Halliburton Scandal: Premium Times Bows to Buhari’s Threat, Releases Fake Report

By Amako Nneji June 21, 2016 13:59

Halliburton Scandal: Premium Times Bows to Buhari’s Threat, Releases Fake Report

An online newspaper, Premium Times, has finally bowed to the threat emanating from the Presidency on its reportage on Halliburton Scandal, indicting Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, had through his Special Assistant on New Media, Lere Olayinka, on Monday, June 20, circulated copies of the court document which named Aisha Buhari, as being involved in the Jefferson scandal.

The documents, showed that in some of the exhibits tendered in convicting Jefferson, Aisha Buhari, was mentioned as transferring $170,000 to the American politician, using a firm as proxy.

“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),” the U.S. Government Sentencing Memorandum said on page 22”.

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Premium Times, had through the report incurred the wrath of the Presidency on Tuesday morning, for adding another narrative to the allegations, aside that of Fayose.

In the report, Premium Times had quoted the United States Justice Department, revealing that Aisha (posing as Buhari’s daughter), was used as a conduit pipe and had engaged in fraudulent wire transfers, from her Nigerian account in favour of Jefferson, via the ANJ Group LLC.

In order to douse the wrath of the Presidency, Premium Times, after series of threat, published an interview allegedly concocted with the embattled former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, disassociating the President’s wife from the US report.

The interview came as a surprise to many Nigerians, because before now, Lamorde, was believed to be on exile.

Recall, that Lamorde was accused of embezzling over N1 trillion from the recovered loot, when he was the Chairman of EFCC.

He has on several occasions, refused to appear before the Senate to defend the allegation, rather, he sneaked out of country under the guise of seeking medical treatment, without accounting for the looted funds.

Lamorde, had allegedly told Premium Times, “I can tell you authoritatively that the Aisha Buhari named in that case is not President Buhari’s wife,” Lamorde is alleged to have said, when contacted on Tuesday morning.

“It is another Aisha Buhari entirely. I was the director of operations at the EFCC at the time, so I know about the case very well. I can tell you that it is not her (President Buhari’s wife). That much we established”.

Lamorde, was the EFCC Chairman, until he was removed in December 2015, by President Buhari.

Although, Fayose had insisted that Buhari cannot claim to be an angel. “The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson”, he stated.

The U.S. had at the time, requested Nigeria to help it investigate the Nigerians named in the scandal, and Lamorde, as Director of Operation at the EFCC at the time, coordinated that investigation.

“It is unfair to link the President’s wife with that case,” Lamorde insisted. “She was definitely not the one involved, and Fayose and other Nigerians should know this”, he added.