Detectives of the EFCC say they have uncovered how a $200 million fine paid by Julius Berger and four other companies named in the Halliburton bribery scandal was squandered.
According to EFCC findings, the cash was allegedly squandered on the purchase of a custom made security helicopter for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Sources at the EFCC also confirmed that a former Minister of Finance is under investigation for releasing the $200m (81.4bn) to the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, under late Gen. Patrick Azazi.
The money, which was remitted into a Central Bank Account, was ordered to be released by the former minister for ‘security purposes’
It would be recalled that Julius Berger paid the sum of $35 million in fines for serving as a conduit for $5 million bribe for the Halliburton companies.
Others who paid fines were Siemens, Euros 30 million, Snamprogetti, $30 million, Halliburton Energy Services, $32,500,000 and Japan Gasoline Corporation, $26, 500,000.
It would also be recalled that the five lawyers, who worked of the case reportedly collected $12 million (N3.960 billion) as legal fees.
The EFCC said substantial progress had been made in locating the remittance of the fines into an account in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, but the cash was withdrawn under the guise of security funding.
”One of the five suspects interrogated by our team indicated that the cash was used to buy a customised security helicopter for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. The suspect said the helicopter is still in the presidential fleet.
“But it was not clear if the N81.4 billion was spent on the helicopter or part of it. We are trying to find out the cost of the helicopter from the manufacturer. Preliminary findings confirmed that the helicopter could not have cost up to N2billion”, the source revealed.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews…
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