The Aisha Buhari named in the bribery scandal involving a U.S. Congressman, Williams Jefferson, is not the Aisha that is President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, according to Premium Times.
“I can tell you authoritatively that the Aisha Buhari named in that case is not President Buhari’s wife,” Mr. Lamorde said when contacted by Premium Times, 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.”
Mr. Lamorde, who was EFCC chairman until he was removed in December 2015 by President Buhari, is currently on course at the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.
The clarification came after Premium Times contacted Mr. Lamorde.
In an earlier explosive exposure, the Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday, had alleged that the Aisha Buhari mentioned in court documents to have transferred $170,000 to the convicted American politician is President Buhari’s wife.
Fayose had on monday distributed a link to US Justice department showing evidence of funds transfered by Aisha Buhari.
Fayose claims that Buhari is as corrupt as those he is witch-hunting
Fayose relived the controversy on Monday, June 20, stressing the role played by Buhari’s wife, in the messy bribery scandal involving Williams Jefferson, a US Congressman.
Governor Fayose says President Buhari is a corrupt man.
The Ekiti state governor distributed a link to the US Department of Justice’s website holding court documents where Aisha Buhari was alleged to have transferred suspicious funds to a convicted former American 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.
“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.”
The governor’s Special Assistant on New Media, Lere Olayinka, later circulated links to and copies of the court document detailing Mrs Buhari’s mention in the scandal.
The documents showed that in some of the exhibits tendered in convicting Mr. Jefferson of bribery, Mrs. 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 US Government Sentencing Memorandum said on page 22.
Aisha Buhari could not be reached for comments. And Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, declined comments, saying he would need to check the documents himself before issuing an official statement.
Fayose’s comment sparked a recollection of how Mr Jefferson, between 2000 and 2005, used his position as member of the U.S. House of Representatives to offer illegal services to private companies for cash rewards.
Premium Times reports that Jefferson and his family, according to US authorities, received about $367,500 through through his firm, ANJ Group, for services rendered to iGate, an American broadband technology provider.
An indigenous firm, Netlink Digital Television, had signed a joint venture with iGate to set up digital satellite TV and broadband Internet services in the country. NDTV was owned by Oyewole Fasawe, a PDP chieftain at the time.
Mr. Jefferson was contracted to help promote iGate and NDTV partnership in Nigeria.
Following a lengthy trial, Mr. Jefferson was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Although Mr. Fasawe was arrested in 2005 by the EFCC, he was never convicted.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar were also said to be a person of interest in the allegations.
A final report released by the EFCC on June 22, 2006 about the bribery scandal also contained Mrs. Buhari’s Citizens Bank account statements and how she transferred funds to Mr. Jefferson.
A 2007 New York Times’ article detailed how Mrs. Buhari told an acquaintance in Washington that she was a daughter of a former Nigerian head of state and a friend of Mr. Jefferson.
“As the pair struck up a conversation and subsequently became friends, Mr. Assiba, then a security guard, said she told him that her father was the former military ruler of Nigeria, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and that her American friends included politicians like Mr. Jefferson of Louisiana.”