Given the emotive nature of the subject of last week’s column, I received a stream of responses that straddled the extremes of fawning commendation and feverish condemnation. But I will only publish a few measured response here. The first is from the Managing Editor of Premium Times, who pointed out that my column, following Ayo Fayose, mixed up of the Halliburton and William Jefferson bribery cases. How could I have missed this? I lived in Louisiana for nearly two years--and very close to William Jefferson's congressional district, which made me follow his trial. I apologize for this, but the substance of my intervention still subsists.
I read both your initial Facebook post and your today's blog post. Both are valuable feedbacks for Premium Times. Thank you for writing them. Let me say upfront that the paper's initial report is far below the standard the medium is known to have set for itself. More checks, and better editing should have been done. It is indeed a case that has sparked extensive internal review at the paper. But when professors like you rail at reporters, and editors, they should always remember that those who work in newsrooms are human, and therefore not infallible. Indeed, your blog post, also published in print by Daily Trust has shown that you too are fallible. You kept referring to the Halliburton bribery scam in your column. Yet, no Aisha Buhari was ever mentioned as far as that case is concerned. Fayose mixed things up, and you helped him further to muddle things up. The case he meant to cite was the William Jefferson bribery scandal which has no relationship with Halliburton. You made this mistake days after Premium Times did a fact-check to set the records straight http://www.premiumtimesng.com/.../205834-fact-check-in.... This teaches us that professors are human too, and can make mistakes, just like the folks in newsrooms.
Musikilu Mojeed, Managing Editor, Premium Times
“During the course of our investigation, we found that a property was sold on June 27, 2014 by Aisha Buhari to one Chiagozia Agbarakwe for $380,000. Evidence shows that that Aisha Buhari purchased the property in 2013 for the sum of $335,000, putting her in Fairfax County, Virginia, during that period.” - Sahara Reporters.
After reading the above Sahara Reporters investigation, I personally did further intensive investigations on this lead. The following are my findings:
1. That Chiagozia Agbarakwe who stays in Virginia, U.S. is the last known Nigerian to have a transaction with the imposter Aisha Buhari. He also knows her personally.
2. That Chiagozia Agbarakwe also has CRIMINAL RECORDs in the U.S. According to ATLASPUBLICRECORD, “Chiagozia Athanasiu Agbarakwe, a resident of Annandale, Virginia has been charged by Falls Church City County, with charges of Fail To Carry/Exhibit Reg Card and 42/25 Speeding Lidar.”
3. According to INSTANTCHECKMATE.COM, Chiagozia Agbarakwe who is now about 40 years old has about 6 criminal cases. “We found 6 criminal records for people associated with the name "Chiagozia Agbarakwe" in Virginia.” NOTE: The complete report of this records cost about $27.78 and I am not ready to pay for that.
4. One of Chiagozia Agbarakwe’s crime partners is Donatus Agbar! The partners’ criminal records are also well documented in the U.S. He may even be the imposter we are looking for!
5. Chiagozia Agbarakwe is also on Facebook with the same name. Chiagozia Agbarakwe is also on Pinterest with the same name.
6. At some point Chiagozia Agbarakwe was a practicing Nurse in the U.S. but his licence expired in 06/30/2005.
7. Chiagozia Agbarakwe has TWO possible addresses in Virginia, US is: a). 7404 Englewood Pl Annandale, VA 22003 b). 8073 Horseshoe Cottage Cir Lorton, VA 22079-2371
Chiagozia Agbarakwe needs to come clean and tell us who this imposter Aisha Buhari is and how we can get her arrested, ELSE all Nigerians at home and abroad should hold him as a criminal conspirator.
The EFCC, ICPC and DSS should investigate further through Chiagozia Agbarakwe and Donatus Agbar in order to bring the imposters to book. Nigerians judge for yourselves.
For me, the greater tragedy of this case is that you, an outsider and a principled critic of the Buhari administration, has done more to bring the facts of this case—and thus unwittingly defend Mrs Aisha Buharii—than people who are paid to defend the president and his family. Your clarification came on Facebook hours after the story of Fayose’s allegation against Mrs Aisha Buhari was published on Premium Times. It took more than a day for the presidential media team to react. And when they reacted, they basically repeated what you wrote. No new facts. No new insight. Just childish abuse. This has got to be the most lackluster presidential media team in the history of Nigeria!
Sabiu Umar, Kano
I read your entire piece. I am not sure why the title of your piece is divorced from the more measured questions in the body. Bottom line is you really do not know what has happened here, Why the drama and noise? All the Nigerian government needs to do is ask the US to clear the name of the real Aisha. This is a simple matter that does not require the time and resources of news reporters. It is public information. You can simply file a public information act request of the US government asking them to confirm or debunk this. Yes, you. I am actually beginning to worry about this because the Nigerian government knows what to do. We are not children.