Thursday, June 23, 2016 11:52 am
Businessman and chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Otunba Oyewole Fasawe has described claims by Governor Ayodele Fayose that Mrs Aisha Buhari, the wife of the Nigerian president was involved in the bribery scandal involving an ex US Congressman, Williams Jefferson as “fallacious, baseless, misinformed and defamatory.”
Fasawe, a long time ally of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was emphatic in a statement issued in Abuja that Mrs. Buhari could not have been involved in the scandal.
“We were the ones in government, and she was never a member of our party or my business associate. So, how could she have been involved in the first place,” queried the controversial businessman.
Fasawe described the Jefferson scandal as a business gone awry, even as he accused the Ekiti State Governor of reopening old wounds.
He also asked President Buhari to investigate the Jefferson scandal in which he claimed he was duped by the American senator.
“It was one venture that went awry based on misplaced trust. I was convinced the Triple Play Cable Television Network was the future of home entertainment in Nigeria. I invested considerably in the business – even having to approach my bank for further investments.
“Unfortunately all went down the drain having been dealing with a fraud and a dupe in a person of Jefferson who used his office and the image of his nation to convince me iGate was a reputable Telecommunication Equipment Vendor.
“I am sure the bulk of the story is in the media, because I petitioned EFCC and the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. However nothing concrete was done by the then leadership of EFCC.
“My monies are still tied up in the US. It is high time the Nigeria Government liaised with the government of the United States to help me repatriate my monies running into 10s of millions of dollars. The matter is in court as I speak, with AMCON joined as a party to the suit.
“This is an opportunity for President Buhari to look into the matter and bring all connected to book. Since the matter is in court, I may not be able to say much. However I seek justice, I seek the intervention of Mr. President. As a matter of fact, a petition to this effect is in the offing to be submitted to the presidency any moment from now,” Fasawe explained soberly.
“The sad incident caused me money, time and honour. So it is very upsetting to have anyone trying to open this old wound and spicing it up with further controversy. I, therefore, advise Governor Fayose and his handlers to please desist from this unprovoked attack and unsolicited defamation to the person of Mrs. Aisha Buhari. No one should hide behind immunity clause to trample upon the rights and reputation of others with impunity,” Fasawe warned.
Governor Fayose had on Monday claimed in a statement that the President’s wife played a role in the bribery scandal involving U.S. Congressman, Williams Jefferson.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose said President Buhari was far from being a clean man.
The Governor issued the statement in response to the freezing of his account in Zenith Bank by the Economic and Financial Services Commission.
“Even the President cannot claim to be an angel,” the governor said, in reaction to the freezing of his Zenith Bank account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal (sic). When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialize the judgment for people to see and read.”
Lere Olayinka, Special Assistant on New Media to the Governor later circulated links to and copies of the court document to prove the claims.
But the President had many years ago denied that the Buhari mentioned in the story was his relation in a story published by New York Times.
Also, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, a former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said his investigations of the scandal reveled that the Aisha involved was an imposter living in the United States.