Gov Fayose
Gov Fayose

Counsel to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has replied the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Aisha, through her counsel, Mary Ekpere & Co, justifying the governor’s claim that she was indeed mentioned in the Halliburton scandal.
In a letter dated July 8, Ozekhome affirmed that the statement made regarding the involvement of Mrs 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 to Fayose demanding a retraction of his statement that the she was involved in the Halliburton scandal, threatening legal action if the retraction was not made within five days.
However, Ozekhome said the statement was correct and justified, having been factually premised on an existing court judgment.
The letter read; “Our client has referred to us your letter dated June 22 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 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 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 Jefferson was sentenced at 9am on November 13, 2009 by Mark D, Lytle. Your client, Mrs Buhari was specifically mentioned in the judgment. The judge referred to Exhibits 36-87 in the following words, for clarification;
“They 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 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 October 16, 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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