The immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has denied involvement in rigging the 2014 Ekiti governorship election as captured in a leaked recording of a meeting between him, Ayo Fayose, the state governor, Iyiola Omisore, a former senator, and the Nigerian army.
The recording, published by Saharareporters Friday, provides substantial evidence of a meeting on the eve of the election where the minister and others who were in attendance plotted a devious scheme to unlawfully win the polls.
Mr. Fayose later won the poll.
Details of the recording published Friday correspond to events that took place in Ekiti that day.
But speaking Friday morning on Rhythm FM, a Lagos-based radio station, Mr. Obanikoro said there was no way he was involved in election rigging.
“Whatever they are spreading within the social media, is something that APC made up. There is nowhere in the world you will find me talking about rigging an election anywhere in the country,” he said.
When asked if the voice in the recording was his voice, the former minister said he was yet to listen to the recording.
“Well I have not listened to it, I will listen to it but I can tell you authoritatively that I did not partake in anything that has to do with rigging of any election. And let me add this, how do you explain a governor losing his ward, a governor losing his local government? You have lost, it is about time you behave like democrats.
“That is why you are so desperate in this election, trying to win everything at all cost. If this is about the people, you must respect them, you must show respect for them, you have not shown respect for the people of Ekiti. That is why you will hang on to anything to explain why that election was lost,” he said.
Given Mr. Obanikoro’s defence, the hosts of the radio show played the leaked conversation for him and asked for his comment.
The former PDP Lagos gubernatorial aspirant said he could only understand that someone was complaining to another and not planning to rig election.
“The recording did not say I have manipulated any result from what I have listened to, rather, from what you have played is someone shouting at someone who is co-operating and collaborating with APC and trying to frustrate something.
“What that is, I don’t know, but from what I have heard, somebody shouting out loudly telling the other person that you are working with somebody else other than me, that’s what I could hear,” he said.
Mr. Obanikoro promised to make a full reaction to the leaked conversation once he listens to the full recording.