Nigeria: Ex-Ministers Named in Fraud
Four past ministers of Communications in Nigeria have been named in an alleged bribery scandal involving German communication company, SIEMENS.
According to court papers made public yesterday, the former ministers, Bello Mohammed Haliru, Tajudeen Olanrewaju, Cornelius Adebayo and Alhaji Haruna Elewi were paid over $17 million dollars as bribes to secure contracts for SIEMENS.
The court filings however did not reveal the particular contract in question, but a breakdown of the sums received in bribes by the former ministers shows that Adebayo received 170,000.00Euros between 2002 and 2004 while Haliru benefited 550,000.00Euros on July 8,2002 and 150,000.00Euros on August 25,2003.
Elewi, the court stated, received in bribe the sum of 200,000.00 Euros on April 30, 2003; 50,000.00 Euros on November 10, 2003 and 5,000.00 Euros August 12, 2002.
The court papers further revealed that Olarenwaju received 5,000.00Euros on August 8, 2002.
Apart from the four former Ministers, a yet to be named Senator and one Mr Chuka Nwizu, an immigration officer also allegedly received bribes from Siemens.
Also named in the scandal are former Managing Director of the Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd (NITEL), Buba Bajoga, as having received in bribes the sum of 80,000.00 Euros on May 3, 2004. David Osakwe, a project manager with NITEL was also a beneficiary, the German court said.
Others named as beneficiaries include, a former director with NITEL, Alhaji Allahbamulafiya; legal advisors to NITEL, Alhaji Aliyu Datti and Samson Olabiyi and secretary of NITEL tenders board, Mr Olusanjo.
The court focused on bribes between 2001 and 2004 connected to Reinhard Siekaczek, a Siemens employee who was a manager in a telecommunications equipment unit.
Although the court noted that Siemens sold telecommunications equipment in Nigeria, it failed to state what the recipients of Siemens's money did in exchange for it.
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Anton Winkler, a spokesman for the prosecutors in Munich, said that prosecutors have not interviewed those who were named in the court ruling as bribe takers.
No action will be taken against those people, because German courts do not have jurisdiction over a non-German receiving a bribe outside of Germany.
The court concentrated on bribes between 2001 and 2004 connected with Reinhard Siekaczek, formerly a manager at the German company's telecommunications equipment division; Siekaczek has been indicted on embezzlement charges and is likely to face trial early in 2008, the Wall Street Journal said.