Dick Cheney faces bribery charges in Nigeria over LNG plant scandal

Abuja, Dec 3 (ANI): Nigeria's anti-corruption agency would reportedly charge US Vice-President Dick Cheney for his alleged involvement in a bribery scandal involving Halliburton, the company he once headed.

Cheney was Halliburton's Chief Executive before becoming Vice-President to George W Bush in 2001.

The BBC quoted a spokesman for the anti-corruption agency, Femi Babafemi, as saying that the charges could be brought against Cheney next week. He also said that the charges were "not unconnected to his role as the chief executive of Halliburton".

The bribe scandal concerned the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in southern Nigeria.

KBR last year pleaded guilty to paying 180 million dollars (115 million pounds) in bribes to Nigerian officials before 2007, when it was a subsidiary of Halliburton. The firm agreed to pay 579 million dollars (372 million pounds) in fines related to the case in the US.

KBR and Halliburton have now split, and Halliburton says it is not connected with the case against KBR. It also denied involvement in the allegations, and added that a raid on its office last week by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission officials was "an affront against justice", the report said.

However Nigeria, along with France and Switzerland, has conducted its own investigations into the case, it added.

Cheney's lawyer, Terence O'Donnell, said allegations that his client was involved in the scandal were "entirely baseless," adding that US investigators had "found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role of CEO of Halliburton".

"Any suggestion of misconduct on his part, made now, years later, is entirely baseless," he added. (ANI)

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