Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday, insisted that the statement he made about the involvement of wife of Mr. President, Aisha Buhari, in Halliburton scandal, is correct.
Responding to a letter by the president’s wife to him, asking him to retract his statement or face legal action, Fayose said he would “join issues” with her “in a competent court of law” any moment from October 16, 2018, when his governorship tenure expires.
On June 22, Mary Ekpere & Co, counsel to the president’s wife, gave Fayose a five-day ultimatum to retract the comments made against the first lady.
But Mike Ozekhome, Fayose’s lawyer, responded in another letter, insisting that Aisha was actually indicted.
Ozekhome’s letter dated July 8, 2016, read: “The statement made regarding the involvement of Mrs. Aisha Buhari in the Halliburton scandal was correct and justified in law, having regards to a court judgment convicting one Mr. William Jefferson for bribery in the Halliburton case,”.
“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 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. The judge referred to Exhibits 36-87 in the following words, for clarification;
“See also government exhibits 36-87 (6/26/02 $170,000 wire transfer from account in Nigeria in the name of Aisha Buhari to an account in the name of The ANJ Group, LLC, identifying “William Jefferson” as Beneficiary)… Given the age of the defendant, the severity of the sentence calculated by the probation office, the defendant’s frequent travel overseas and unexplained wire transfers from overseas locations to financial accounts used by the defendant, the defendant cannot rebut the presumption at sentencing that he is a risk of flight.
“The said Williams Jefferson is currently serving a jail term in the USA and to the best of our client’s knowledge; this judgment has not been challenged, or set aside by any appellate court of law anywhere in the world.
“The statement of His Excellency, our client, is therefore correct and justified, same having been factually premised on an existing court judgment above referred to.”
The letter added that Fayose currently enjoys immunity, and would be ready to engage Buhari in a legal battle at the end of his tenure in 2018.
“Your attention is also hereby drawn to Section 308 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered, on the immunity enjoyed by our client from civil or criminal proceedings for the period that he occupies the office of the governor of Ekiti state,” the letter read.
“You may therefore advise your client to wait until after 16th October, 2018, when our client’s tenure expires. When that happens, we shall join issues with your client in a competent court of law, in the event that your client does not have a change of heart.”