(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- The Nigerian government has dropped bribery charges against former Vice President Dick Cheney after Halliburton agreed to pay Nigeria $250 million in fines.
The charges were filed Dec. 7 and center around Cheney's activities as the chief executive of Halliburton and its one-time subsidiary, KBR, before he became vice president in 2001. Last year, both companies pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying more than $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials prior to 2007. The companies were fined $579 million, the largest fine ever paid under the act.
A spokesman for Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Femi Babafemi, told ABC News the charges were dropped after the company agreed to the settlement, which includes the company forfeiting some of the $130 million dollars currently frozen in Swiss accounts.
The head of Nigeria's anti-corruption body says the country charged Cheney with bribery to send the message: "Nobody is above the laws of the land."
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio