Senator Buruji Kashamu (Ogun East Senatorial District) on Tuesday urged the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, to stop the mudslinging against Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, and face the allegations of corruption against him.
The governor had stated that the Aisha Buhari mentioned in the Halliburton bribery scam, and shown to have transferred the sum of $170,000 from her account to an account with Williams Jefferson as the beneficiary, is the same as the Nigerian leader’s wife.
Kashamu’s challenge is contained in a statement he issued in Abuja. In it, he likened Fayose’s attempt to link Mrs. Buhari with the Halliburton scandal as a “needless distraction and an amateurish shadow-boxing,” adding that his action “could be taken for a drowning man clutching at a straw”.
Both politicians belong to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Asking Fayose to “stop chasing shadows and address the allegations against him,” Kashamu said it was preposterous that the governor chose the exact same time that he is being investigated over the funds he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to remember that someone was involved in the Halliburton scandal.
“The questions are: Was he a beneficiary of the ONSA funds? Is it true that over N300million was frozen in three accounts traced to him? Were suspicious cash deposits made into the accounts in 2014, in clear violation of the Money Laundering Act and other enabling laws?”
The Senator said that what is now playing out confirms his earlier position that the loudest among us are not necessarily the most pious.
“If he is being asked questions about his campaign funds, he should be bold enough to give explanations without necessarily casting aspersion on anyone. He should allow necessary investigations to go on unimpeded. That will not only help to prove his innocence or otherwise but could possibly boost his rating. He could even choose to waive his immunity to aid the investigation if he does not have anything to hide. Immunity does not preclude any public officer even a governor from explaining how he funded his election campaign or the source (s) of deposits made into his account (s).”
He stressed that the allegations against the governor are too grave to be sidelined for a seemingly spurious allegation against the wife of the president.
He noted that months of workers’ salaries are yet to be paid in Ekiti State; development partners have abandoned the State, just as families are languishing as a result of his ill-advised political scheming.
“This current campaign of calumny and juvenile tantrums cannot sweep the issue of corruption under the carpet; neither can it kick enough dirt to make any right-thinking Nigerian to shut his or her eyes to the truth,” Kashamu said. “This is not about party affiliation or dog eating dog. It is about the plundering of our commonwealth and there should be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption. This is a fight that all patriotic Nigerians should lend their weight without any primordial sentiments or prejudice.”
The Senator expressed surprise to hear Mr. Fayose talking about the rule of law and the need to do things within the ambit of the law, saying he never knew that the governor had ever heard of the concept of the Rule of Law.
“When he trampled on other people’s rights in a bid to abrogate their tenure in office where was the Rule of Law?” he queried. “Now he is crying out because he is afraid he might have to get a taste of his own medicine because a man must certainly reap whatever he sows.
“Mr. Fayose is talking about the fact that he enjoys immunity under the law. If I may ask: can a governor who disobeys the law with reckless abandon seek protection under the law? You cannot say because immunity covers you, you should not be investigated if you are suspected to have benefitted from the funds that were meant to buy arms for the protection of Nigerians. I think it is high time that we, as a people and government, address the issue of people committing crimes and hiding under the immunity clause.”
It had been reported about a couple of year ago that Mr. Kashamu is wanted in the United States on drug-related charges. He has so far escaped extradition with the help of corrupt judges on his payroll.