President Yar’Adua has approved the constitution of a board of inquiry to investigate a multi-million dollar bribery scandal involving American company Halliburton and allegedly implicating two former Nigerian presidents.
Earlier this year Halliburton reportedly admitted that it had paid 182 million dollars to Nigerian government officials over a 10-year period to win a six-billion dollar contract to build a natural gas plant on Bonny Island in southern Nigeria.
U.S. officials announced in February this year that Halliburton had paid 579 million dollars in fine related to the case.
In a statement Wednesday, the Nigerian government reportedly said the panel was being set up in line with President Umaru Yar’Adua’s determination to ensure zero tolerance for corruption.
Nigerian Justice Minister Michael Aondoakaa, who was in Washington last month, has reportedly written to the U.S. justice ministry to make available the names of Nigerians implicated in the Halliburton bribery scandal.
Some reports attributed to the Nigerian media and NGOs said former Nigerian presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar and the late Sani Abacha are among those who accepted bribes.