Nigeria urged to prosecute 16 foreign firms for bribery

A Nigerian civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Nigerian government to prosecute 16 foreign companies involved in bribery in the country. In a statement made available to PANA in Lagos Sunday, SERAP said it would seek leave of court for an order of mandamus to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Mohammed Adoke, to act if the companies are not prosecuted “within 14 (fourteen) days from the receipt and/or publication of this letter (to the AGF).”

The foreign companies listed in the letter to Mr Adoke are: Halliburton Co; Kellogg Brown & Root LLC (KBR); Technip SA; Snamprogetti Netherlands BV; ENI SpA;  JGC Corp;  MW Kellogg; Willbros International; Julius Berger Nigeria Plc;  Panalpina; Royal Dutch Shell Plc;
Pride International; Noble Corp; Tidewater Inc; Transocean Inc; Shell Nigerian Exploration and Production Co. Ltd; and Siemens AG.

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The letter, dated 7 June 2012 and signed by the organization’s executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni reads in part: “It is well-known that these foreign companies have been involved in acts of bribery and corruption in Nigeria, and have paid huge compensation in their home countries where they have been found guilty of such practices. However, none of these companies has been prosecuted in Nigeria for those acts.

“Yet, the Nigerian people have suffered more the effects of foreign bribery. Foreign bribery has caused immense damage and devastation to the economy and to institutions of governance, and directly undermined the full and effective enjoyment of internationally recognized human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights by the citizens. Nigerians have not benefited from the large number of foreign bribery cases and investigations in OECD Convention countries that include allegations of bribery in Nigeria.”

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SERAP said the lack of prosecution by the Nigerian government of the multinationals for proven foreign bribery constitutes a violation of the international legal rights of the deprived, and may itself constitute an international wrong.

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