Pony up Halliburton: Oil giant to pay Nigeria $35 million to settle bribery case

ONUMBA.COM – When Nigeria filed a lawsuit on December 7 against former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney and oil company Halliburton, some probably dismissed the move as an ostentatious pursuit of the impossible. Well – it wasn’t.    

Rather, it was pay-up time. 

Halliburton has agreed to pay the West African nation the sum of $35 million to settle a bribery scandal which Nigerian officials said occurred when Cheney was the Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton. Cheney, 69, and ailing, was with the company before being elected vice-president of the United States under President George W. Bush in 2000. Nigeria accepted the deal even though a settlement of $250 million was sought. By accepting the deal, Nigeria agreed to rescind the lawsuit and all charges filed against Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) and all entities and persons named in the case. 

This saga escalated after Nigeria’s anti graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, deepened its investigation of Halliburton activities in the country, probing Cheney’s role in the bribery scandal.       

Cheney, arguably the most powerful vice-president in the history of the United States, was the leader of Halliburton when a suspicious gas plant popped up in the Delta region of Southern Nigeria, prompting questions by Nigerian officials over whether Cheney and other Halliburton officials paid Nigerian government officials $180 million in “cash for contract” bribery to secure $6 billion contracts for the construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. Continue Reading


Fraudulent Nigerian physician sentenced to prison

ONUMBA.COM – Dr. Charles C. Njoku, 61, the Nigerian-born physician who pleaded guilty to charges of committing medical fraud and having his office assistant, Veronica Scott-Guiler, practice medicine, will spend a year and a day in federal prison for his shenanigans. That was the sentence handed down last week by the U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley. 

Njoku, who owned The People’s Family Medical Center, with offices in two locations, Akron and Columbus, including one at 1279 E. Dublin-Granville Road, could have received 30 years in prison plus a fine of $1.5 million. His package of punishment includes three years probation, including one year of house confinement, and 416 hours of community service. 

What’s more, he and Scott-Guiler will reimburse the government the $131,995 paid to People’s Family Medical Center as a result of these fraudulent billings. Prosecutors had pressed for a three year sentence for Njoku.  But his attorney Walter Madison argued otherwise, contending that his client should have been spared of any prison time, noting Njoku’s “exceptional life.”

Indeed, Njoku has had that kind of life. But it all came to an abrupt end after his arrest in January, setting off a saga that belied the storied career of a man whose impressive resume helped him build a thriving medical practice after earning his medical degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., in 1979. 

In 1983, Njoku was licensed to practice medicine in Ohio. Continue Reading


Somalis rally to support candidate for homeland president

ONUMBA.COM – The treacherous road to peace and stability in the East African nation of Somalia could pass through Columbus where Abdulkadir “Fish” Ali officially kicked off his candidacy for the president of his war-battered homeland. Ali, who was the Chairman of the Somali Chamber of Commerce in Columbus, made his candidacy official last week at a rally held in Days Inn on E. Dublin Granville Road. 

Before a group of friends and supporters, at an event bunting with Somali flags and patriotic songs, Ali urged his fellow Somalis in their native tongue to rally around his candidacy under the mantra:  “2011 New Hope for Somalia.” If he prevails in his bid, he vowed to establish an effective government rooted in “honesty, integrity and accountability.” In his speech, Ali outlined some of his plans to steer Somalia out of the crippling conflict that has robbed it of an effective government for nearly two decades. 

That conflict has shredded Somalia into a wreckage of despair, leaving its war-fatigued citizens dangling in brutal hostilities, which started in 1991 after the demise of strongman Siad Barre’s regime. “It’s time for a new leadership,” said Ali. Continue Reading


Ministry promotes healthy marriages at anniversary clambake

ONUMBA.COM – When Rev. Comfort Kalu was planning the third anniversary celebration of the Fountain of Living Water Ministries International, she decided to gear the occasion in part towards an issue that’s hugely dear to her heart:  ‘marriage.’

So she invited an expert all the way from the State of Washington, author Dr. Asopuru Okemgbo, to come and speak on the subject. 

And Okemgbo didn’t disappoint. 

Navigating through some of the biggest pitfalls of marriage, he identified a menu of factors he blame for weakening the pillars of an institution that has come under assault from a barrage of salvos. It has even come to a cusp where folks don’t even bother to get married anymore.  They bypass it altogether, preferring instead to shack-up. What’s worse, society, even as it dangles morality as its foundational virtues, doesn’t even frown at that anymore because it has grown into an acceptable vogue. Apparently, the sense is, why say “I do” when many of the intrinsic bounties of marriage are also available to those who might as well be saying ‘I don’t.’  Single folks in relationships can do everything that married couples do:  live together, have sex, bear children and raise a family, all while reserving the right to walk away from it all without any costly legal brouhaha which is often part of a typical divorce saga. Obviously, going that route makes the issue of divorce a mute point. Continue Reading


Columbus man is seeking to lead warring Somalia

ONUMBA.COM – Mahatma Ghandi’s words that we should be the “change we want to see in the world,” is probably no more than just a lofty cliché for a lot of people. But for one Columbus resident, it has become much more than that. 

It’s also a call to action. Abdulkadir “Fish” Ali said that it’s time to rescue his war-battered homeland from the mean-spirited grip of politicians he characterized as “inhumane, unwise and heartless.”  These folks, he said, have for years fanned the flame of a vicious conflict that has brought Somalia to its knees. 

Yet, through it all, Ali, like other Somalis, paced the sideline with hands folded as their troubled homeland ravaged in deepening squalor. But that was then. In an interview last week, the 52-year old Ali told the Call & Post that he has seen enough. Continue Reading