Obanikoro threatens Sahara Reporters over Ekiti rigging scandal

FILE PHOTO: Musiliu Obanikoro at the Lagos PDP governorship primaries rally

A former Minister of Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, who is one of the characters caught on tape plotting the rigging of the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State, has threatened news website, Sahara Reporters, and its publisher, Omoyele Sowore, for reporting the scandal.

Mr. Obanikoro warned the website of legal action if it continues with its reporting.

In the February 19 letter by his United States-based counsel, Joseph Tacopina, Mr. Obanikoro said the reporting of the rigging tape by Sahara Reporters was “merely propaganda for Sen. Obanikoro’s opponents”.

He said the audio recording of the meeting, involving Mr. Obanikoro; Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan; the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose; and Aliyu Momoh, a Brigadier General, heading 3rd Artillery Brigade, Akure, where strategies for rigging the election were plotted, was a fabrication.

“Additionally, even assuming the authenticity of this audio and it was not manipulated, there are no statements by Sen. Obanikoro that substantiate your claims,” the lawyer said.

“Simply put these alleged statements are not heard on this tape and nothing on the audio supports such purported claims. In fact, the audio is of an alleged vague conversation concerning security for an election, not election rigging, fraud or bribing officials. You clearly knew this fact when you reported the above-referenced defamatory statements.”

Mr. Obanikoro, who has been re-nominated for a ministerial position by President Goodluck Jonathan, warned of severe legal consequences if the reporting continues.

“I demand that you, Sahara Reporters and /or any entity under your control immediately cease and desist from making any false and disparaging statements about Sen. Obanikoro on the internet or to any third party and immediately and publically retract the above referenced defamatory statements.

“If you fail to do so and continue your defamatory conduct, my office will aggressively pursue all legal remedies against you, Sahara Reporters and/or any entity under your control, including commencing a defamation action against you wherein we will seek substantial compensatory damages, punitive damages, sanctions and attorney’s fees.”

Mr. Jonathan had earlier dismissed the tape as a fabrication despite admissions by the Police Affairs Minister, Mr. Adesiyan, and Mr. Fayose.

The purported subject of the meeting, as claimed in the letter by Mr. Obanikoro’s counsel, contradicts the claim of Mr. Adesiyan who said Mr. Fayose was merely complaining that Mr. Momoh was cooperating with the All Progressives Congress.

But in his reaction, Mr. Sowore, speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, said Sahara Reporters will not stop reporting corrupt practices and abuse of public office “in particular the conspiracy by Obanikoro and others in carrying out subversion of democracy”.

“We have received the letter. We have sent the letter to our lawyers and they are heading the legal aspect of it. But we remain committed to reporting on all forms corruption and abuse of public office in particular the conspiracy by Obanikoro and others in carrying the subversion of democracy,” Mr. Sowore said.


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  • endingNaija

    Musiliu Obanikoro, we will meet you in court. We have had enough drama on this. Let us meet in court. But wait a minute Musiliu, since you are doing this because of your nomination as a minister, whether you like it or not you will have to face the Senate for effective grilling. And you will have to answer questions from the representatives of the Nigerian people on this.

    • Oleku

      The tape was doctored-period-Sahara Reporters is Tinubu media outfits ati working for the CIA to create chaos ati unrest in Naija–seeking to force a septuagenarian illiterate with retired ideas from Mali on us–but that will never happen-cheers

      • SAM .A

        If Obanikoro is deceiving u , why are u deceiving yourself? Do u understand the Yoruba he was speaking in between as the rigging Ekiti movie was being produced . You do not know Koro, we know him from his childhood .


        • Julius

          Oleku and the words truth and facts do not belong in the same universe

          • Oleku

            We shall see who tells the truth come March4GEJ when Buhari will cry again and again. Elections aren’t won on Yoruba controlled media ati fake online polls-cheers

      • Preco01

        You are back too? I thought you guys disappeared with Wendel Reno Similin Omokri..ok, you guys are on a new contract

        • Julius

          The contract runs out when Dumbo Jona goes back to the creek..lol. Watch them come back in here praising Buhari. This is their meal ticket….with another name of course

      • Tunsj

        You are right. The tape was doctored “According to Oleku”. You are not making any sense at all.

        • Wähala

          He never makes any sense at all. Do you not know the tout Oleku Olosi? A core retard from Hell…

      • Julius

        lol Oleku, you and thsi word ‘ati’. I thought you dont like the Yorubas . Up the republic of SS ati SE. I actually dont know who told you that SS wanna be part of your republic, but, we shall see sha You never make sense, but like wahala said ‘man must wack’ na im put you for the internet

  • Sam

    Wasted efforts.

  • Funso Ogunsanya

    He is a serial liar. He knows he can’t get anywhere with the case, otherwise, he would have sued them immediately, rather than warning SR. Sowore is bold and will deal with that liar called Koro in US. US is not Nigeria. That audio tape will end is terrible political career. Koro, let’s meet @ the court. Omo ale yoruba.

    • Tunsj

      Funso, you said it all. This guy lie so shamelessly, brazenly and blatantly. He is also a pathological liar.

  • progress


  • Barrister Goggy


    SAHARAREPORTERS should please stay on the Ekiti story and report it in public interest.
    So far, its report on the Ekiti sate secret tapes does not prove rigging or defames anyone.
    Saharareporters was on good grounds of public interest to publish that Ekiti taped-recording.
    What Saharareporters cannot do is to assert rigging conclusively based on those tapes alone.
    That’s because Musiliu Obanikoro is legally accorded a reputation that must not be impugned,
    unless with clear and convincing evidence, which the Ekiti state tapes do not constitute in law.


      We are all for press freedom but targeted character assassination through lies must be condemned !!

      • Preco01

        You are back?

        • Tunsj

          He’s back with his nonsense.

        • Wähala

          Hahaha… man must wack no be nothing dem write’m for motor!

        • Sophia Ukpere

          He’s everywhere.

      • Ige

        @ Tawanda:

        Yes, you are right; because press freedom stops where defamation begins.

  • endingNaija

    I will not respond to any silly Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team response to my comment. I deal with the main culprit-Musiliu Obanikoro.Musiliu Obanikoro knows we know him. The Nigerian people know him for his record. So please Musiliu, I am begging you to please go to court. You must go to court otherwise you are ethically unfit to hold public office in Nigeria. So I beg you to please go to court. By the special grace of God, we will meet there. By the special grace of the living God, Musiliu you will meet the Nigerian people in court when you you sue properly. I am not concerned with all the garbage being posted here by members of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team. I treat their posts cynically with the intellectual contempt they deserve. The posts on behalf of Musiliu -who we know very well are beneath contempt. Reply to them? No! Oh my God! Forget it. So back to Musiliu the culprit. Baby Musiliu, go to court NOW and sue. We are ready for you.

    • Otile

      When I told you APC minions that your god Buhari was comig to UK for
      medical treatment you showered me with insults. Now that he has been
      admitted in a hospital in London come ad defend him and defend your
      lying selves. You can run but you cannot hide. Shame.
      Read today’s edition of Pointblankews and see for your sorry selves.

      • The prince

        Can you and your masters please name the hospital Buhari is admitted for treatment? People like you are the reason why we still have scum of the world like Jonathan and co in power, I hope you are getting your paycheck as at when due because your romance with infamy will soon be over. When you finish reading this please take a good look in the mirror, take deep breath and try to assure yourself that you have not gone mad yet because you are just at the brink.

  • Sophia Ukpere

    In Civilized countries, the likes of Goodkuck, Obanikoro, Fayose and the rest of the rigging team would have resigned or even fled. But here in Nigeria, they still walk tall and act like what they did is acceptable. I Really Don’t know how we will receive freedom from these people who have turned their fellow countrymen to slaves, but i know for sure, that one day GOD will set us free from them all. AMEN

    • Oleku

      What do you know about civilised countries? You think everything is about taking selfies ati uploading them for likes on Instagram abi

  • Mosaku 147

    Koro with his,always,empty bluff. This nicompu wants to pre-empt the senate by claiming the matter is in court.why has his lawyers here in Nigeria not written to PT,Cable,Punch and see if they will not dere him to go to court immediately. He wants to use American jurisdiction to stall been questioned by the senate. Omo ale jati jati ni bobo e sha.

  • Otile

    Buhari in London Hospital: I Have Been Vindicated-Fayose

    Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said that the All

    Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Major General
    Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) who travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) for
    medical treatment is being attended to at a London hospital,
    describing the medical trip as a vindication of his earlier stand that
    Buhari was sick and lacked the required capacity to rule Nigeria.

    He said; “as against the claim of the APC that Bihari was on a short
    working visit to the UK, Buhari is being treated at a hospital located
    at Cavendish Street, Cavendish Square, W2 London West End, London.”

    Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and
    New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor described claim by the APC that
    Buhari will give a talk at the Royal Institute of International
    Affairs, Chatham House, London as “deceit taken too far.”

    • Tayo Akin

      In the new Nigeria factor and his gang will be of no relevance

      • Otile

        But the story is true, Boohari is in UK for his failing health. You know all the denials of ill health did not save our Yar’Adua. Right now Boohari has one foot in the grave.

        • Advocate


        • Rotimi

          Anyone can go on medical check-up, we are not stones, but flesh, we all need rest, any one that passes through and actively participated rigorously in campaigning for any political position, presidency for that Matter as we see, is bound to rest…. Let him do it, it’s not a sin or any wrong doing, he has right to check his health.

        • Sophia Ukpere

          I feel sorry for you. You have no reason whatsoever to wish anyone dead. Anyway.. I hope you still Remember that GOD exists.

          • Oleku

            There’s no God, he doesn’t exist-cheers

    • Tayo Akin

      ……Fayose and the gang….

      • Otile

        Can you disprove this fact? There is no need for name calling.

  • Tayo Akin

    The troubles of Nigeria will one day pray dearly for all their attrocities for God will judge the wicked

  • Tayo Akin

    Roublers of Nigeria. ..will pay…

  • endingNaija

    Musiliu, I am begging you in the name of God (if you believe in one) to please go and sue in ANY court in ANY country in the world. The good people of Nigeria will meet you there. Musiliu, Musiliu, Musiliu, how many times did I call you? Three times. We Nigerian people ARE DARING YOU. WE NIGERIAN PEOPLE ARE BEGGING YOU TO SUE IN A PROPER COURT. Suing in a proper court is part of the BEAUTY of democracy. So Musiliu (please check and note that I am calling you by your first name-that means a lot if you are an African), we Nigerian people are BEGGING YOU TO SUE. You hear? SUE WE BEG. We will meet you in flesh and you will see us in flesh IN A PROPER DEMOCRATIC COURT, and then we will confront you legally, peacefully, procedurally and democratically. It is going to be a democratic BLAST! The usual RUBBISH and GARBAGE of online gossips and posts can go on. We all enjoy it once in a while to do it when we have time to WASTE! But let me be BLUNT with all readers and posters of all these GOODLUCK JONATHAN SPONSORED garbage online posts, all these posts sponsored by Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Team, that the issue has passed silly and busy boy yahoo yahoo paid online posts. Collect your pay from the 20 Billion Naira Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Fund as long as it lasts before he is hipped to Otuoke. It is your right to be paid by the stolen OIL money. But the criminality of the Goodluck Jonathan regime is a serious issue before the good people of Nigeria, and before this election. It is NOT even about Musiliu, the service chiefs, Sagir Koli, Thugnor Ayo Fayose, General Mommoh, Chris Ubah, the so-called police minister, and all those who partook in this major treason and crime against the Nigerian people. It is about the Jonathan presidency using the military to RIG and commit a major crime and treason against the Nigerian people. So Musiliu, we will meet at the Senate during your confirmation process as minister. That is given. That is not a problem. We already gave you the signal. But if you think it is about JUST YOU, then you are kidding. It is about the EVIL and CRIMINAL RAPE of the Nigerian people (using the Nigerian military) by the Jonathan presidency. So, Musiliu please the Nigerian people are BEGGING you to do the peaceful and democratic thing and SUE in ANY COURT in ANY COUNTRY in the world. We the Nigerian people will MEET YOU there. Again, I treat all the garbage responses to this issue by the Goodluck Jonathan Online Campaign Team with intellectual scorn, and intellectual contempt they deserve. They are garbage.


    Jonathan ought to beware of the international dimensions of some issues and actions. You mean Onikoro’s lawyer now speaks and interprets Yoruba, to determine how fraud-free the agenda of that meeting was? Why did Musiliu O(ba)nikoro aka Orikori evoke the power of his office to promote, if not to subject that so-called general to undue influence? Why assure him of reward if not to induce him, for corrupt ends, which is abuse of office and corruption? If the meeting was altruistic, why did Orikori called Oni(ri)koro lie about it? Regardless of contesting or otherwise, a President ought to toe the path of honour always or step down for those willing to do so; the more reason people are clamouring for change and a courageous leadership. I pray people will resist O(rikori)nikoro at the Senate during his appearance as Senator Femi Ojodu is seeking to do. The cry of Fayose in that tape was that of someone seeking help to undermine the power of his opponent using the apparatus of the state, which by any standard is fraudulent to the electoral process. WHY DID ORIKORI HAVE TO LIE?

  • Genf Rolex

    Threat threat threat…no action.
    Sue them for ones and stop talking
    like a kid Obanikoro.


    Onikoro aka Orikori? Na wah o!

  • Maria

    Last week he said he has sued SR, Punch etc… but now he is demanding for an apology…hahahahahahahaha! This criminal is playing with fire. You will go to jail. Remember you are US citizen… You will be tried as a US citizens against a US-based media… Koro you are looking for serious trouble.

  • True Nigerian

    Obanikoro the Shameless liar and electoral criminal. You are the true face of leadership in Nigeria under Jonathan.

    Just go ahead and sue Sahara so that your disgrace will be completed internationally. No American Judge would listen to that tape and fail to reach the conclusion that you are the electoral criminal which the evidence of that tape says you are. Just go ahead and sue, you shameless criminal and disgusting liar.

  • favourtalk

    This man will eventually rot in the dungeon becaue of the wicked and brutality done on nigeria and for the distabilisaion of the peace in this country. We need change away from the liars

  • burning spear


    • Dr. Mallam Mahdi

      You can call it any name but it remains the best online newspaper. Calling state man like Tinubu by you useless and irresponsible fellow ordinary ebo is surprising as alcohol is part of materials needed when your father married your mother and same alcohol is the first thing you tested in you. Anyway history will repeat itself as North and South west joined hand and save Nigeria from our enemies likewise we will win in this battle

  • Ofuchi victor

    You are the best reporter in Nigeria of today. We are soundly behind you. The US court should also find Obanikoro if it found out that the Audio tape is real

  • Umar Dendi


  • Dr. Mallam Mahdi

    Obanikoro, so you wants to go to kirikiri before your. Upon all grace period given to you till March is not ok for you.

  • True

    What is good for the goose must be for the gander. Google “erubo” and see what APC did to win in Osun state. Media houses apparently controlled by APC have all kept a criminal silence over the clips. Let’s expose all election riggers in our own interest.

    • True

      Goggle: eru ibo in Osun state.

  • Stephen

    the threat against SR do not hold water… The Captain involved is said to be willing to testify in court. What else would they be discussing at such critical moments to election….

    • True

      It’s beyond just saying somebody planned something. It’s a different ballgame proving how the plan was implemented to influence the outcome of the election. Is it possible for PDP to have won in all Local government against the people’s wish and there was no reaction? The only reaction was that of the jubilant electorates actually celebrating the ousted of the former governor. It was a state wide celebration shown live on TV. Think about that also.