The former aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Adeyanju Bodunde, was this morning arraigned before Justice Adamu Bello of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria, in connection with the $180 million Halliburton bribery scandal.
Bodunde was alleged to have received about $5 million from both Mrs. George Mark and Mr. Hans George-Christ who were implicated in the controversial sharing of bribe money to Nigerian top government officials between 2002 and 2003.
The former presidential aide allegedly received $3 million and N140 million from Mr. George Mark while the sum of $1 million was received from Mr. Hans George-Christ, in two tranches of $500,000 respectively.
He was alleged to have received these bribe monies in contravention of Section 1 and 15(d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004 and punishable under section 15(2)(b) of the Act.
Bodunde pleaded not guilty to the six-count charge.
Before taking his plea, the prosecutor, Mr. Godwin Obla applied to withdraw an earlier charge filed on 3 September, 2010 and substituted it with a fresh charge which was filed early this month.
The earlier charge sheet contained charges against Bodunde, Julius Berger Construction Company and other officials of Halliburton. But the fresh charge sheet contains only allegations against Bodunde alone.
Mr. Adoke Bello, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, recently dropped the charges against Julius Berger Construction Company when it embraced a plea bargain.
Upon pleading not guilty on the allegation against him, Bodunde’s lawyer, Mr. Adeyemi Aremu from Chief Afe Babalola’s chambers, made an oral application for his bail. The prosecution did not oppose the application.
The court granted Bodunde bail in the sum of N1 million and one surety in like sum, and adjourned his trial till 16 December.