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Halliburton: Senators blast Aondoakaa, walks out DPP

By Emmanuel Aziken & Inalegwu Shaibu

ABUJA—The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), was yesterday attacked by Senators over his non-appearance at a joint Senate enquiry on the alleged $180 million Halliburton scam.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Salihu Aliyu, who represented him was turned away at the briefing where the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Daisy Ekineh, claimed that the hands of the regulatory agency were tied on the Halliburton issue.

She said SEC was incapacitated on account of the fact that Halliburton was registered in Nigeria as a private company.

Following the closed door meeting of the four committees tasked with investigating the Halliburton scam, it was resolved that the Senate should conduct a public hearing to solicit information on the scam from Nigerians with knowledge on the issue.

Aondoakaa, Vanguard, however, learnt, subsequently surfaced when the joint committee had gone into a closed door session to deliberate on what actions to mete on him but was not given an opportunity to speak. He was asked to return another day.

The joint hearing involved the Senate committees on Anti-Corruption, Gas, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary and was presided over by Senator Sola Akinyede, Chairman of the Senate committee on Anti-Corruption.

As the meeting commenced yesterday, the DPP excused the absence of the AGF on what he described as a very important meeting in the Presidential Villa- an excuse that was turned down and derided by all but one of the 18 senators present.

The exception was Senator Joseph Akaargeerger, who averred that the AGF could brief the joint committee through the DPP if he was sufficiently delegated to do so.

However, senators including Akinyede took the absence of the AGF with seriousness as he noted that invitations were sent to the AGF on June 3, and a reminder on June 19, but without any form of acknowledgement from the Chief Law Officer.


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