Obasanjo Implicated As FG Revisits Haliburton Scandal

By Ikenga Chronicles November 30, 2016

In an alleged tactical way to get back at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over last week’s public comment that sparked national outrage, President Muhamamdu Buhari through the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) on Tuesday has  decided to re-open investigations into the Halliburton scandal.

PACAC’s Executive Secretary Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye made this disclosure at a news conference (in Lagos) to unfold the panel’s plans.

Reports made available to Ikenga Chronicles allegedly revealed that Obasanjo, who led Nigeria from 1999-2007, during which time he swore to fight corruption in the country, obtained considerable helpings of the infamous Haliburton bribe money.

The then Special Investigation Panel headed by Former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, has declared in an interim report.

According to the document by the then Special Investigation Panel headed by Former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, which was submitted to former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Obasanjo shared the sum of $74 million between 2000 and 2001 with his Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, as well as Funsho Kupolokun and Gaius Obaseki, who were successive heads of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the government’s early years.

During that same time span, said the interim report, Obasanjo and the ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, also pocketed $5m from the Halliburton slush funds.

Other alleged major beneficiaries included General Sani Abacha, who got $40 million in 1994-95; Ibrahim Aliyu, $11.7million in 2001-2002; former Minister, Dan Etete, $2.5 million in 1996-1998; Abdulkadir Abacha, $1.8 in 1998; and M. G. Bakari, $3.1 million

While speaking, the PACAC Secretary said: “No government has the capacity to prosecute all manner of offences; that is the reason there is a legal framework for plea bargain.”

“The plea bargain is not a trade off, but has been set up with other guidelines to refrain suspects from perceiving it as an outlet for easy escape.”

“The Administration of Criminal Justice Act is meant to resolve challenges in the criminal justice system; if it is failing, then it is as a result of implementation.’’

He stressed the need to further build capacities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the judiciary, on money laundering and asset recovery.

Owasanoye said PACAC would track high-profile cases and ensure improved application of sanctions.

“We intend to revisit some high-rofile corruption cases, such as Halliburton, and see them to a logical conclusion’’ he said.

He listed public apathy and elite complicity as some challenges PACAC had in the last one year.

According to him, poor economy, ineffective application of preventive measures and negative use of constitution can aid corruption.

The executive secretary called for improved collaboration of all arms of government in fighting corruption

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