The former minister who resigned his appointment to contest for the Lagos state People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket in December lost out to Jimi Agbaje.
The senate commenced screening of the nominees on Wednesday where four of them including Senator Patricia Akwashiki (Nasarawa), Professor Nicholas Akise Ada (Benue), Col. Augustine Okwudiri Akobundu (Abia), and Eng. Fidelis Nwankwo (Ebonyi) were screened.
Obanikoro’s name was listed as number six on the senate order paper but the lawmakers adjourned further screening to next week Wednesday.
Before commencing the screening exercise, the senate had held a closed-door meeting for almost two hours during which pressure was reportedly mounted by senate president David Mark on his colleagues to confirm the former minister but they remained adamant.
President Goodluck Jonathanhad re-nominated Obanikoro as minister representing Lagos state along with seven others who are to replace former ministers that went to contest for governorship election last year.
However, the former lawmaker who was in the senate between 2003-2007 ran into troubled waters after an army Capt. Sagir Koli released an audio recording in which Obanikoro was heard allegedly perfecting plans to rig the Ekiti election together with Police Affairs Minister Abdulili Adesiyan and now Governor Ayo Fayose and a Nigerian Army Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh.
Last week, senators of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) held a press conference where they vowed to stop his confirmation by the senate insisting that there are court cases against him pending before a Lagos High Court and confirming him will be sub-judice.
They also petitioned the senate president David Mark with all the three senators from Lagos State signing the petition opposing his confirmation.
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