Alleged vote buying: FG arraigns Adebutu, others

CANDIDATE of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 governorship election in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, was arraigned on Monday, July 10, over alleged vote buying.

Adebutu was arraigned in absentia by the Federal Government alongside Tiamiyu Waliu, Egunsola Owolabi, Ogunbona Hammed, Sanni Adegoke, Dayo Fasina, Wasiu Enilolobo, Malik Badmus and Dare Lukman Ogunleye.

According to Punch Newspaper, Yemi Sanusi, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), petitioned the Inspector General of Police over the accused persons’ alleged involvement in vote buying during the election.

According to the particulars of the offence, Adebutu and the co-accused “on or about 18th of March at Ibara, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to corruptly give gifts in form of verve prepaid cards which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement Scheme for Less Privileged’ in order to induce voters to endeavour the return of PDP candidates during the gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun State”.

Additionally, Adebutu was charged with distributing 200,000 prepaid Verve cards using the same name and loaded with N10,000 each “for the purpose of corruptly influencing voters to vote for PDP candidates” during the elections.

Adebutu did not attend the hearing on Monday, but the other defendants—Hammed, Waleed, Owolabi, Badmus and Adejoke — were present.

They all pleaded not guilty to each of the four charges, and their lawyer, Muyiwa Obanewa, then petitioned the court to release the defendants on bail.

The accused were then granted bail in the amount of N100,000 with one surety per accused person, who had to be a bondsman or a member of the defendants’ family and have documentation of tax payment.

The court adjourned the matter for hearing on September 26, 2023.

Earlier in June, The Federal Government charged Adebutu, a leading Deposit Money Bank and its managing director to court for alleged conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

Adebutu and eight other people were charged with four counts in the case with no AB/10C/2003, including one count of criminal conspiracy contrary to Section 121 of the Electoral Act, 2022, one count of bribery contrary to Section 121 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and two counts of undue influence contrary to Section 127 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The charges were filed on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice by M.B. Abubakar, Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Aderonke Imana, Assistant Chief State Counsel, and Bagudu Sani, Senior State Counsel.

The bank and its official were accused of violating section 7(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 by failing to report suspicious transactions on Verve cards with the inscription Dame Oladunni Memorial Endorsement Scheme for Less Privileged between February and March 2023.

They were also accused of failing to confirm the identity of customers making electronic payments on Verve cards with the inscription Dame Oladunni.

“On or about 18th of March at Ibara, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire among yourselves to corruptly give gifts in form of verve prepaid cards which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement Scheme for Less Privileged’ in order to induce voters to endeavour the return of PDP candidates during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun State,” the charge read.






     

     

    Adebutu, who lost the governorship election to the incumbent Dapo Abiodun in March, filed a petition challenging the victory of the APC.

    He filed a petition before the Election Petition Tribunal alleging manipulation of results in the state election in April.

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Abiodun as the winner of the March 18 governorship election.

    Abiodun pulled 276,298 votes to defeat Adebutu, who scored 262,383.

    A reporter with the ICIR
    A Journalist with a niche for quality and a promoter of good governance

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent

    - Advertisement