Nigeria ‘to charge Dick Cheney’ over alleged bribery

by Ben Hoffman

LAGOS (AFP) – Nigerian authorities plan to charge ex-US vice president Dick Cheney in connection with a bribery scandal allegedly involving energy firm Halliburton, a spokesman for the anti-graft agency said Thursday.

Asked whether Cheney would be charged over the investigation into construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in southern Nigeria, Femi Babafemi said, “it’s true … definitely.”

The spokesman could not give details on the charges that he says are likely to be filed next week, but said “they are not unconnected to his role as the chief executive of Halliburton.”

A prosecutor on the case said Cheney would be charged jointly along with the former and current leadership of Halliburton and others.

Officials from companies in a consortium involved in the LNG plant would also be included in the charges to be “placed before the court at the latest by Tuesday of next week,” said Godwin Obla.

Cheney would face conspiracy charges and a Nigerian judge would be asked to issue an arrest warrant for him that would be transmitted to Interpol, said Obla.

“As the CEO of Halliburton, he has the responsibility for acts that occurred during that period,” Obla told AFP.

Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper also reported that Cheney would be charged. Halliburton’s office in Lagos would not comment when reached by phone.

Cheney served as head of Halliburton before becoming vice president under George W. Bush in 2000.

The LNG case involves an alleged 182 million dollar cash-for-contract scandal over 10 years until 2005 over construction of the LNG plant in southern Nigeria. Halliburton has denied involvement in the allegations.

US authorities said last year that Halliburton and its former subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) had agreed to pay 579 million dollars in fines related to the case.

Source

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