By Wole Arisekola
From United State of America, the four former ministers, a senator and a number of Nigeria government officials in decision making offices have been fingered in a 10 million Euro bribery scandal.
The bribe, according to The Wall Street Journal on Friday, was offered to the senior government officials between 2002 and 2003 by Siemens AG, a German company.
The former ministers were Chief Cornelius Adebayo, retired General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, Dr. Mohammed Bello and Alhaji Haruna Elewi.
They were all at different times and under different regimes Ministers of Communications.
While Olanrewaju served in the regime of late General Sani Abacha, others were part of the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.
The senator named in the bribery scandal was Prof. Jubril Aminu. Other government officials named occupied different offices in the Nigerian Telecommunications Company (NITEL) and the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS).
The bribery scandal, according to The Wall Street Journal, was uncovered as a result of the probe of Siemens AG by a Munich State Court in Germany.
The searchlight was turned on Siemens because of allegations of offering bribes to get contracts.
The company was indicted for offering bribe in three countries – Nigeria, Libya and Russia.
Though the court did not interview any of those indicted, information gleaned from the records of Siemens showed that Adebayo was given 500,000 Euros at an unknown time after 2002 and another 70,000 Euros on May 22, 2004.
A staff of Siemens, simply identified as Seidel, allegedly offered the bribe to Adebayo.
The Project Manager, Implementation, of NITEL, simply identified as Mohammed, was also given 70,000 Euros by Seidel.
One Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, David Osakwe Oyegun, was reportedly given 50,000 Euros by Seidel “shortly after 2004.”
Seidel on April 11, 2004 allegedly offered Aminu, former Minister of Petroleum Resources in the regime of military President Ibrahim Babangida, and others 185,000 Euros.
In Siemens’ record, Aminu was identified as a senator of the governing party.
On October 18, 2002, Seidel reportedly offered 50,000 Swiss Francs and 10,000 Pounds to some “political decision makers not known by name.”
Between November 29, 2001 and August 25, 2003, Seidel, through two business consultants of Siemens, J.E. Douglas Steradian Co. and C. Woermann GmbH, offered one million euros; 500,000 Euros; two million, two hundred and fifty thousand Euros; 350,000 Euros, 750,000 Euros; 620,000 Euros; 380,000 Euros; and one million and sixty-four thousand Euros to “several decision makers.”
Late Elewi was allegedly given 50,000 Euros by Seidel on November 10, 2003.
On December 2, 2003 and February 18, 2004, Oyegun received 20,000 Euros each from Seidel.
Seidel also offered Bello 150,000 Euros and 550,00 Euros on August 25, 2003 and July 8, 2002.
Others who allegedly received bribes from Seidel between 2002 and 2004 were Samson Olabiyi (Legal Advisor of NITEL); one Dr. Mamza (Secretary in the Ministry of Communications); R. Olusanju (NITEL tenders board secretary); Buba Bajonga (MD of NITEL); Allahbamulafa (a Director with NITEL); Elewi; Olanrewaju; Chuka Nwizu (Head of Immigration Service); Aliyu Dadi (Legal Advisor, NITEL); and some political decision makers.
Some of the bribes were reportedly received on behalf of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Munich State Court ruling that indicted Siemens was delivered on October 4, 2007.
The court indicted a top Siemens Manager, Mr. Reinhard Siekaczek, for allegedly paying 12 million euros in bribes to secure lucrative telecommunications and power contracts in Nigeria, Russia and Libya.
Siemens has accepted responsibility for the misconduct of Siekaczek and agreed to pay 210 million euros in fines.
German prosecutors have said that they would not pursue action against non-German citizens who were identified as recipients of the bribes.
According to the Munich court ruling, Edward Seidel, who headed Siemens operations in Nigeria earlier this decade, helped deliver many of the bribes to final recipient.