How ex-AGF directed EFCC to probe alleged $20m Swiss bribery scandal
A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello (SAN), is said to have actually directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the alleged $20million bribery scandal uncovered in Switzerland.
But the anti-graft commission allegedly said the funds may have been consultancy fees. The Swiss authorities, through the Office of the Attorney-General, Department of International Affairs on May 2, 2012 had implicated some Nigerians in the $20million scandal alongside Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd.
Findings however confirmed that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan referred the allegations to the EFCC. It also sent the outcome of the EFCC investigation to Felix Reinmann, the Swiss Federal Attorney.
A letter by another former Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN,) disclosed the steps taken by the Federal Government.
The letter said: “ I refer to your letter dated 2nd May 2012, wherein you forwarded a Mutual Legal Assistance request to Nigeria on the above subject matter. The request was brought pursuant to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the International Law Principle of Reciprocity.
“The documents on further findings of the executing competent authority the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed that the money were paid as consultancy fee to the various recipients.
“The said documents are herein forwarded to you verbatim. “Accept please, the assurances of my highest consideration and esteemed regards.” According to an online newspaper, Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd was sentenced to a fine of one million Swiss Francs and asked to refund 36 million Swiss Francs illegal profit.
The fines were imposed after the company was indicted for allegedly making illicit payments to some former officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority and government officials as kickbacks and for unknown reasons.
Another $18million dollar was passed to companies in which some yet unknown Nigerian officials have interests.
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