Jonathan writes Senate, nominates Obanikoro, 7 others as ministers

Former Minister Musiliu Obanikoro
Former Minister Musiliu Obanikoro

The Nigerian Senate has received a correspondence from President Goodluck Jonathan listing seven nominees for ministerial appointments.

Among the nominees are a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Kenneth Kobani, a former National Treasurer of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN], who recently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, and a former Senator from Nasarawa, Patricia Akwashiki.

Others are Professor Nicholas Akise Ada (Benue); Augustine Akobundu (Abia), Zonal Chairman, South-East PDP; Engr. Fidelia Nwankwo (Ebonyi), Hauwa Lawan (Jigawa) and Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya (Taraba).

The President of the Senate, David Mark, read the correspondence from Mr. President on the floor as the upper legislative chamber resumes deliberation after weeks of recess.

Mr. Obanikoro was one of the biggest casualties of the gubernatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], after resigning his ministerial position on October 15 to vie for the party’s ticket in Lagos for the 2015 election.

He lost to Jimi Agbaje, a relatively less known candidate, who had the backing of the party’s most powerful leaders in Lagos.

Alongside Mr. Obanikoro, former ministers Emeka Wogu, Labaran Maku, Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Samuel Ortom, also lost their bids after leaving their posts to contest in their respective states.

Mr. Obanikoro rejected the Lagos results and filed a legal challenge against the declaration of Mr. Agbaje as winner, kicking off a row that has the potential to ruin any chances the party may have in snatching Lagos from All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015.

The logjam was finally been resolved amicably after President Goodluck Jonathan assured Mr. Obanikoro he would reappoint him to cabinet as part of a deal personally brokered by the President to get him to discontinue his legal challenge of the PDP governorship primary result for Lagos State.

Mr. Obanikoro later withdrew his court case, at the same time promising to fully support Mr. Agbaje as the PDP candidate.

The former minister is currently enmeshed in a huge controversy after he was heard in a leaked tape plotting the rigging of last year’s governorship election in Ekiti state.


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