About $32.5 million recovered for the federal government by some senior lawyers in the controversial out-of-court settlement of the Halliburton scam has been declared missing from the government’s coffers.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which raised the alarm over the missing $32.5 million on Thursday, September 1, 2016, said that investigation in the matter had reached an advanced stage, and that those indicted would soon be charged to court.
The federal government had on December 11, 2010, entered into an agreement to settle the Halliburton scam out of court in exchange for ex-gratia payment of the said $32.5 million.
The missing $32.5million was part of the over $180 million recovered by five senior lawyers for the federal government, following negotiations and out-of-court settlement on the widely publicised scams – Halliburton, Siemens, Samprogetti, and Japan Gasoline issues.
The five senior lawyers were hired by the former attorney-general of the federation and minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and were led by the former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Joseph Daudu, SAN. Other members of the negotiating team were Mr. Damien Dodo, SAN, Mr Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, Mr Godwin Obla, SAN and Mr. Rowland Ewubare.
It was learnt that the five senior lawyers had already been invited by the EFCC in order to determine their involvement and they made useful statements to the agency on the matter.
The EFCC source, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, said, “We are unable to locate the said $32.5 million at the CBN and the Office of Accountant General of the Federation even though the said amount was purportedly paid into the federal government’s account.
“We suspect a conspiracy in this matter as so many people were involved. But I can tell you authoritatively that investigation has reached an advanced stage. Once investigation is concluded, the suspects will be charged to court.”