Femi Falana, a Lagos-based lawyer and human rights activist, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reopen the Halliburton bribery scandal.
Falana spoke to a Lagos TV station about how Buhari went abroad asking President Barack Obama, among others, to help recover stolen Nigerian money stashed away in foreign banks.
However, Falana argued that Buhari can’t “tell other countries to help while looking the other way” in terms of ignoring prominent Nigerians who were indicted in the Halliburton scandal in foreign courts.
The Halliburton bribery scandal started from 1994 when the Nigerian government initiated plans to build the Bonny Island Natural Liquefied Gas Project. The scandal involved a network of secretive banks and offshore tax havens that were used to pay $182 million in bribes to Nigerian officials in exchange for $6 billion in contracts for an international consortium of companies that included a then Halliburton subsidiary.
Several of the alleged recipients of the bribes are prominent in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and former heads of state, considered by many to be “untouchable”.