Lawmakers oppose Obanikoro’s ministerial screening

Eighteen senators of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday opposed the nomination of Musiliu Obanikoro by President Goodluck Jonathan for a ministerial position.

The lawmakers cited Mr. Obanikoro’s alleged involvement in the rigging of the Ekiti elections as a reason for their decision.

The APC senators led by minority leader, George Akume, alongside Sani Saleh representing Kaduna central; Ojudu Babafemi representing Ekiti central senatorial district and Danjuma Goje representing Gombe central, disclosed their stand to journalists on Thursday.
“Obanikoro is not qualified to hold public office based on his antecedent,” Mr. Babafemi said. “It is our position that such a person is not qualified to hold public office and we are going to oppose that.

“Three senators from Lagos have written to the President of the Senate David Mark opposing that.”
He added that the case would be coming up on March 6 and the Senate President, David Mark, would ensure the matter was cleared in court and not the senate.

The nominations of seven others were also deferred: Fidelis Nwankwo from Ebonyi state, Augustine Okwudiri Akobundu from Abia state, Joel Danlami Ikenya from Taraba state, Nicholas Akis Ada from Benue state, Patricia Akawashiki from Nasarawa state, Hauwa’u Lawan from Jigawa state and Kenneth Kobani from Rivers state.

The senate did not officially disclose reasons for its decision.

A 37-minute audio tape was released in February implicating Mr. Obanikoro in the rigging of the 2014 Ekiti gubernatorial election.

Others accused are the Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose, Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, former deputy governor of Osun state, Iyiola Omisore and an honourable member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Abdukareem.

The tape was leaked by a Captain in the 32nd Artillery Brigade stationed in Ekiti State, Sagir Koli, and was recorded on June 20, 2014.

He recorded the politicians when he was asked to attend a meeting with his Commanding Officer, Aliyu Momoh, a Brigadier General, at Spotless Hotel.

Credit: Chinenye Ugonna/Premium Times