The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said yesterday it had dropped all charges against former U.S Vice-President Richard Dick Cheney and other U.S. officials involved in the Halliburton bribery scandal. It, however, said that the charges against Nigerian officials remained and would go on in court.
The EFCC chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri, disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists, during the U.S. Ambassador's working visit to the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja. She said the case had been peacefully settled out of court and she would make the details available soon.
However, LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that the settlement came on the heels of a pre-bargain meeting held earlier this week between some U.S. officials and their Nigerian counterparts, including the EFCC. The U.S. had agreed to pay the sum of $250 million to the Federal Government to secure their nationals from going through the rigours of trial and further scandal in Nigeria.
Halliburton Incorporated has been in the news for offences bordering on economic and financial crimes and offering gratification to some Nigerian public officials for the purpose of assisting the corporation to secure the award of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract in Bonny Island, Rivers State, between 1994 and 1995,when Dick Cheney was serving as the President, Halliburton Inc.
Meanwhile, the U.S. envoy, Terrence McCulley, had warned the leadership of the EFCC not to interfere in the conduct of the 2011 general election, but to play a neutral role in the forthcoming exercise by desisting from anything that would warrant being used by some desperate individuals or groups against their opponents.