Ekiti Rigging Tape: Ex-Senator writes Mark, warns against clearing Obanikoro as minister

A former Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Gbenga Aluko, has asked the Senate not to clear a ministerial nominee, Musiliu Obanikoro, following his alleged participation in the Ekiti election rigging audio tape so as to preserve the integrity of the Senate, which he (Obanikoro) was a member.

In a letter to the Senate President, David Mark, the former senator, who also asked Mr. Obanikoro to withdraw his nomination, said should he (Obanikoro) fail to do so, the Senate leadership should meet and advise President Goodluck Jonathan against his nomination.

Copies of the letter dated February 15, were also sent to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerewmadu, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, Chief Whip, Bello Gwarzo and Minority Leader, George Akume.

Mr. Obanikoro, a former minister of state for defence, was recently nominated alongside six others for ministerial positions.

Before he resigned as minister to run for the governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State last year, Mr. Obanikoro, had allegedly participated in a meeting where the rigging of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, was plotted.

Also at the meeting held in Ado-Ekiti on June 20, were the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, his predecessor, Caleb Olukolade, a former PDP governorship candidate in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, and a military commander, Aliyu Momoh, and Governor Ayo Fayose, who was then the PDP governorship candidate in Ekiti.

Although some of them admitted the meeting held, they insisted that the agenda was not to rig the Ekiti election.

Mr. Obanikoro, however, said no such meeting held even though the audio recorded released by one Sagir Koli, an army captain, revealed his voice.

On Wednesday, the Senate, for the second time in a week, deferred the clearance of Mr. Obanikoro as minister after members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, vowed to block the nomination.

“I would have expected Senator Obanikoro to relieve himself of the impending controversy in the Senate surrounding his nomination and screening, by voluntarily stepping down, while he tries to absolve himself from culpability, possibly through the courts,” Mr. Aluko said.

“However, if he doesn’t follow this path of honour, for the sake of the Senate as an institution and bastion of democracy, I will advise that you, as Senate President, along with other principal officers, meet with Mr. President and advise him to withdraw the nomination of Senator Obanikoro in order to save the integrity of our institution.

“It will be awkward for Senators to attack a former Senator and Ambassador during a nomination screening process. This will be tantamount to a situation of ‘dog eat dog’. It is your responsibility as Senate President to prevent this and save the National Assembly. If the Senate cannot tell Senator Obanikoro to “Bow and Go” then he should not come for screening.”

Mr. Aluko, who was a senator between 1999 and 2003, noted that as it is with most controversies, people were already divided as to who was telling the truth about the tape.

He said unfortunately, since Mr. Koli produced the tape with the voices of Mr. Obanikoro and others, most Nigerians who heard it believed the contents, as against the explanation offered by him (Obanikoro) and others.

Mr. Aluko said, “The content of the audio tape, if proven true, is very damning to all the participants at the purported meeting”.

Mr. Aluko, who was an aspirant in the Ekiti State governorship election last year, wondered if the Senate would clear Mr. Obanikoro in the midst of the controversy over the audio tape which allegedly exposed the meeting.

Stating that though he was not rushing to judgment as to the authenticity or otherwise of the audio tape, Mr. Aluko wondered if the Senate would in all honesty ignore the sensitivities surrounding the leakage of the tape.

He also wondered if the Senate would prevent Senators, PDP, APC, and others, from questioning the integrity of Mr. Obanikoro and others during screening in the light of the tape or ignore the position of a large section of the House of Representatives in the matter as well as the electorate during the electioneering period.

He also asked if the upper legislative chamber would ask the former minister Mr. Obanikoro to “Bow and Go” without impacting negatively on the integrity of the Senate and National Assembly.


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  • Amir

    Not with this senate president. He must smuggle Obanikoro in as minister using every deceitful strategy on earth. Obanikoro is not coming to serve Nigeria, but to align with Fayose, Policeman Mbu and co. to rig election in Lagos state and other states in the West. If they refuse Obanikoro, he will spill the bean, therefore they cannot risk it. The Ekiti tape will continue to intimidate PDP into doing the bidding of Obanikoro!

  • Adjoining screening of obanikoro is a strategy to enable David mark water the floor. He will he cleared eventually. Rotten people! Rotten system!

  • Moses Musa

    Is he Obanikoro the most qualified for ministerial slot from Lagos? What kind of tradition that would not allow Nigerians to know the truth about conducts and misconducts of intending public officers. It is disheartening that Senator David Mark is doing all he can to cover this show of shame. Simply gve Obanikoro any appointment that will not bring him up for senate screening, even if the entire senate is peopled by the members of the monster called PDP.

  • Layo

    Obanikoro should simply bow his head in shame and go back to his house. He will not be a minister nor hold any political office until that tape is investigated.

  • babakekere

    There is a secret pact between Obanikoro,Jonathan,David Mark,Ihejirika that is why they are hell bent in making him minister.

  • djay

    That’s what was expected of David Mark but since,like Gej, is only in govt for their interest they won’t do what is right.

  • ID69

    How on earth could ”Koro” be nominated a minister of this country in spite of the allegations leveled against him..these are part of the issues that makes Nigeria a laughing stock in the international domain.My hear bleed for my country, wish I can find a way out.

    • MF

      That is Jonathan for you. He doesn’t care about Nigeria.

  • Hassan Lawal

    The senate president is a disgrace to democracy.

    • I can’t agree less with you. Even the person who nominated Obanikoro and sent his name to the senate is even a bigger disgrace to democracy and decency.

  • DD

    Jonathan, David Mark & Muhammad Adoke in that order, are the biggest threats to Nigeria’s democracy.

  • True Nigerian

    Shameless David Mark is a subtraction from decency, democracy, leadership and legislative integrity.

    And what about the “anti-corruption” President who submitted the name of an electoral criminal for ministerial confirmation?

    How does a President desire re-election, and yet nominate a criminal for ministerial post, in the same period when his government is trying to show that it is not arrogantly corrupt and toxic?

    When you look at these things, you will see how Jonathan and David Mark regard Nigerians. For these two characters, Nigerians are all idyots and animals who don’t have any sense of self-worth.

    APC senators should start collecting signatures for David Mark’s impeachment. Maybe that’s the only way to teach him some decency and give him some sense of shame.

  • favourtalk

    in a sane enviroment, people like this ought not to be walking around the city again with loads of problems and cases on thier next but here we are with all sort of crimes on the same set of people. we need a better country and change in this nation, we cant continue this way. we need change

    • Okey

      It is not only one man that will not walk around the city in saner societies, if you can somebody help me remember one ex-Senator for whose conduct Obasanjo replied his Professor father “Your Son Is A Rogue,” then you will agree with me.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    The useless Ekiti Rigging Tape is a non-issue when compared to what transpired between dirty-looking, semi-literate (IN)Justice Ayo Salami, chieftains of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the party’s legal reps in the period leading up to, during, and immediately after, the Ekiti and Osun Appeal judgements, as captured on MTN call data records of all those involved. In short, both judgements were procured. Money changed hands and landed property allotted to the Justices. PDP should ignore the irritants, use its majority to tell Obanikoro to “bow and go” as is the tradition when ex-senators are screened by the upper legislative chamber. Issues should not always be addressed on the terms of criminal APC elements. Nonsense.

  • Sword of Damocles

    By the way the man who nominated Koro to that position, until this DATE has not seen fit to REFUTE what koro is heard to say on that audio: specifically that he was on a mission FROM THE PRESIDENT. Till today that man has not told the Nigerian people that he did not do what Koro said he did on audio. That is the man who wants us to RE-ELECT him for another 4 years. A question for Nigerians: what do you think is the President’s opinion od us Nigerians, to ask us to re-elect him, but say not ONE WORD about what Koro said on that audio tape. Nigeria is not drifting to perdition for nothing. It drifts because of the quality of the men & women who purport to lead it. What a Country!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Okey

      Can you help me remember one ex-Senator for whose conduct Obasanjo replied his Professor father “Your Son Is A Rogue.”

      • Sword of Damocles

        I could CARE LESS. Can you help me reply why YOUR President has not (as I write) responded to the charge that as Koro siad on the tape I AM ON A MISSION FROM THE PRESIDENT? Mr Ethnic warrior!!!! tell me something wey pass tribe & religion, and I will stand up in the middle of my office in Austin & CLAP FOR YOU!!! Na wa.

        • Okey

          Which “Austin” ? Must be in the middle of your office at Alimosho (Indian hemp then of Lagos) with branch office at Oluwole (headquarters of forgeries where the “Chicago degree” and “Cambridge WASC” were minted)

          • Sword of Damocles

            whether it is Austin in Ogbomosho or in TX(your choice), try answering my question. Do you really think I feel the need to prove to you where I am located? You dey make me laugh. But back to the matter at hand. why has your worthless illiterate Bushman of a Presisent not refuted what Koro said on the audio?

          • Okey

            Because Koro does not fake attending Government College Ibadan and he did not present fake Chicago University degree certificate. Also, Koro did not claim he had “WASC” moderated by Cambridge when he did not even attempt WASC exam moderated either by WAEC or Cambridge. All the schools Koro attended are there and verifiable.

            If your grouse is that you suspect Koro did what Jagaban did with Salamic, then you should start your anger by fisrt ostracising Jagban before getting to Koro. Otherwise, enough of this “I am the Saint, they are sinners,” when actually you guys are barefaced filthy rag mouthing and masquerading “Change.”

  • Okey

    Can somebody help me remember one ex-Senator for whose conduct Obasanjo replied his Professor father. “Your Son Is A Rogue.”

  • BIM

    This is a great article Doyin well done!

  • NoSpinEd

    Well said! God bless you, Doyin!