The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke may soon answering questions before the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, if the petition written to the Committee by an Anti-Corruption, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) is anything to go by.
In the petition titled: Call For Investigation Of $26million Usd Bribery Allegation Against Former Attorney General And Minister Of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke In The Siemens, Halliburton Etc Bribery Scandal Settlement Deals, the group said; “we write to draw your attention to many of our petitions against corrupt leaders that are gathering dusts in the anti-corruption agency offices, and are yet to receive the expected attention. Whatever the situation is, the Commissions have no excuse that is tenable to us and Nigerians, why our petitions on the above mentioned has not received attention till date. We hope you will take the necessary steps to ensure that the subject of our petition is probed for his suspected corrupt dealings, and corruption perpetrated under his watch.”
According to CACOL, it said; “we urge you to ensure that this petition receives the Committee’s prompt attention. It is meant to draw your attention to the marching order handed down to the nation’s anti-graft agencies, especially the ICPC and the EFCC by President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR on Thursday July 14, 2011, during the swearing in ceremony of the last batch of nine Ministers at the Aso Chambers of the presidential villa, Abuja. As widely reported by the media the following day Friday July 15, 2011, the President was quoted to have said the following:
“There is no doubt that our rating in the Global Corruption Index is embarrassing. Corruption is therefore, the monster that we need to confront and defeat, in order to raise the country’s integrity profile. The war against corruption in this dispensation will start at the centre.
“The anti-corruption agencies have been directed to beam their searchlights on the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government, and also focus on the states and local government areas, in order to send out a clear signal, that no form of abuse will be tolerated.
“We will carry out a comprehensive audit of all ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government beginning from June 2007. You must observe due process in all that you do. I expect you to be above board.”
You will agree that this is a clear cut directive devoid of pretension, and which must be implemented without fear or favour. In view of this, your Committee is therefore called upon to; as a matter of urgency and national interest investigate the allegations that the then Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke coordinated a bribery scheme that extorted about $26 million USD from about 10 multinational companies involved in the Siemens and Halliburton bribery scandals in the last quarter of 2010.”
According to CACOL, it said; “This amount was believed to have been collected under the official cover of making the accused multinational companies pay the legal fees of prosecution counsels, even though the accused were never prosecuted in any court of the land to warrant such unethical secret levy. While the EFCC, ICPC and the then Attorney General have listed various sums of money totalling about $240million as funds recovered in fines and penalties from these multinational companies, no one has dared mention the $26million that was secretly extorted from these companies, and who the beneficiaries are.”
According to CACOL it also hinted that; “On November 22, 2010, Siemens reportedly reached a settlement agreement with the federal government under which Siemens will pay 7billion Nigerian Naira (approx. $46.5million) to the Nigerian Government, in exchange, for the EFCC dropping charges against Siemens AG, Siemens Nig Ltd and four of its officers. The settlement payment was variously described as “restitution” and “disgorgement”.
“In connection with the TSKJ / Bonny Island bribery matter, on November 25, 2010, it was reported that the EFCC arrested ten Halliburton employees in Nigeria during a raid of the offices of Halliburton Energy Services Nigeria Limited in Lagos, as well as one employee each from Saipem Contracting Nigeria and Technip Offshore Nigeria. On December 7, 2010, the EFCC reportedly filed corruption charges against Halliburton, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (who was the CEO of Halliburton during the period at issue), Albert Stanley (former CEO of KBR), David Lesar (current CEO of Halliburton) and William Utt (current CEO of KBR). Technip, Snamprogetti and JGC Corporation were reportedly also charged on the same day. The case reference was Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Halliburton and others, CV/435/10, High Court of Justice, Abuja Judicial Division (Abuja).”
According to CACOL, it is praying that; “Some of the multinational companies alleged to have been forced to pay various sums as fines and bribes under the cover of paying for prosecution’s legal fees include Julius Berger, Snamprogetti, Halliburton, Technipp, Shell, Siemens, Saipem, Japanese Gas Corporation, Transocean and Noble Drill.
While we have been able to get information that Julius Berger alone coughed out $26million USD in fines and another $3million USD as bribe, we call upon your committee to investigate these cases as the ICPC and EFCC are the agencies that investigated these cases, and indeed filed charges against all the accused before they were withdrawn after some secret terms of settlement were forced on the multinational companies by the then Attorney General.”
“As a matter of urgency, we urge your committee to investigate how much each of the accused paid as “legal fees”, and how these monies were shared.”