Again, Senate refuses to clear Obanikoro

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

The Senate on Wednesday refused to deliberate on the ministerial nomination of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

The Senate cleared four ministerial nominees and shifted debates on another three, including Mr. Obanikoro, to next week.

The deferment was the second in one week for Mr. Obanikoro who is at the centre of an election rigging scandal.

PREMIUM TIMES understands the exercise was deferred by the Senate President, David Mark, ostensibly to save Mr. Obanikoro the embarrassment of being defeated by members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who have vowed to block his candidacy.

Mr. Obanikoro was nominated the second time by President Goodluck Jonathan after he failed to clinch the Lagos State governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He is currently embroiled in the infamous Ekiti rigging audio tape crisis, where he is heard virtually threatening a Brigadier General should he fail to support his preferred candidate.

APC Senators have vowed to ensure Mr. Obanikoro is not cleared to be minister, citing the Ekiti election rigging tape.

The Ekiti audio recording emerged early February highlighting Mr. Obanikoro’s participation alongside Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti; Iyiola Omisore; a man identified as Honourable Abdulkareem, and the Minister for Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan.

The 37-minutes audio recordings and affidavit were provided by Sagir Koli, a Captain in the 32nd Artillery Brigade stationed in Ekiti State. Mr. Koli has since fled the country for fear of retaliation.

Mr. Koli recorded the conversation on June 20, 2014, when he was asked to accompany his Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh, to the meeting. The venue was the Spotless Hotel in Ado-Ekiti.

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