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EFCC picks first Idoma Senior Advocate, Godwin Obla

Written By Idoma Television on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 | 10:40:00 PM

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday grilled a senior Advocate, Mr. Godwin Obla, on his role and four others in negotiating plea bargain on the $180million bribery with five companies, the nation reports.

The other affected lawyers are a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), J. B. Daudu (SAN);  Damian D. Dodo (SAN); E.C. Ukala (SAN); and Roland Ewubare.

The anti- graft agency has been tracing the whereabouts of the $200m (N66billion) penalty fines paid by five companies involved in the scandal.
The breakdown of the remittances by the five companies is as follows: Julius Berger ($35m); Siemens (Euros 30m); Snamprogetti ($30m); Halliburton Energy Services ($32,500,000); and Japan Gasoline Corporation ($26, 500,000).
Also, the anti-graft agency may ask the lawyers who handled the settlement agreement to account for about $12million (N3.960billion) collected as “legal fees”.
Investigation revealed that Obla was invited for allegedly coordinating settlement terms and agreement with Siemens.
Obla, who got to the EFCC headquarters at about 10am, was released at about 3.37pm
A source said: “We have intensified the ongoing probe of the $180m Halliburton bribery scam with the interrogation of one of the lawyers involved in the negotiation settlement, Mr. Godwin Obla (SAN).
“You know he played a prominent role in the agreement with the five companies. He coordinated the negotiation with Siemens. We only asked him to explain the extent of his involvement as disclosed by his colleague, Mr. Damian Dodo(SAN).
“He has been allowed to go home but we may still invite him for further interrogation. We are closing in on more suspects.”
The source added that Obla “was granted bail on self-recognition.”
In a letter to the EFCC chairman, Mr. Damian Dodo( SAN) gave the breakdown of the payment of penalty fines including:
  • Julius Berger . “Following the Settlement Agreement meeting which held in the office of the National Security Adviser and with Julius Berger Plc represented by Alh. Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN (former Attorney-General of the Federation) the total sum of $35,000,000 (Thirty Five Million US Dollars) was paid to the Federal Government Account. Copies of all relevant correspondence are attached for ease reference.
  • Siemens “The Settlement and Non-prosecution Agreement with Siemens was entered into on the 22nd of November, 2010 following which the sum of €30,000,000 (Thirty Million Euros) which was Six Billion, Fifty Two Million, Two Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira (N6,052,270.00)
“The Professional fees and cost as contained in the Agreement payable to the Legal Team was paid into the account of the designated Counsel, Godwin Obla of Obla & Co for and on behalf of the Legal team as instructed by the Team Leader
  • Snamprogetti. “The Settlement Agreement with Snamprogetti was reached on the 10th of December, 2010. The Federal Government of Nigeria received the sum of $30,000,000 (Thirty Million US Dollars) as a consequence of the Settlement Agreement.
  • Halliburton Energy Services. “The Settlement Agreement entered into by the Federal Government with Halliburton Energy Services culminated in the Federal Government receiving the sum of $32, 500, 000 (Thirty Two Million, Five Hundred US Dollars) in the designated Federal Government Account as indicated in the first schedule of the Agreement
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