Nigerian court throws out bribery case

March 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 27 (UPI) -- A court in Nigeria said it has thrown out the Halliburton bribery case against two officials and four companies because of sloppy work by prosecutors.

The Abuja High Court said it had to dismiss the case against Ibrahim Aliyu, Mohammed Gidado Bakari and the companies because of the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Daily Trust of Nigeria reported.

"The [commission] should know that if it is not ready to prosecute and bring cases to conclusion, it should not apply for leave of court to arraign anybody," Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar said.

The defendants were accused of serving as conduits and receiving bribes to facilitate natural gas contracts between 1994 and 2005.

The four companies involved were Urban Shelter Ltd., Intercellular Nigeria Ltd., Sherwood Petroleum Ltd. and Tri-Star Investment Ltd.

Nigerian officials accused Halliburton and a former subsidiary of paying as much as $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to win $6 billion in contracts.

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