- Published on Monday, 17 September 2012 10:19
- Written by Elombah.com
Former French oil chief executive Loik Le Floch-Prigent has been extradited from Ivory Coast to Togo on suspicion of involvement in a massive fraud, but Nigeria's Attorney General has ruled out Nigeria’s right to prosecute the affected multinational companies caught bribing in Nigeria. Some of the multi-national companies have been
prosecuted in other countries like USA and UK, and the cases are pending in court but others have been fined or jailed, but not in Nigeria.
Mr Le Floch-Prigent, the former chief of the Elf firm, was held on Saturday and is due to appear before a judge on Monday for questioning, reports say.
His lawyer in Paris said the charges were politically motivated.
Mr Le Floch-Prigent [pictured] has served jail terms for corruption in France related to his time as head of Elf in 1989-93.
The 68-year-old was detained on Saturday as part of an investigation into a complaint from a businessman who alleged that he was victim of a $48m (£30m) fraud scheme, according to AFP news agency.
Mr Le Floch-Prigent has served a five-year sentence for embezzling more that $350m of public funds during his reign at Elf.
He currently works as an oil industry consultant, reports say
Meanwhile companies caught bribing in nigeria have paid billions in fines, but not in Nigeria. Analysts say one of the reasons why there are so many foreign bribery cases going on related to Nigeria is basically that corruption in Nigeria is deeply entrenched in almost every area of the public sector.
Nigeria has seen a large number of cases and investigations in multiple jurisdictions involving foreign bribery allegations, from oil and gas extraction and phone contracts to gifts of cars to officials. The resulting settlements have involved more than US$ 1.7 billion in fines
A Nigerian based NGO, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has made efforts to find out about foreign bribery fines through the awareness created by the OECD reports on bribery and various other works by anti-corruption movements.
SERAP's Chinyere Nwafor said her NGO has written the Minister of Justice in Nigeria, Mohammed Adoke, requesting them to prosecute the affected multinational companies.
SERAP said they received a reply from the Minister as to the reasons why it has not been possible to prosecute the multinational companies which gave bribes in Nigeria. The government of Nigeria, says it has signed a agreement with some of the multinational companies not to prosecute.
In another development, a recent report by Transparency International say bribery can add up to 25 per cent to total costs in government procurement.
The report showcases Nigeria because of the large number of cases and investigations in multiple jurisdictions involving foreign bribery allegations in that country. The resulting settlements have involved more than US$ 1.7 billion in fines and disgorgement.
The World Bank says that the cost of corruption is US$1 trillion a year, and that corrupt money associated with bribes received by public officials in developing and transition countries is between US $20 billion and US $40 billion per year.
The enormous scale of bribery makes clear why high-level government action to strengthen enforcement is necessary.