Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose has responded to a June 22nd letter by counsel to Mrs. Buhari, Mary Ekpere & Co, demanding a retraction of the governor’s statement that her client (Mrs. Buhari) was involved in the Halliburton scandal.
The legal firm threatened a legal action, if the retraction was not made within five days.
In response, he has advised wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, to wait till end of his tenure on October 16, 2018, to sue him for defamation.
Fayose, in a letter by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a copy of which was made available to reporters in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, reads:
“Our client states and reaffirms 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 judgment convicting Mr. William Jefferson for bribery in the Halliburton case.
“Therein, the name of the President’s wife featured conspicuously. On Page 22 of the judgment delivered by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, USA, in Criminal No 1: 07CR209, Mr. William Jefferson was sentenced at 9 am on November 13, 2009, by Mark D, Lytle. Your client, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, was 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)…
“Williams Jefferson is 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 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 said: “Your attention is also 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.”