Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ministerial Nominee Obanikoro Confesses He Was At Ekiti Rigging Meeting, Says Jonathan Sent Him

Contrary to earlier denials, embattled ministerial nominee, Musiliu Obanikoro, has confessed to several Senators in Abuja that he did participate in an election-eve meeting in Ekiti in June 2014 in which a group of politicians and government ministers met with a Nigerian army general to rig the governorship election in favor of Ayodele Fayose, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The meeting, which is now known as “Ekitigate”, was secretly taped by an army captain who was subsequently forced to flee for his life.

Despite the scandal, President Jonathan went ahead to nominate Obanikoro into his cabinet for the second time, and the nominee is lobbying the Senators to give him a pass during his upcoming nomination hearing.  It is in the process that he has confessed to some of them that he was indeed present at the rigging meeting in Akure, on behalf of the President, to ensure that everything went smoothly.

Obanikoro’s story is that he was simply making “peace” between the army and Ayo Fayose at the meeting, claiming that he was not party to any conversation about rigging.  On the contrary, Obanikoro, who was at the time junior Minister for Defence, is overheard clearly on the tape bragging about the authority granted him by President Jonathan.

Prior to admitting his involvement to the Senators, the former minister met with President Jonathan to discuss the tape and his role. A presidency source said Obanikoro told President Jonathan he was present at the meeting but that a part of the audio-recording was “doctored”.

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