On 20 January the English High Court refused to block the extradition of a British solicitor to the US on charges relating to the bribery of public officials in Nigeria. The Defendant, Jeffery Tessler, was originally indicted by the US in 2009 and had appealed against the first instance decision to extradite him to the US to face prosecution. Tessler has been accused of being hired as the agent of a four-company joint venture, to bribe Nigerian officials out of a US$132 million slush fund. The alleged bribes went towards securing US$6 billion worth of contracts on behalf of the Nigerian government, to build and expand the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas terminal.
Also last month, Wojciech Chodan, another Briton, pleaded guilty to taking part in a related bribery plot in a US Court, involving one of the four companies involved in the Bonny Island joint venture, KBR. KBR, along with it's ex-parent company Halliburton Co., has agreed a settlement of US$579 million with the US over the Bonny Island scheme. The Serious Fraud Office is also in talks with the British subsidiary of KBR over a separate UK settlement.
The other companies involved in the venture were Japanese company (JGC Corp), a French company (Technip SA) and part of Italy's Saipem.