Tuesday 5 July 2016

Scandal: Nigerian Journalist Punished Over Controversial Article about Aisha Buhari

A journalist who wrote a questionable article that indicted Aisha Buhari in the Halliburton saga has been suspended on a lengthy note. 

Aisha Buhari
Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist working for the popular online newspaper, Premium Times will be spending the next three weeks of his time at home without pay following a suspension from work.
Mr. Ogundipe, according to Signal news propagated the unfounded claims by the controversial Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose on the involvement of Aisha Buhari, the wife of the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the U.S. Congressman, Williams Jefferson bribery scandal also called the Halliburton scam.

Ogundipe, a General Assignment Correspondent with the Premium Times was suspended after failing to respond to a query issued by the management of the newspaper and eluding a disciplinary panel, according to a source within the paper who did not want to be named.

Mr. Fayose had distributed a link to the U.S. Department of Justice website holding court documents where Mrs. 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, Mr. Fayose said President Buhari was far from being a clean man. The rumours were later dispelled by the former chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde and Nuhu Ribadu who have in different capacities presided over the case.

Under the heat of pressure mounted by the Nigerian Presidency and Mrs. Buhari and fearing a possible litigation arising from the report, Premium Times immediately moved to sanction Ogundipe.
According to the source, the newspaper appealed to Mrs. Buhari, assuring her the journalist who wrote the report acted irresponsibly and was already being disciplined. Ogundipe was issued a query and thereafter handed a 3-week suspension without pay.
Further reports state that the United States Department of state is unusually quiet on the involvement of Aisha Buhari in the scandal as she has failed to travel to the United States of America to prove her innocence on the advice of Fayose.

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