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March 1, 2012

That Nigeria has a ‘punishment problem’ is an understatement. Nigeria is unfortunately, a case study of how the rich and powerful use their influence to avoid punishment and successfully circumvent a justice system that is seen to benefit the well-connected. Given this reality, it is no surprise that the US Ambassador to Nigeria announced that the Halliburton scandal, in which many Nigerian officialshave been fingered, is one that Nigeria could have tackled because it has all the information it needs

SINCE 2003…
It was in 2003 when it was revealed that Kellogg Brown & Root, a company eventually acquired by international conglomerate Halliburton, gave approximately $183 million in bribes to Nigerian officials. By 2007, Halliburton admitted guilt and agreed to pay $579 million dollars in fines to the United States government for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Despite the outcry from Nigerians demanding that the federal government bring to bear the Nigerians involved in the scandal; it was not until 2009 that the Yar’Adua administration created an investigative panel. The Panel was charged with naming those that benefited from the illegal Halliburton ‘slush fund’. However, despite that panel’s had an 8 week time limit, a year passed and not one single individual was named as promised by late Yar’Adua.
And now, adding more insult to the injury of all Nigerians, US Ambassador Robin Sanders specified on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, that  “[the] Nigerian government and ministers have … enough information to act on their own as there are other countries that are involved and they have the same degree of access to those countries as we do. We know that that information has been with the Nigerian government for quite sometime and with the previous ministers that have held that ministerial position. So that information is there and is there for you to act on as your laws and your nation deems fit.”

As published in the Vanguard newspaper, the Jonathan administration finally released the long-awaited list of Nigerians tied to the Halliburton scandal. On the list are the following individuals –

  1. 1.      Air Vice Marshal A. D. Bello (allegedly collected $15mn for a former dictator and himself)
  2. 2.      Ibrahim Aliyu (allegedly collected over $35mn for himself and a former dictator)
  3. 3.      Abdukadir Abacha (allegedly collected $7mn)
  4. 4.      Dan Etete (allegedly collected $3.5mn)
  5. 5.      Jackson Gaius Obaseki (allegedly collected $11mn)
  6. 6.      Gidado Bakare (allegedly collected $60mn for himself, a former dictator and some Northern elites)
  7. 7.      Mark George (allegedly collected $6mn)
  8. 8.      Ibrahim Babangida
  9. 9.      Sani Abacha
  10. 10.  Ernest Shonekan
  11. 11.  Abdulsalami Abubakar
  12. 12.  Rilwanu Lukman
  13. 13.  Aliyu Gusau
  14. 14.  Mariam Babangida (late wife of Ibrahim Babangida)
  15. 15.  Miriam Abacha
  16. 16.  Orji Kalu
  17. 17.  Anthony Ukpo
  18. 18.  Samuel Ewang
  19. 19.  Aminu Saleh
  20. 20.  Don Etiebet

It is worth noting that this list contains many political figures, dead and alive, that continue to play a role in Nigerian affairs. The names on the list reflect a truism, that most Nigerians know already – the nation’s political elite are tied to each other in corruption and only shed from their ranks when necessary for self-survival. Consequently, one can only wonder what will happen if these names are formally released by the government. Will doing so put members of the current administration at risk, given that there must be others, yet to be fingered in this scandal who will do everything to preserve the status quo.

Regardless, addressing this specific instance of corruption by identifying who took what will go a long way in getting Nigeria back on an anti-corruption track, something the current administration promised to do. Ultimately, those connected to the Halliburton scandal, must not be allowed to continue to benefit from the fruits of their corruption. It most disheartening to also note that some of the bribe givers in the USA and UK have been tried, fined and serving jail terms, while the known bribe takers in the Nigerian end of the Halliburton bribe scandal are not only free men, they are also influential players in the Nigerian political terrain. What an irony. How the Nigerian government ever claim to be fighting corruption when named and known criminals call the shots in Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan can write his name in the history books if he can take on these “corruption cabal”. As the ‘bribe givers’ are serving jail terms, the ‘authentic list’ of the Nigerian ‘bribe takers’ can be retrieved from the US Federal Prosecution Department.


As reported by New York (AFP) in February 2012, the former head of US construction company KBR was sentenced to 30 months in prison over the bribing of Nigerian officials to win contracts, the US Justice Department said. Albert Stanley, the former chief executive officer of the engineering giant, also must pay his former company $10.8 million in restitution under the judgment handed down in a Houston federal court. Stanley, 69, pleaded guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

KBR and its parent company, Halliburton, have also agreed to pay a $579 million fine after pleading guilty to corruption charges in Nigeria. Stanley was accused of participating in a bribery scheme between 1995 and 2004 to obtain construction contracts worth more than $6 billion, according to a US Justice Department statement. KBR was part of joint venture TSKJ — which also included French firm Technip SA, Dutch and Italian firm Snamprogetti Netherlands BV and Japanese firm JGC Corporation — to build a liquefied natural gas facility on Bonny Island in the Niger Delta. The joint venture allegedly paid $183 million in bribes to a variety of Nigerian government officials, according to the Justice Department.

Stanley, who was fired by Halliburton in 2004, cooperated in the investigation in exchange for a lighter sentence.

The case sparked criminal investigations in France, Switzerland, Nigeria and Britain.

Two British men, attorney Jeffrey Tesler and businessman Wojciech Chodan also were sentenced on criminal charges by a Houston judge. Tesler is getting 21 months in prison while Chodan is sentenced to one year of probation.

Last month, Japanese trading house Marubeni, which the TSKJ joint venture hired to help get the engineering contracts, agreed to pay a $54.6 million fine in the United States, the Justice Department said. In 2010, Technip and Snamprogetti each agreed to pay $240 million fines while JGC settled for a nearly $219 million fine.


As a result of their robust Corrupt Practices Act, the United States has ranked in $1.3326 billion (N206.55 billion) in fines from the various companies that pleaded guilty to the $183 million (N28.365 billion) Halliburton bribe scandal. The breakdowns of the fines are as follows:

–          KBR and Halliburton – $579 million fine.

–          Marubeni (Japanese Trading House) – $54.6 million fine.

–          Technip – $240 million fine.

–          Snamprogetti – $240 million fine.

–          JGC – $219 million fine.

–          Total – $1.3326 billion x N155 = N206.55 billion

Source: Partly Culled from Nigerian Curiosity and Vanguard Newspaper
Updated information, click link:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Eve Ovieme permalink
    March 1, 2012 23:15

    Yes this is the way to go…Absolutely a corruption free Nation we pray for

  2. March 2, 2012 08:34

    And just this morning, I heard a PDP man referring to IBB as if he was some kind of tin god. These people are all just “common” thieves and should not be treated any less if this country is to move forward.

  3. Nigerian permalink
    March 3, 2012 08:14

    They will never punish themselves until we make them do it or do it by ourselves.

  4. March 4, 2012 01:34

    What happened to the original list of people involved in this enormous bribery scandal ? There were at least eighty people listed on it. Two of those were Edith Unuigbe, the Head of Legal Services for NLNG and her sister Victoria Ihonde, wife of Ambassador Moses Ihonde and the Director of Petroleum Resources.

    The above list doesn’t even scratch the surface of this scandal and is much deeper than what the Nigerian government wants the 99% to know.

    What about the mules who were laundering all of this money for these people, buying real estate in the US and other countries ??

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