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Halliburton: Fayose's lawyer replies Buhari's wife, justifies claim of her involvement

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Counsel to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Chief Mike Ozekhome

(SAN) has replied the wife of President Mohammadu Buhari, Mrs Aisha

Buhari through her counsel, Mary Ekpere & Co, justifying the

governor's claim that Mrs Aisha Buhari was indeed mentioned in the

Halliburton scandal.
In the letter dated July 8, 2016, Ozekhome affirmed that 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.”
Counsel to the president's wife, Mary Ekpere & Co had written a letter

dated June 22, 2016, to Governor Fayose, demanding a retraction of the

governor's statement that the President's wife was involved in the

Halliburton scandal, threatening legal action if the retraction was

not made within five days .
However, Ozekhome said the statement of Governor Fayose was correct

and justified, having been factually premised on an existing court

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 judgement 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.”
On the immunity enjoyed by Governor Fayose against civil and criminal

proceedings, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said; “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.

“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.”

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