The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered how $32.5 million of about $200 million fines from Halliburton Energy Services was allegedly paid into a private account.
The cash was said to be missing because the anti-graft agency could not ascertain whether or not it was remitted into the Federal Government’s account.
A top shot with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Mr. Roland Ewubare, who was one of the lawyers involved in the Settlement Agreement with Halliburton, has been given up to September 15 to submit a letter authorising him by the Federal Government to open the private escrow account.
Ewubare told the EFCC that, as the then Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), he acted in national interest in opening the escrow account.
He is in the United States to retrieve the relevant documents relating to the account for the EFCC.
The EFCC has grilled the Managing Director of Halliburton Energy Services in Nigeria, Henry Oki.
Oki gave the details of how agreements were signed between the Federal Government and Halliburton in London.
About five companies have paid fines in line with a Settlement Agreement with the Federal Government .
The breakdown of the remittances by the five companies is as follows: Julius Berger ($35m); Siemens (Euros 30m); Snamprogetti ($30m); Halliburton Energy Services ($32,500,000); and Japan Gasoline Corporation ($26, 500,000).
Top Nigerian lawyers who oversaw the agreement are a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph B Daudu (SAN), Mr. E.C Ukala (SAN) Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), Mr. Roland Ewubare and Damian Dodo (SAN).
Some members of the legal team were conferred with national honours for the recovery.
EFCC detectives have discovered that the missing $32.5million was transferred by Halliburton into FGN JP Morgan Chase New York Swift BIC Code CHASUS 33, Account No. 000742501406865.
It was gathered that the account was titled Madison Avenue/ Escrow /CBN/ FGN further Credit to FGN Litigation Settlement.
The EFCC team later discovered that although the account was opened in the name of the Federal Government, it was a purely private account which was managed by Ewubare and others as signatories.
A top source said: “Out of over $200million fines paid, about $32.5million(N13,585,000, 000) is missing. Our team only succeeded in tracing the transfer of the cash into an account in New York but there is no record of whether or not it was remitted into the Federal Government Consolidated Account.
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