic growth, insisting that “the current economic crisis calls for concerted effort on the part of every country to comply with and ensure effective implementation of anti-money laundering programmes.”

“Nigeria must stand tall in this endeavour among the comity of nations. We must stand to be counted as a nation. It is important to mention that there is a nexus between AML/CFT and the achievement of the Federal Government’s 7-Point Agenda; attainment of Vision 2020 and ultimately, a sustainable economic growth”, she said.


Waziri warned that, the EFCC will not stay on the sidelines “while the economic stability of the country is sacrificed on the altar of unethical business practices. We will strictly enforce the Money Laundering compliance requirements of the law.

“Where market operators and reporting entities are found wanting, the commission will firmly and decisively deal with defaulters. In this context, it may interest the audience and market operators to know that the Commission intends to develop and apply administrative sanctions against entities that fail to adhere with the money laundering compliance requirements of the law” she added.

Also speaking at the event, the House Committee Chairman on Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Nasir Rabe said that the EFCC has all the tools and enabling laws to fight corruption to a standstill as well as curb it.


CNPP’s move to compel Obasanjo’s probe get green light


Meanwhile, a Federal high court sitting in Abuja has given the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) the green light to prosecute a lawsuit seeking an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe and prosecute former President Olusegun Obasanjo over alleged corruption.

Obasanjo was accused by CNPP of diversion of public funds and illegal enrichment.

Similarly, the trial high court judge, Justice Adamu Bello who granted the association permission to sue EFCC has also granted leave to the umbrella organisation of the political parties in the country to pursue an order of mandamus compelling EFCC to probe and prosecute former Executive Secretary of PTDF, Alhaji Adamu Waziri over corruption and diversion of public funds.


The judge had directed the CNPP to serve the court order on the anti-graft agency to enable it defend the suit. The CNPP had written two separate petitions to EFCC under the leadership of Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu alleging corruption against the two top public officials. But the petition did not give specific details of how the corruption was perpetrated.

The EFCC had consequently written back to the CNPP to assist it in beefing up the petition by giving specific details. Ever since, nothing was done on the petitions.

Aggrieved by the position of EFCC, CNPP filed a suit before the Federal high court seeking an order of mandamus compelling EFCC to perform its statutory function of probing the allegations made against the two top public officials.

 It was the contention of the CNPP that its own was to alert while EFCC’s responsibility was to follow up, probe and prosecute where there is prima facie evidence against them.

By procedure, the CNPP first sought for the leave of the court to commence the legal action against the anti-graft agency.

The court has not only granted it but also fixed April 14 for commencement of hearing in the case. The EFCC is expected to come up with its defence or and preliminary objection on the adjourned date.


It is likely too that both ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and Adamu Waziri may file an application for joinder as necessary parties in the case.