NNPC Official Indicted on Bribery and Tax Charges in the United States

Taiwo Ajayi
2 Min Read

Paulinus Iheanacho Okoronkwo, a 67-year-old dual citizen of Nigeria and the U.S., who has been practicing law in California for nearly three decades, faces a three-count indictment. Allegations suggest that Okoronkwo, while serving as a general manager in NNPC’s upstream department, received bribes totaling at least $2.1 million from Addax Petroleum.


These bribes were purportedly aimed at assisting Addax Petroleum in evading a $2.4 billion liability owed to Nigeria under an oil-lifting contract dating back to 2001.

The indictment indicates that Okoronkwo utilized his legal expertise to facilitate the arrangement between Addax Petroleum and NNPC, with payments disguised as legitimate consulting fees.

Despite efforts to conceal the illicit transactions, Okoronkwo now faces charges of obstruction and tax evasion for allegedly lying to investigators and failing to report the bribe income in his tax returns

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If convicted, Okoronkwo could face up to 10 years in prison. Additionally, authorities have initiated forfeiture proceedings to recover assets obtained through the alleged bribery scheme, including a home purchased for nearly $1 million in cash in 2017.

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This case underscores the ongoing efforts by U.S. officials to prosecute individuals involved in illegal activities with ties to Nigeria. It follows a similar pattern of recent prosecutions targeting illegal transactions originating from Nigeria, demonstrating the commitment to combatting corruption and financial misconduct on an international scale.

Source: Peoples Gazette

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