- - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NIGERIA

Ex-president’s aide indicted on corruption

ABUJA | A personal aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo was charged Wednesday in a six-count indictment accusing him of laundering money in a case involving massive bribes paid by a former Halliburton subsidiary.

A prosecutor alleged Adeyanju Bodunde was just a member in a “ring” of others surrounding the former leader of Africa’s most populous nation, hinting that more charges may come in the case involving Kellogg, Brown & Root.

Mr. Bodunde, who served as Mr. Obasanjo’s personal aide before he won the 1999 presidential election and during his presidency, pleaded not guilty.

The charges center on $1.5 million Mr. Bodunde allegedly received between 2002 and 2003. Prosecutors say that money went toward government officials to ensure that KBR won contracts to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria. Those facilities harness natural gas released during oil drilling.

In February, KBR pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Houston in the case and agreed to pay more than $400 million in fines. The company admitted authorizing and paying bribes from 1995 to 2004 for contracts in Nigeria, an OPEC member that is one of America’s main suppliers of crude.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Group says warlord allowed to walk free

DAKAR, Senegal | A former Congolese warlord accused of conscripting child soldiers walks freely and is serving in the Congolese military despite a warrant for his arrest, an international rights group said Wednesday.

Bosco Ntaganda was first indicted on war-crimes charges in 2006 by the International Criminal Court, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands. The court has accused Mr. Ntaganda of using child soldiers for fighting in Ituri, in northeastern Congo, from 2002 to 2003.

The U.N. also has implicated Mr. Ntaganda in the 2008 massacre in the village of Kiwanja in Congo’s North Kivu province. More than 150 people were killed by rebels under Mr. Ntaganda’s command, according to a U.N. report.

Human Rights Watch has called for the Congolese government to arrest Mr. Ntaganda immediately, but Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende said the group should direct its demand to the country’s judiciary.

MALI

Official: West should limit fight on AQIM

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