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Nigeria Drops Bribery Charges Against Former US Vice President

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney

A spokesman for Nigeria's anti-graft agency says the country has dropped bribery charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, for his alleged actions as a top official at energy company Halliburton.

The spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Femi Babafemi, says the charges against Cheney and other executives were thrown out Friday after a settlement was reached.

The announcement follows reports in the media that Halliburton agreed to pay $250 million in fines to get the charges lifted.

Halliburton, Cheney and three others at the firm and its former subsidiary KBR were accused of paying Nigerian officials some $180 million in bribes to obtain rights to building a liquefied natural gas plant in the Niger Delta. The money was allegedly paid over 10 years.

Cheney was charged because he led the company during a period when the bribes were allegedly paid.

Nigerian media reports say former U.S. president George H.W. Bush and former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker played a role in the charges being dropped.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.