ABUJA — Following a directive by President Goodluck Jonathan that the $180 million Halliburton bribery scam be reopened and the principal suspects re-arrested for prosecution, Vanguard has uncovered a list of some of the foreign banks through which huge sums running into millions of dollars were wired to prominent Nigerians.
According to sources, such principal suspects like a former military head of state (names withheld), used the American Express Bank Annex at the Towers World Financial Centre, New York, the Seaway National Bank, Chicago, and the Bank of New York to wire over $37.5 million of the bribe money.
Accounts used by the former head of state between 2002 and 2003 include A/C No 187765 Chips VID 250517, Maizubi Holdings, Minna, A/C No 0074952045, Rooting No 071001216, Foundation Inc. A/C No 9800263826 Swift/Sort Code GHBAGRAA001 and A/C No 0039342923-21 Rooting No 052001533.
Another principal suspect through who the British/Israeli lawyer, Jeffrey Tesler wired huge sums to prominent Nigerians is Air Vice Marshal Abdul Dominic Bello and the banks/ account numbers through which over $68 million were wired are Lloyds Bank of London, A/C No 736827, Tri-Star, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, London, Tri-Star, American Express Bank, A/C No 2101653,Tri-Star, HSBC, A/C No 31505024, and Lloyds Bank, A/C No 0737041, Tri-Star.
It was gathered that these huge sums of bribe money were shared with the active knowledge and connivance of the Company Secretary of the NLNG then, Mrs. Sena Anthony, hence her arrest, detention and interrogation for days during the first investigation and subsequent conclusion that she is key to unraveling the complete list of the bribery beneficiaries.
Concerning another former head of state (names withheld), Vanguard learnt that a total of about $39 million was collected on his behalf by cronies over a period of time using a construction giant as go between and purporting that the huge sums of money were invested in a prominent political party whereas, only a minute fraction actually got to the party.
The source disclosed that Malabo Oil owned by a former minister of petroleum benefitted from the bribery scam to the tune of about $2 million; Umaru Shinkafi, through the American Express Bank in London and in a Joint account he operated with Ashiru Bisiji Aliyu, got wired $1. 65 million.
For the brother of former head of state, Abdukadir Abacha, various sums amounting to about $13 million through account names—Headway Eng. Ltd. A/C No 68579222; Strategic Ind. Ltd-A/c No 76434366; and Action Invt. Intern Ltd.
Ibrahim Aliyu, a former federal permanent secretary, among many other transactions, used Union Bank Plc London office at Copt Avenue with account No 02101/01/010 312/Swift Address UBNIGB31A.
Mr. MG Bakari owner of SHERWOOD used various accounts acting for himself and a former head of state to wire huge sums and they include Bank HSBC, Euston Road, London, A/C No 39067293 Sort Code 40-04-07, Swift Code MIDOGB; A/C No 024002112100; Monument Trust, Channels Island, Sherwood A/C No 024002112001 through which the sum of Euro 664, 020. 83 were wired to Sherwood.
Recall that the decision of President Jonathan to order the re-opening of the case of Halliburton bribery scandal involving prominent Nigerians, for prosecution followed the insistence by the US authorities that the about $130 million presently in the US government coffers, will only be returned to Nigeria if the prime suspects are prosecuted.
Consequently, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, directed the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge Force Criminal Investigations Department to resuscitate the investigative report of the CP Ali Amodu-led panel that investigated the scandal and submitted its report in 2010.
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the whereabouts of the $26. 5 million returned by construction giants, Julius Berger, in a plea bargain arrangement, to avoid prosecution, is yet to be located and handed over to the police, as nobody, including the police, knows where the money was paid or deposited.