By Nichola Ibekwe
While no Nigerian official implicated in the $180 million (N27 billion) Halliburton
bribery scam has been convicted, a Paris court, Friday, sentenced two former executives of French engineering and construction giant, Technip
S.A, for their role in the scam.
TSKJ, a consortium of four international companies (Technip; Snamprogetti; KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton; and JGC), paid the bribe to Nigerian officials over a ten-year period to secure the construction contract worth $6 billion (N900 billion).
TSKJ partners admitted paying $132 million (N9.8 billion) to a Gibraltar corporation controlled by London-based lawyer, Jeffrey Tesler, and $51 million (N7.65 billion) to Marubeni of Japan. The money was meant as bribes to Nigerian government officials.
Jean-Marie Deseilligny, Technip’s General Manager; and Etienne Gory, the company’s Commercial Manager for Africa were ordered to pay fines of €10, 000 (N2.15 million) and €5,000 (N1.1 million) respectively. Prosecutors had asked the court to fine the accused €100, 000 (N21.5 million) each.
Jeffery Tesler, the main go-between for the consortium, is serving a 21-month sentence in the United States prison while Jack Stanley, KBR’s former Chief Executive Officer, is serving 30 months.
Using the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Security and Exchange Commission has made the companies and individuals that paid the bribe to pay more than $1.7 billion in penalties and disgorgement.
Halliburton, in January 2009, paid a $559 million (N84 billion) fine to the U.S government after the company was found guilty of bribing Nigerian officials.
While the bribe givers have all been convicted and fined, and in some cases jailed in their countries of origin and in the U.S., no Nigerian bribe recipient has been convicted or jailed.
The beneficiaries of the bribe, as revealed by several investigations, include three successive heads of state, former petroleum ministers, officials of the Nigerian oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and other government officials.
Culled from Premium Times
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