Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti
Despite the United State government saying that it had no fraud information against the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has insisted that the wife of the President was mentioned in the Halliburton scandal.
Reacting to the freezing of his Zenith Bank account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Fayose, last week, alleged that Aisha was involved in the scandal.
He said, “There was a judgment against the wife of the President, where she wired $170,000 to Jefferson that was convicted in the Halliburton scandal. If she wants to deny that, we will publish it in the newspapers,” he had said.
Slighted by the statement, the President’s wife, through her counsel, Mary Ekpere & Co., had written a letter dated June 22, 2016, to the governor demanding a retraction of the statement. She threatened a legal action if the retraction was not made within five days.
The acting Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate General, Lagos, Frank Sellin, had also told The PUNCHthat the US had no information to provide on the matter.
Speaking through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Wednesday, Fayose insisted that the President’s wife was mentioned in the Halliburton scandal.
In a letter to the President’s wife dated July 8, Fayose affirmed that the statement made regarding her alleged involvement was “correct and justified in law,” having been factually premised on an existing court judgment.
The letter read, “Our client has referred to us your letter dated 22nd June, 2016, on alleged defamation of the character of your client, Her Excellency, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, the wife of Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, with firm instructions to reply to and reject same in its entirety.
“Our client states and reaffirms categorically that the statement he made as regards the involvement of Mrs. Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Buhari, in the Halliburton scandal, is correct and justified in law, having regards to a court judgment convicting one Mr. William Jefferson for bribery in the Halliburton case.
“Therein, the name of the President’s wife featured conspicuously. At page 22 of the said judgment delivered by the United State District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, USA, in criminal case No 1: 07CR209, the said Mr. William Jefferson was sentenced at 9.00 am on November 13, 2009, by Mark D. Lytle. Your client, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, was specifically mentioned in the judgment.”