Monday, 29 October 2012

H-A-L-L-I-B-U-R-T-O-N: Pressure on Jonathan to stop prosecution

altPRESSURE from powerful angles is now mounting on President Goodluck Jonathan to stop the prosecution of all the suspects indicted in the Halliburton bribery scam.
Informed presidency sources disclosed to the Nigerian Tribune that two former heads of state whose cronies were involved in the scam have even threatened to withdraw their support for the president if he goes ahead to prosecute the suspects.
The source revealed that even as the former heads of states are threatening, the United States government has warned the Federal Government of imminent sanctions if those indicted are not prosecuted.
Towards this end, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the immediate commencement of investigations into the case.
Consequently, all members of the task force from all the security agencies that initially investigated the case two years ago are being recalled to begin work.
Also, the investigating team, which was to have visited France, United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland and United States, where the proceeds of the bribery scandal were kept, are soon to embark on the journey which was stalled two years ago.
The source revealed that all those that were initially indicted are now running helter-skelter contacting powers that-be on how they can stop the investigation.
In spite of the pressure, the source added that the Federal Government is insisting that the suspects must be prosecuted, as the US government has read the Riot Act if it fails to bring those involved to justice.
Crisis started for the reopening of the case, following the Federal Government’s request to the US government to release the balance of $180 million seized in the account.
The $420 million bribe was allegedly given by Halliburton with one Testler based in the United Kingdom as the middleman to facilitate getting the contract for the construction of the multi-million naira second phase of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), by influencing top government functionaries with the money. The project in Rivers State has since been completed.
Out of it, the $180 million left was what the Federal Government was requesting for that triggered the whole crisis to re-open the case.

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