Musiliu Obanikoro Senate defends ex-governorship aspirant’s confirmation

Obanikoro was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, March 11, despite allegations of election rigging levelled against him.

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Former Minister of State for Defence and Lagos governorship aspirant, Musiliu Obanikoro (pictured) play

Former Minister of State for Defence and Lagos governorship aspirant, Musiliu Obanikoro (pictured)

(Senator Obanikoro)
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The Nigerian Senate has defended its confirmation of former Lagos governorship aspirant, Musiliu Obanikoro as a minister.

Obanikoro was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, March 11, despite allegations of election rigging levelled against him.

In defending the legislators’ decision however, Senate spokesperson, Enyinnaya Abaribe stated that Obanikoro was innocent of all accusation until proven guilty.

“Well, what we know as a matter of fact is that there were allegations against Senator Musiliu Obanikoro,” Abaribe said.

“But in our law and the Constitution of Nigeria, anything that is a mere allegation, that is not in any way a court decision, is nothing but a mere allegation and every citizen of Nigeria is deem to be innocent until proven guilty,” he added.

Abaribe also stated that some of the governors who opposed Obanikoro’s confirmation had pending fraud cases before the courts and were only free because they hadn’t been proven guilty.

He argued that Obankoro also deserved the same benefit of doubt that they were given.

“And even the Senators, who addressed the press conference and spoke about the qualification and non-qualification of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro are enjoying this privilege because some of them have EFCC cases and they are still in the Senate because of this privilege of being innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

“They cannot enjoy that privilege themselves and sit in this senate and then turn around and say that somebody else cannot enjoy that privilege. And the laws of Nigeria is very clear. You are innocent until you are proven guilty and that is what played out on the floors of the Senate,” he added.

Obanikoro had been accused of participating in election rigging during the June 2014 polls in Ekiti State. He has however denied the allegations.

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