Nigerian connections to political bribes ultimately linked to U.S. oil industry. According to informed sources, the $90,000 found in Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson's freezer by the FBI had its origins with Nigerian politicians who include two 2007 presidential hopefuls, current Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former President Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, as well as former Nigerian President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is looking at the three politicians and evidence that they have been used by foreign oil companies to launder money into the coffers of Nigerian and foreign politicians, including Jefferson. The Louisiana congressman is being investigated for receiving over a half million dollars in bribes from iGate, Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based company that was using Jefferson to promote its Internet and wireless business in Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. In the case of Nigeria. Jefferson allegedly attempted to double dip by receiving a finder's fee from iGate for an introduction to Nigerian political leaders and company officials of Nigeria's Netlink Digital Television of Nigeria and also receive direct sales commissions from Netlink. Netlink's lawyers blew the whistle on Jefferson's illegal gambit.
However, WMR sources report that the Jefferson bribe involving Nigerian businesses is just one small part of Nigerian interests funneling oil dollars to foreign politicians, including Americans. The financial network, largely composed of GOP operatives, uses Nigerian politicians like Abubakar and Buhari to make contact with U.S. politicians for the purpose of arranging "investments" into their private and public coffers. In return, the politicians are blackmailed into supporting the interests of the oil companies, including the largest ones operating in Nigeria, including Exxon Mobil and Halliburton. The same GOP and Nigerian interests were likewise involved in the infusion of money into the 2004 election in order to buy off local elections officials and technicians. In that case, reported by this editor, there was also a significant connection to Kentucky.
The Nigerian bribery scandal involving Jefferson is also linked to previous bribes paid to Nigerian politicians by U.S. oil companies, including $180 million in bribes paid by Halliburton, while Dick Cheney was its chairman, to Nigerian officials in return for a gas liquefaction plant contract in Nigeria. That bribery scheme (known as the "Technip Affair") resulted in a multinational criminal investigation of Halliburton that included the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department. Buhari, a former chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and was the Executive Chairman of the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) from 1995 to 1999, when the fund was abolished. During Buhari's tenure, the Technip scandal involving Halliburton and NNPC blew wide open. Buhari has been a frequent visitor to Washington and one WMR source has reported an attempt by the former Nigerian president to enlist his political support in return for a large sum of money. The FBI's raid on Jefferson's office may have had more to do with eliminating evidence involving U.S. oil companies in Nigerian bribery schemes (and, therefore, protect Cheney) than in nailing Jefferson.