Obasanjo Speaks About Halliburton Bribery Scandal During His Tenure as …

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Ex President Olusegun Obasanjo has shed some light on the Halliburton bribery scandal which extended into his tenure as president of Nigeria.

Q: Now what do you say to those who keep linking you with corruption during your own tenure, especially the unresolved Halliburton scam for which some of your aides were arrested?

Obasanjo: Look, anybody can make any allegation. Go and read the EFCC report on me. I’m the only leader who has left office who has had, I said they should carry out clinical… did you see that in the book? And if you haven’t seen that in the book then you haven’t read the book. So what else do you want? (Ndudi) Elumelu carried out a report. Did you see the report of the House and the action of the House? What more do you want? So it doesn’t matter the allegation you make, that’s entirely up to you. Halliburton, Bodunde (one of his aides) has been taken to court twice and the court has dismissed the case. What more do you want? The latest was the one Jonathan did. Just before he left, he took Bodunde back to court. He was discharged and the case dismissed the first time. The second time Jonathan took him to court and he was discharged again. So what do you want?

Q: You may not know about it, you may not have a hand in it, but it does appear, especially from reports from US investigators that some officials of your administration perhaps took bribe from Halliburton.

Obasanjo: No no no! I don’t deny that. But not me! I don’t deny their reports about Halliburton but not me. I don’t even know what Halliburton was doing here. So what’s your problem? And EFCC looked into it. You read the report of EFCC bordering on Halliburton.

Q: The only gap is that people are wondering why you didn’t take steps to bring those officials of your regime to book.

Obasanjo: (Cuts in) There’s no gap. You can make any allegation. Now EFCC – you can count number of people who are taken to court. I don’t take anybody to court, Mojeed. And don’t annoy me. Now you have the system that takes them to court. I don’t take anybody to court. Because if I have to be the one to say ‘take this one to court,’ that will be witch- hunting. That’s not my job. My job is – set up the system and if anybody in that system is not performing then look for somebody to perform. So it doesn’t matter what allegation. If you read that report of EFCC, one man was hired, and he went out with all sorts of spurious allegations and EFCC took it one by one. Even Ribadu told me that when he gave that report, because he didn’t give the report to me…I said, look, carry out a critical investigation. I thought that was good. Then when he wrote his report, he gave it to Yar’Adua. And he said Yar’Adua asked him, ‘You can’t find anything at all?’ He brought Metropolitan Police here and he said whenever they are doing investigation in the past, when they get somewhere they will say ‘oh, yes, some people are interested.’ But this is the first time they had free hand to carry out investigation. So what more do you want? And what I put there is what I believe in. Has anybody working under me said to you that ‘oh, he asked me to take bribe?

Q: I don’t know if you saw the reports of the investigation that said Halliburton passed a lot of money to your party, the PDP, during that time….

Obasanjo: (Cuts in) Well, I don’t know about that.

Q …Including using even bullion van to deliver money to the party through Gaius Obaseki.

Obasanjo: I won’t know about that. I don’t deal with the money in the party. I don’t deal with that.

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