SaharaReporters has received exclusive court documents detailing a court summon from the High Court of Lagos State served Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Senate President, David Mark and the Peoples Democratic Party stating that ex-minister Obanikoro is unfit to hold public office due to his conduct and involvement with the Ekiti rigging scandal now known as “Ekitigate”.
SaharaReporters first broke the Ekiti State election scandal with Senator Musiliu Obanikoro who was then minister of state for defense, Governor Ayodele Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan collectively pressuring, harassing and offering a bribe to Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh to assist them to illegally manipulate the gubernatorial election in Ekiti state last June to favor mr. Fayose who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
SaharaReporters first received this tip from a card-carrying member of the PDP, Kemi Lawla, the individual provided copies of his PDP membership card as evidence of his relationship with the party. The documents released to SaharaReporters include a sworn affidavit, evidence of the claimant’s membership to the PDP, and a letter arguing against Obanikoro’s consideration for a ministerial post signed by Senator Ganiyu Solomon of Lagos West senatorial district , Senator Oluremi Tinubu of Lagos Central, and Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa of Lagos East.
The affidavit argues that Obanikoro is not eligible for nomination because: (1) he is ineligible due to dual citizenship with the United States, and therefore could have competing loyalties; (2) that his reputation has gravely been called into question due to media coverage of his role on the Ekiti State election scandal; (3) that a full investigation into Obanikoro’s conduct is required prior to the Senate confirmation hearings; and finally, (4) that the letter signed by Lagos State Senators detailing Obanikoro should be disqualified from holding public office until an thorough investigation must be considered by the court.
Lagos State Senators Solomon, Tinubu, and Ashafa declared in their letter of objection to Obanikoro’s ministerial appointment that “the Constitution behooves us the power to screen Ministerial Nominees…to ensure that we approve Nigerians with unblemished records for Ministerial positions.” They followed up by saying they believe “the nomination of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro by the President as Minister of the Federal Republic should be stepped down pending an in depth investigation by the Senate into the allegation against him.”
The lawsuit filed by Lawal requests an immediate injunction against Obanikoro’s potential confirmation for appointment by the Senate. This development comes only a few hours before the Senate plans to reconvene to consider Obanikoro’s ministerial appointment after rejecting twice already.